The term “workplace culture” can sometimes be misunderstood or pigeonholed.
For example, I have seen job listings that boast of an awesome workplace culture with modern office fittings, social activities for staff and the best coffee machine in Melbourne. Job perks can contribute to employee engagement, but the concept of workplace culture extends a much broader umbrella.
I have also seen companies defining their workplace culture solely by their profitability. Again, this fails to capture the true scope and significance of a “workplace culture”.
Culture is defined as the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a society of people. Your workplace culture is very much like a microcosm of a society. The ideas, work customs, and behaviours of your staff generate the character, feel and functionality of your organisation. Your workplace culture is greatly impacted by:
Leadership and communication styles
Personality and relationship styles
Beliefs, behaviours and attitudes
Organisational vision and values
Workplace policies and practices
It’s important for leadership to be proactive in fostering the workplace culture, rather than letting it evolve without direction or intention.
A positive workplace culture drives staff engagement, satisfaction and performance, and attracts talent and clientele.
A tense, negative or toxic workplace culture puts you and your staff at risk of costly mistakes, low productivity, high staff turnover, complaints or grievances, which ultimately has a negative impact on your organisation’s performance.
Attending to your workplace culture on a regular basis should be a fundamental part of your risk management plan.
It can take 3-5 years to create a long-lasting positive change to workplace culture but only a couple of days to ruin it. Leaders who fail to make culture count in their organisation will inevitably face the serious issues associated with a toxic workplace culture.
My advice to employers, directors, executives and HR Managers is to take a holistic approach to achieving your desired organisational culture. This means looking at the whole picture and using a range of tools and strategies.
MAKING CULTURE COUNT is a training and development program designed to support leaders to proactively and consistently manage their workplace culture, including how to identify and mitigate the risks of a toxic workplace. This program includes best practice tools for managing workplace conflict and fostering long term cultural change.
For more information, please contact us today.