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Workplace Culture

Workplace Culture: Definition, Importance, How to Improve It!

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Culture is not a rigid term in its understanding but roughly it constitutes our surroundings. It intervenes in everything an individual does and influences his actions. It is around us. If we look at it on a global level, it suggests to us which food we take, which language we speak, which societal norms are prevalent, and which amongst them we should follow. Contrary to this, on a smaller scale, the workplace culture of any organization is about its values, mission, and ideals. Let us learn more about workplace culture in this article.

This article particularly focuses on workplace culture definition, workplace culture importance, why workplace culture matters, and how to improve workplace culture.

Key Takeaways

  • Workplace culture encompasses shared values, beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions among employees.
  • It fosters engagement, reduces turnover, and enhances productivity.
  • Promotes diversity, inclusivity, and transparent communication.
  • Aligns employees with clear goals and incentives.
  • Strategies include establishing clear values, promoting diversity, encouraging teamwork, fostering open dialogue, and implementing transparent goals and reward systems.

Workplace Culture Definition

Culture is what surrounds us at the workplace, at home, or elsewhere, but it is a subjective term that is interpreted differently by different people. According to Forbes, workplace culture is defined as “the shared values, belief systems, attitudes, and the set of assumptions that people in a workplace share.” The workplace culture definition given by Forbes also suggests that workplace culture is shaped by many influences like management, social context, strategic organizational directions, leadership, cultural setting, and individual upbringing.

Workplace Culture Importance

The connection between an employee and a company as well as between an employee and his colleagues is important to sustain effective working in an organization. The employees also have to stay connected with the mission statement of the company. Everyone works in a workplace and the company demands a positive workplace culture to foster its values.

Deloitte conducted research which showed 88 percent of employees while 94 percent of executives support workplace diversity in corporate culture for the progression of any company. Along with this, well-defined job responsibilities are also beneficial in promoting a workplace culture of well-being. The survey of Deloitte indicated this vital element for creating a healthy workplace culture that 76 percent of employees at a workplace want a “clearly defined business strategy”.

The appreciation of comfort in work helps employers retain employees with higher job satisfaction. Research by Gallup observed that the employees of the company who are habitual of recognizing their employee’s efforts are five times more likely to progress. Some of the important workplace cultures are discussed next:

  1. Employee Engagement rises

A dynamic and ever-evolving workplace suits the employees more as it caters to the attitudes and needs of individuals and is equipped with enough mechanisms to decide a way out in the situation of any conflict. So a positive workplace culture eventually reduces toxic workplace culture allowing more time to focus on job tasks. According to the Quantum Workplace, employee engagement increases with six key rivers organization-wide. All these indicators show workplace culture importance including the commitment of the leadership team to making a healthy work environment. The other factors include the leader setting practical examples of maintaining work-life balance for employees, instigating a positive outlook about the future success of the workplace, feeling secure about staying relevant in the organization’s future, organization leaders valuing employees as an asset, and organizational efforts in financial terms to ensure employee safety and success.

  1. Draws in and Maintains Employees

Every workplace operates on some core values which need to be communicated to the employees openly fostering a healthy workplace culture so that the results should be as expected. If the employee gets his job duties precise and concise then he will better understand the job and is less likely to leave it.

It is important to discuss the core values of the company during onboarding to see if the candidate has some shared values and will embody them. This positive workplace culture helps in hiring the most relevant people in the club who are easy to retain. Employees hired in such a way not only reduce turnover but also work hard to achieve the goals of the company.

Why Workplace Culture Matters

A workplace culture matters in its positive capacity as it plays a constructive role in increasing engagement. It increases the overall workplace efficiency and productivity by increasing the retention of the workforce, refining team collaboration, providing job satisfaction, raising morale, enhancing work performance, and encouraging teamwork. So, a healthy workplace culture matters because of its role in improving the mental and physical health of employees, significantly reducing the symptoms of stress.

How to improve workplace culture

An organization can improve workplace culture simply by following the given suggestions.

  1. Set explicit principles and core values for the organization

The first necessity for an organization is to have a clear-cut set of the organization’s core values. The employees should feel at home and part of the organization, so it is an essential factor to first establish and then communicate the explicit values and ethos of the organization. These can be defined as the commitment of the organization to some global actions or policies. But this ethos should not only be theoretical states in the brand story, mission statement, promotional or marketing material.

The repetitive actions on a daily basis ensure their implementation helping to improve workplace culture. This demonstration also acts as a driving force for the employees to play their part in fulfilling their responsibilities. This helps in raising awareness and individuality of employees at the workplace and aids in assessing their own behavior. This approach of opting and fostering a culture of positive actions and attitudes results in a positive workplace culture.

