Positive workplace culture: what it really means and how to *actually* promote it
Over the last few years, there’s been an increasing push towards ‘positive culture’ in the workplace. From household brands and multi-national corporations to small local enterprises, there’s now a huge emphasis on creating an environment that employees want to work in. But what does ‘workplace culture’ really mean? What are the motives behind the methods? And how can we make employees feel truly supported?
What does workplace culture *actually* mean?
In a modern context, workplace culture can be defined as the environment an organisation creates for its employees. This could be anything from the physical office space to company policies to the sort of extra support employees can expect to receive from their workplace. The best organisations are working to develop a workplace culture that encompasses all three.
It goes without saying that its in a company’s best interest to promote a positive workplace culture for its employees. And not just because it’s the right thing to do. Employees who feel they’re given a positive environment in which to work:
- Will feel naturally happier at work, and more supported in their role.
- Are more likely to show company loyalty and stay with an organisation for longer.
- Generally will be far more inclined to go the extra mile in their role.
Employees who feel like they’re working in a negative workplace environment? Not so much …
So, what does it look like?
Unfortunately, the desire to constantly be presenting a positive environment can often lead many brands to focus on the superficial, rather than the meaningful. Workplace culture does not end once you’ve got a ping pong table in the office, free buffet breakfast once a month and you let your employees bring their dog to work.
If you’re already doing all these things, great, but they’re not the end of the road. A true positive workplace culture backs up the more superficial ‘perks of the job’ by putting its employee’s needs and wellbeing at the centre of every policy they make. This could be …
- Allowing flexible, ‘hybrid style’ working for employees who find it easier to work from home on occasion.
- Fair and flexible maternity leave / paternity leave / sick leave / bereavement leave.
- Ensuring your employees feel welcome to share new ideas as well as constructive criticism when they need to.
- New employee induction, wellbeing support, mentoring and other methods of creating an inclusive and supportive environment.
Positive workplace culture will look slightly different for every organisation, but ultimately it’s about prioritising your employees. Create a feedback loop that allows them to share what working conditions will benefit them the most – and listen to them!