What is workplace culture?
One of three definitions the Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides for culture is, “the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group.” Does the workplace truly fit this definition? Absolutely.
Workplaces are, in themselves, a microcosm of society. Work environments embody character and personality based on a company’s beliefs, behaviours, traditions, and values. The notion of workplace culture was first introduced in 1951 by Dr Elliott Jaques, a psychoanalyst, social scientist, and management consultant. His findings were published in The Changing Culture of a Factory. Among other things, Dr Jaques discovered that company culture is influenced by many things, including leadership and management styles, team members, policies, and workplace practices. Moreover, positive workplace culture has the power to attract and retain top talent while boosting employee satisfaction and performance.
Positive workplace culture
Simply put, workplace culture can make or break a company. Does your business have a reputation for valuing its employees or for fostering a toxic environment with high turnover rates? Culture is more important than any business strategy. It will either strengthen your business objectives or undermine them.
There is more than one reason to strive for positive workplace culture.
1. It attracts (and retains) top talent
It is almost common sense to suggest that positive company culture will attract quality employees who feel valued enough to spend their entire careers with your company. Yet, some companies miss the mark with this one. Showing prospective candidates during the interview process that your workplace culture is strong and clearly defined is the best way to land top talent and keep them happy for years to come.
2. It improves employee performance
Is your workplace’s culture sabotaging employee productivity? It is a question with which many leaders struggle. The evidence is clear on the matter. If a lack of clearly defined objectives and beliefs plagues your company, a toxic work environment almost certainly will ensue. Employees who are surrounded by negativity will soon become discontented with their environment and will not feel motivated to remain productive.
3. It encourages employee engagement
Companies with positive workplace cultures have employees who are 72 per cent more engaged in their work. Employee Recognition Programs are an effective way to increase employee engagement, which leads to passion and a sense of purpose. When employees feel like they truly are part of the team and firmly believe in the company mission, they are more likely to go the extra mile to ensure the company performs well.
4. It boosts customer satisfaction
When employees are content, it boosts customer satisfaction. They serve as the front-line ambassadors for your brand. By investing in their employees and maintaining a positive workplace culture, companies achieve higher customer satisfaction ratings. If your business prides itself on being customer-centric, then it also needs to embrace the importance of employee satisfaction.
Types of workplace culture
Diagnosing workplace culture can be tricky. In-depth, independent appraisals are the best way to sort your strengths and weaknesses concerning organisational culture.
Edgar Schein, a former professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, derived a model of organisational culture in the 1980s. It identified three distinct layers of culture relevant to the workplace:
- Basic underlying assumptions are deeply embedded in the company culture and can be difficult to identify internally.
- Espoused beliefs and values centre around a company’s values, standards, and rules of conduct. It relies heavily on management being in line with the basic assumptions of an organisation.
- Structures, processes, and behaviours mark the surface of an organisation and are associated with branding and identity. They are used to identify a company internally and externally.
Schein recommends that companies delve deep into each of the three layers. There are outside agencies capable of conducting thorough investigations using this model. Since basic underlying assumptions are almost impossible to identify internally, using an external service may provide a clearer picture of overall culture strengths and weaknesses.
Culture by industry
After conducting culture audits, many companies discover they fit into one of several distinct types. Here are among the most common:
- Clan cultures make the workplace feel much like an extended family. There are strong bonds and feelings of loyalty, and employees are encouraged to collaborate and work as a team. A perfect example of this kind of company culture is found at Google. The model has worked well for them, allowing Google to attract — and retain — some of the best and brightest in the industry.
- Adhocracy cultures stress the importance of taking chances, encouraging team members to challenge norms and take risks in the name of innovation. Agility and change are the top characteristics of these companies. IDEO, a global design and innovation company, is an example of an adhocracy culture. Many startups fall into this category because they prize risk-taking.
- Market cultures are all about getting down to business. They are results-oriented. The top goal is to increase profitability by encouraging a competitive work environment, especially among coworkers. Amazon and Apple are two examples of this kind of company culture.
- Hierarchy cultures are all about adhering to methods that have proven successful in the past. As the name implies, they are all about structure and procedure and not fond of risk-taking. Most government organisations fall into this culture category.
Is your company’s workplace culture inhibiting or fuelling your brand’s growth? A tell-tale sign that your workplace culture may not be working well is if there is a revolving door of employees. It may be time to take a step back, evaluate, and, if necessary, redefine your workplace culture.
Crafting a company culture powered by EonX
Inclusive, innovative, thriving workplace cultures all have one thing in common: They Reward employees for being valuable members of the team. EonX assists businesses in achieving the desired workplace culture that enables organisational success with its Rec Room platform.
One of Rec Room’s main functions is to serve as an effective — and fun — internal communication feed. Daily news, company tidbits, and even kudos for jobs well done can be sent using this platform. Its social interface allows for peer-to-peer recognition and collaboration that is supportive of fun and engaging work culture.
Our team can work with your company to harness the power of Rec Room to deliver unique and innovative solutions that promote positive workplace cultures that best fit your business. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation with one of our specialists.