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How to create a positive employee culture

Creating a healthy corporate culture requires more than just happy hours and catered Friday lunches. Authentic culture is founded in an employee's everyday experiences, which develop their ideas.

Company employee culture is an essential aspect of doing business. It has an impact on practically every area of a business. It is the foundation of a happy workforce, from recruiting top talent to boosting employee happiness. Many workers may need help to discover actual value in their job without a healthy business culture, which negatively impacts your bottom line.

According to a Deloitte study, 94% of executives and 88% of workers agree that a distinct employee culture is critical to a company’s success. According to the poll, there is a significant association between workers who say they feel happy and appreciated at work and those who believe their firm has a good culture. As a result, this blog provides ways for your organization to create a great employee culture.

What is Employee Culture?

Employee culture is employees’ attitudes and actions inside a company. The work environment (well, so ping pong tables don’t hurt), rules, leadership, objectives, values, and mission all impact organizational culture.

A positive work culture does not happen by accident. It demands forethought and careful nurturing. If you have yet to consider your organization’s culture, chances are it isn’t where it should be. This can have serious consequences. According to Swedish research, employees under “poor” leadership had a 25% greater prevalence of cardiac issues. Employees who are physically and emotionally stressed are not simply less engaged. They are also more likely to call in sick and depart the organization, resulting in high absenteeism and turnover rates. Subsequently, this can have severe consequences for businesses.

Why Is Work Culture Important?

Positive workplace culture

Work culture substantially influences numerous vital aspects of the employee experience, including individual and team morale, workplace engagement, and job satisfaction. According to a Society for Human Resource Management poll, “a healthy workplace culture generates a resilient team of employees” for 94 percent of people managers.

Negative workplace culture and a toxic team dynamic may pull a business in the other direction, making it harder to acquire and retain talented personnel. A 2022 poll of job searchers found that “business values and culture” influenced 23 percent of respondents’ decision to accept a job offer. According to the same survey, 21% of job searchers claimed “bad company culture” was their main reason for quitting a job in the previous year, and 34% left within the first 90 days because “business culture was not as expected.”

Work culture develops organically inside every organization, sometimes to the harm of the business. Allowing bad habits and toxic attitudes to persist will result in an unpleasant — and costly — work experience. According to a Society for Human Resource Management research, toxic workplace cultures cost US firms $223 billion in attrition over five years.

Elements of Employee Culture

Several factors influence employee culture. Based on Glassdoor data, researchers from MIT Sloan School of Management and CultureX identified ten aspects of culture that employees value the most:

  • Feeling respected.
  • Having supportive leadership.
  • Whether leaders’ actions align with core values.
  • Managers who foster a toxic work environment.
  • Witnessing unethical behaviour.
  • Benefits.
  • Perks and amenities.
  • Opportunities for learning and professional development.
  • Job security.
  • Frequency and quality of reorganizations.

The actions taken by an employer to influence team culture in a positive or negative direction can have a significant impact on employees’ sense of fulfilment. People dissatisfied at work are less likely to contribute to the company’s success or recommend their current employer to others.

According to a 2022 Quantum Workplace survey, people are most affected by their employers’ approach to performance, recognition and celebrations, and company mission and values. These fundamental elements of work culture include ensuring that employees believe their contributions are valued, and their voices are heard. So how do you create a positive employee culture?

How to create a positive employee culture?

To begin creating the work culture of your dreams for your company, first, define your core values. These should serve as the foundation for everything that occurs at your company and guide the evolution of your organization. Devote as much time as needed to ensure everyone is on the same page, and include leadership, long-term employees, and HR representatives so that all crucial parties can weigh in. Finally, you should have a short list of values that accurately reflect your current company culture and long-term objectives.

Then consider the type of work culture you want to foster. Consider everything from the office’s physical layout to how frequently employees interact with their coworkers, managers, and C-Suite members. The real work begins from there.

Consider the four advice from business experts as you strive to cultivate and maintain a positive organizational culture.

Identify your organization’s core values.

While there is no definite formula for creating happiness in the workplace, any firm may benefit from examining a few essential parts of its identity. According to Sam Pardue, CEO and creator of window insert business Indow, the three elements of a healthy corporate culture are purpose, vision, and values. “They are easy, yet difficult to execute convincingly,” he argues, citing the following characteristics of each:

  • The mission creates intrinsic motivation, which excites workers to achieve great things at work.
  • Vision enables people to comprehend the destiny they are helping to shape.
  • Values are the methods by which everyone agrees to collaborate.

If you want to establish a passionate, engaged, and productive staff base, start by creating a fundamental goal that your employees will find intriguing.

Establish trust by embodying such principles.

Lizz Pellet, a culture coach and consultant, observes that company culture spreads from the top down. “Leaders shape culture,” she claims. “How members of a group take their cultural signals determines how they see and perceive the leader’s behaviour — thus what leaders focus on is crucial.”

According to Pellet, if an organization’s leadership team is employee-focused, sympathetic, and sincere, it sends a reassuring message to workers that their executives care about them. This can assist in maintaining and enhancing engagement, productivity, and profitability.

McCusker feels that cultural diversity in leadership teams is critical:

Having a positive culture means seeing leaders at all levels living the values out loud.

“It means having an employee experience that, at all touchpoints, is reflective of the company’s beliefs and values,” she adds.

Maintain constant and clear expectations.

Consistency is a quality that almost all require to attain harmony. While teams across sectors strive for innovation in their product offerings, predictability is something many employees want in a happy work environment. According to Pardue, it is vital that your employees thoroughly understand what is expected of them.

“Employees want to know what the rules are and that they will be enforced consistently and predictably,” he says. “Unpredictability in managerial decisions breeds disdain and distrust, destroying the culture.”

McCusker feels that it is critical to maintaining expectations at all levels. “I once heard a CEO remark that if you are not prepared to terminate your best-performing employee for inappropriate behaviour, your culture is weak, and you do not fully believe in it.”

Ensure your employees feel valued

Creating a healthy corporate culture requires more than just happy hours and catered Friday lunches, according to Jared Jones, senior partner of Partners in Leadership. “Authentic culture is founded in an employee’s everyday experiences, which develop their ideas,” he explains. “Their actions are guided by their beliefs, and their actions produce consequences.”

According to one American Psychological Association (APA) survey, more than 90 percent of employees who feel appreciated are more driven to accomplish their best. This falls to 33% for employees who do not feel valued by their employers.

Continue to build and improve employee culture.

Investing in your company’s well-being necessitates an honest appraisal of your company’s ethos. Take the time to examine what is and isn’t working. Then, let business experts help you develop a healthy work culture that will support your organization’s future success.

animation of four team members passing puzzle pieces to one another

Once you’ve laid a solid foundation, the sky’s the limit. Setting challenging and doable objectives can help you learn to harness that energy and channel it into great results from the start. Moreover, if you need quick tips on improving your work culture, use an employee feedback survey or the following checklist to see where you stand.

TIPS TO IMPROVE WORK CULTURE

  • Set clear objectives to guide employee performance.
  • Make sure employees understand the organization’s long-term goals.
  • Establish diversity initiatives and promote inclusive practices.
  • Encourage transparency and open communication among department heads, management and team members.
  • Let every employee have a seat at the table and empower them to share their thoughts.
  • Create opportunities for employees to get to know one another at and out of work to foster meaningful relationships.

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