We all know the importance of company culture, right?
It’s that bit of magic that helps makes the day-to-day lives of everyone in your business just that little bit better. It turns your organisation into more than ‘just a job’ for your employees; instead, it’s something that supports them and their wellbeing both at work and after they’ve gone home for the day.
If your organisation has a great workplace culture, you’ll have less and less of those days where people dread going into work. In fact, businesses that have nailed the art of positive workplace cultures will often have exceptional rates of staff retention and productivity – after all, why would you want to leave a job and company you love to work for?
But make no mistake - it’s not something you buy off the shelf, get through a few social events or gimmicks like bean bags and pool tables. It’s something that builds on what’s already there, and there are four crucial factors that you should be aware of…
1. YOUR MISSION, VISION AND VALUES
Perhaps the most crucial factor in consistently driving an organisation’s culture is its overarching values. Ask yourself: What does the business stand for, and what is it trying to achieve? What impact does it try and make on the world?
This might be basic stuff to the initiated, but it’s something that can be so easily overlooked or even forgotten! In short, businesses need step up to the plate when it comes to living its values – not just having them emblazoned on an office wall or buried in promotional brochure.
An organisation that means what it says and inspires people through its actions, will have a better workplace culture that contributes to positive staff wellbeing than one that doesn’t. It’s really that simple!
But note, these values also need to be aligned to an employee’s role – they need to understand the part they play in helping the organisation achieve its vision, and feel like they’re actively contributing to its success, which leads nicely onto…
2. YOUR PEOPLE
Of course, a workplace culture isn’t something that’s imposed upon people – it’s something that people help create. Also, think about the people you are looking to attract to the business, too: do they really fit in with your organisation’s values, or are you focusing purely on skills and experience?
Encourage dialogue across the business and engage teams to create something that will genuinely be relevant to them. This means that the senior leaders who set the tone have to give the people on the ground something relevant and meaningful to effectively buy into.
Also, don’t forget that the people the organisation hires – their personalities, skills, behaviours and backgrounds – will all play an essential role in driving that consistent, positive culture.
3. YOUR LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
Do your managers support employees, empowering them to be their best and recognising their achievements? Or are they more of a hindrance?
Do your company’s leaders set a good example, and interact with the people on the ground, or are they always distant? How many people in your organisation have actually had a conversation with the MD, or met the CEO? And is there one rule for the people at the top and another for everyone else when it comes to pay, holiday and standards?
The way leaders and managers communicate with the rest of the organisation is important – as their behaviours and actions will filter down through the rest of the business. Not only that, but a business that puts the concerns of the senior leaders ahead of the rest of the team might struggle to even build a positive workplace culture at all.
4. YOUR ORGANISATION’S WORK / LIFE BALANCE
Lastly, many organisations can lose sight of the fact that employees have a life outside of work – and that the things going on outside of the four walls of the office may occasionally be a bit more important to an employee for short periods of time.
A poor work/life balance can be a massive cause of stress and poor mental health – and don’t kid yourself into thinking it’s something that more money can solve!
Giving people more control over how they make their work fit with their personal lives can be an incredibly important factor in a positive workplace culture and one that supports positive mental wellbeing – and that’s something that money really can’t buy.