Most candidates tend to look beyond just the salary, benefits, and other materialistic offers when it comes to job finding. When looking for a new role, candidates do also take note of the working culture in the company.
More often than not, people will decide to join a company with a good working culture over the bad ones, as it’ll help them learn and grow professionally and personally in the long run.
So, what is a work culture exactly, and why is it important? Well, this aspect depends on the collection of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours between everyone who works in that company, including the bosses. Healthy work cultures also include to what extent the company takes care of their employees’ well-being.
A good working culture ensures employees have work-life balance, growth opportunities, and job satisfaction, which will undoubtedly influence their attitude in a positive way. Aside from that, having a collaborative environment also helps your company in multiple ways, which include:
A positive work environment will attract candidates with positive attitudes. With an excellent track record, it’s only normal for you to have better hiring choices.
This will also positively impact how the employees interact with their work and company. A company with a great work culture will prevent high employee turnover.
The company’s working culture is often associated with its brand and reputation. If the organisation provides a great environment, undoubtedly, the public would assume that the company is great. And the employees speaking well of their work to family and friends will play a part in ensuring the company maintains its image.
Companies with greater working cultures often outperform those who don’t have any. Generally, the stronger the working culture that encourages its employees to go above and beyond, the more successful the company is.
A company must make sure that everyone is held responsible for their choices and behaviour. To do that, the workplace must play its part to ensure that all employees feel that they’re comfortable taking credit for both their ideas and mistakes. Not only does accountability fosters responsibility among all employees, but it also makes them team players that are trustworthy.
Having a healthy workplace culture means that the companies will do their best to treat all their employees equally. Let’s face it, every position starting from the lowest to the highest level, has its value and role to play in that organisation.
However, favouritism and misuse of power often happen in an organisation, which may cause feelings of resentment and distrusts between co-workers. When such toxic cultures exist in a company, it’s only natural that all the employees working there will have low morale.
More often than not, when employees are able to express their thoughts, opinions, or even dissatisfaction freely in a company, they’re generally happier. And if employees are given the freedom of style to a certain level to decorate their workspace, it’ll make them feel more comfortable and less anxious to come into work in that company.
Communication is recognised as one of the most crucial factors to a healthier working environment. Everyone within the company must learn the respectful ways to give and receive feedback to avoid interpersonal conflicts. Functional work culture will allow everyone to resolve issues by sharing ideas and collaboration, regardless of their roles in the company.
The higher management in the workplace must ensure that their employees’ successes are well-recognised and rewarded, instead of discrediting them by saying, “You’re just doing your job.” A healthy workplace environment will acknowledge their employees’ positive traits and attributes, as well as encourage them to polish their talents. How can you do that? Simple praise of their good work would be sufficient; but if you’re going for more, giving them a competitive salary and also helping to build a culture of appreciation and mutual respect among your employees would be good steps to take.
We now come to the good part! The first step you need to take to build a better work culture for your company is to know your company’s core values. It’s vital for you to ensure that everyone understands and are aligned with your company’s core values.
Why? Because these will act as the fundamental values in building the work culture of your dreams. So, here are the eight best practices to achieve a healthier working culture:
Each team should have their objectives and goals outlined in a clear and precise manner. Working towards a common goal will help increase their individual performances, but it will also promote teamwork between the members in that particular department.
A diverse mix of voices often leads to a better discussion, decision, and outcome for everyone in your company. A positive and inclusive working culture will encourage employees to speak of their different perspectives, which are valuable for solving problems. An initiative to promote diversity and inclusivity in a company will also help employees feel more comfortable at work by simply being themselves. These fundamental elements of diversity and inclusion will definitely help grow your organisation.
A company should ensure that each and every individual feels valued and their voices heard, regardless of their culture, status, or background within and outside of the company. Why? Just because a person doesn’t have enough experience or comes from a different expertise doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have ideas to help solve your problems. Based on our past experiences, you’ll be surprised just how many times the fresh perspective of an intern may offer you a more significant advantage in resolving your company’s issues.
As mentioned before, employees should not be discredited, and instead, they should be recognised and rewarded for their outstanding results. Having a recognition program will make your employees feel that their company values them. As a result, they’ll feel encouraged to strive for success, which motivates them to take it to the next level when working in your organisation.
When your employees provide their perspectives and feedback, don’t turn them away. Instead, try taking what they have to say into consideration and see where their feedback is coming from. Sometimes, a bottom-up approach may be more helpful than a top-down approach when identifying problems. More often than not, employees experience first-hand operating issues when they’re working on their tasks. Instead of thinking of their feedback as an indication that you’re wrong, see it as an opportunity to evolve to help better your organisation.
Transparency and open communication between the higher management and staff will help build the trust needed to succeed. Instead of feeling unheard and unvalued, which may result in conflict, creating a more open culture will help boost your employee’s overall morale.
Sometimes, an immediate response is needed when things go south. Your employees shouldn’t fear repercussions for deciding on solutions for the troubles at hand. Employees also shouldn’t be punished for taking some time off to manage other emergencies or personal responsibilities outside of their work lives. By giving them the time and autonomy to do certain things for a reasonable cause, they’ll most likely be more grateful, respectful, and loyal towards your company.
A healthy working environment includes creating an opportunity for your employees to be active and get to know each other better. Having social outings, gatherings, and functions will help foster meaningful relationships at work. To a certain extent, these social events will help foster mutual trust and respect among the employees.
Although providing lunch breaks are not legally required by the law, taking away the rest time of your employees, which you promised them upon hiring, will definitely stress them out. Remember, your employees are humans, and not machines that can work for eight hours straight without nourishment and still be expected to be healthy.
Aside from their working life, your employees probably have some personal matters they need to attend to after work. So, avoid meeting, texting, or emailing your staff after working hours, unless it’s an urgent matter. Even then, if they say no, try not to hold them accountable for not attending to the emergency after their working hours.
Limiting the opportunities for your employees to learn will not only result in a loss for them, but also for you. Allowing your employees to pursue their passions outside of their job description will encourage the sharing culture between colleagues. As a result, not only will your employees have better relationships with each other, they’re also more efficient, and could even bring their newfound skills to help better your organisation.
As an employer, you shouldn’t tolerate managers who abuse their power even if they managed to push your company’s productivity to a higher level. “But if it works, why should I not tolerate it?” Well, even if your productivity managed to increase by a significant number, having poor managers who aren’t compassionate to their staff will only cause your company to have a high turnover rate, which is more costly in the long run.
Although creating a healthy work culture seems to fall under the HR’s jurisdiction, the truth is, a handful of people can only do so much to create a good working environment. Positive cultures are created when everyone works together. Leaving it up to HR alone will probably make things worse, and sometimes, this is a task that requires the collective efforts of everyone.
As the saying goes, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" – which means that if you like working in a positive, fulfilling environment where your hard work is noticed and rewarded... make sure you create the same kind of work culture for your employees. They'll thank you for it, and strive to greater heights!