  1. Foster a workplace that embraces diversity and inclusion

Another improvement organizations need to improve a workplace culture is embracing inclusivity. A positive workplace culture discourages discrimination based on color, sexual orientation, or gender. Instead, it fosters a workplace culture of inclusivity where every employee enjoys an equal position and value irrespective of the attributes he possesses. Everyone should be given equal access to opportunities to prosper and grow. The rewards and perks should also be equally distributed and a chunk of favorite employees should not be the only beneficiaries.

Workplace diversity is the new normal with globalization and urbanization where one workplace has people belonging to different backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, colors, castes, creeds, etc. They all work together under a roof for the betterment of the organization. This is called an inclusive workplace where individual differences are valued and the workforce is accepted wholeheartedly by the organization.

Language is the main medium of communication but it is also a main source of creating misperception and miscommunication. To avoid confusion it is important to reinforce a language that is inclusive of ethos and is gender-conscious. A workplace culture example of such sort is focusing on the role of an employee in the workplace rather than his gender identity.

  1. Encourage teamwork and open dialogue

An organization supporting truthful, candid, and open communication plays a crucial role in improving workplace culture. Likewise, workplaces that encourage collaboration create a better workplace culture than otherwise. So the management and leadership style should raise the spirits for teamwork.

Diving deep into open communication we can further break it down by assessing the interaction of the workforce with each other. Either they welcome the feedback and work on it constructively or the chances for social engagement are provided. Such interactions could be of any form like family weekends, team retreats, or casual coffee meetups. This way a team connects with each other outside of the workplace with the opportunity to get used to each other.

Organizations have to keep playing their role in providing learning opportunities to enable employees to evaluate their implicit biases and innate unconsciousness. This hinders their interaction with others at the workplace. Workplaces should also have programs to end workplace bullying. A zero-tolerance policy for workplace bullying and discrimination is required to improve workplace culture.

  1. Establish transparent objectives and incentives for the staff

According to Deloitte’s survey, a significant majority of executives that is 83 percent and employees 84 percent agree that engaged and motivated employees are pivotal to a company’s success. This is the responsibility of a company to motivate and engage its employees on a regular basis by communicating the clear goals of the company and treating everyone equally.

Everybody at the workplace needs to be self-accountable which is possible with a transparent promotion policy. Employees will be able to track their progress with measurable performance indicators while sustaining healthy competition. It can also improve workplace culture by reducing negative feelings and hatred between employees and fostering honesty. Clear goals and clear results promote growth and a positive workplace culture.

Conclusion

A workplace culture is formed by shared values of diversity of people at a workplace. A positive workplace culture is important for the progression of a company and its employees. This article has found the answer to workplace culture’s importance and why workplace culture matters. The workplace culture should necessarily be positive as it provides a sense of ownership to the employees where they feel pride to work towards achieving their goals. If the organization becomes a home for its employees they strive hard to make its future better. This is only possible by cultivating a culture of equal growth and opportunities for the deserving and capable ones. Effective leadership helps in an active style of management which further improves workplace culture.

Frequently Asked Questions About Workplace Culture

  1. What is workplace culture?

Workplace culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions among employees within an organization. It encompasses how people interact, collaborate, and make decisions.

  1. How does workplace culture impact employee engagement?

A positive workplace culture increases employee engagement by creating a supportive and inclusive environment where employees feel valued and motivated to contribute their best efforts.

  1. What is workplace culture’s importance for organizations?

Workplace culture is crucial because it fosters employee engagement, reduces turnover, enhances productivity, and contributes to overall organizational success by aligning employees with company values and goals.

  1. How can leadership shape and influence workplace culture?

Leadership sets the tone for workplace culture through their actions, decisions, and communication. Effective leaders establish clear values, foster open communication, and promote behaviors that reflect the organization’s culture.

  1. How can organizations measure or assess their current workplace culture?

Organizations can assess their workplace culture through surveys, feedback sessions, employee interviews, and observing daily interactions and behaviors within the workplace.

  1. How does recognition impact employee progression?

Companies that regularly recognize employees’ efforts are five times more likely to see employee advancement, according to Gallup’s research.

  1. How does transparent communication contribute to a positive workplace culture?

Transparent communication builds trust among employees, enhances understanding of organizational goals and expectations, reduces misunderstandings, and encourages collaboration and innovation.

  1. What are the benefits of fostering a positive workplace culture?

A positive workplace culture boosts employee morale, improves job satisfaction, increases retention rates, and enhances teamwork and collaboration among employees.

  1. What role does diversity play in shaping workplace culture?

Diversity in the workplace promotes innovation, creativity, and a broader perspective, enhancing the organization’s ability to adapt to change and connect with diverse customer bases.

  1. How can organizations maintain a healthy balance between innovation and tradition within their workplace culture?

Organizations can maintain this balance by encouraging innovation while respecting and preserving core values and traditions that define the organization’s identity and purpose. This approach fosters continuity and growth while embracing change and adaptation.

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