Workplace Culture Affects Your Company's Reputation, Productivity
"Ugh, I wish I didn't have to go to work tomorrow!"
"I really hope ‘Emily’ is working from home this week, so we don't have to walk on eggshells around her."
"If people have a problem with me, it would be nice if they told me in person instead of bashing me behind my back."
Unfortunately, these thoughts run through the heads of many employees who dread going to work every day for various reasons. Maybe they don't feel valued because they make too little or aren't recognized for their efforts. Or, there is that one co-worker who doesn't get along with anyone and creates a toxic workplace environment.
While workplace culture has always been an important consideration for employees and management, its significance has increased in the past few years as employers struggle to attract and retain good workers. Money is still a top motivator for job-hunters, but the desire to work in a positive environment is now factoring into job decisions more heavily.
Here are a few statistics showing workplace culture's importance and how it connects to worker productivity and satisfaction.
- • 15% of job seekers declined a job due to the company's culture: Being part of poor company culture can be a deal-breaker for some current or potential employees
- • Having highly engaged employees can lead to a 202% increase in performance
- • 69% of employees would work harder if they received more recognition
- • A workplace culture that attracts high-caliber employees leads to a 33% revenue increase
- • Satisfied employees are 12% more productive than the average worker: Happy employees work harder, are more creative, and exceed expectations
Culture Impacts Your Brand
Not only does workplace culture affect current and future employees, but it also impacts a company's image. Company culture is part of the brand message and reputation you're communicating to your customers, shareholders, business partners, and the public at large.
If you successfully market yourself as a sought-after employer, that reputation will carry over to your potential client pool. That means you'll attract top talent, which elevates work quality and makes your company more attractive to potential customers.
So how do you successfully build a strong and positive workplace culture? It starts with understanding that it's going to take time. You're dealing with a group of diverse people with a variety of personalities, priorities, working styles, and backgrounds. Some days, achieving a positive work environment may seem impossible. But other days, it's easier than you think.
It’s also critical to understand that culture can’t be a top-down approach. Upper management can be out of touch with much of what is happening in the trenches. To truly change a culture, it must be inclusive and not viewed as something being forced from the top down.
There are ways your company can get things started by improving its workplace culture. Here's how we took steps to make culture a priority at our agency.
PALO's Approach to Culture
At PALO Creative, we believe a positive workplace culture is essential to delivering the best possible work for our clients. Working together in a respectful, collaborative, fun, and positive way helps spark great ideas and creative solutions for our clients. Everyone wins.
We recently created a Culture Committee to spearhead efforts to make our workplace culture the best it can be. The team consists of a cross-section of employees, including one from each of our main departments.
They meet at least monthly to address potential issues, plan team-building activities, and discuss topics and initiatives that need to be brought to management's attention to help improve company culture.
As a result of the committee's work and input from the entire PALO team, we've improved our culture in various ways. These changes can be categorized into three main areas. Below is a summary of each.
Culture of Communication
Communication - even about difficult topics – among team members is essential to success. As professional communicators, we understand that. But just like with your company, it's not always easy.
To get the ball rolling, the Culture Committee introduced what is called a FIKA gathering that takes place during the first 30 minutes of a workday.
Think of it as a modern-day twist of meeting at the water cooler.
The discussion time is open to every employee and available to those working physically in the office or remotely. Topics aren't typically focused on work but are more informal. It's a fun way to get to know each other better and start the day on a positive note.
These sessions help build a culture of open communication company wide. Team members may feel more receptive to conversations on work projects, be more open to collaboration, and embrace the idea that we are all unique with different perspectives on work and life. Communicating about those things makes for healthier workplace culture.
Culture of Collaboration
The very nature of our business requires collaboration. To do our best work, we must take a "two minds are better than one" approach to many client projects. Team PALO comprises employees of various ages, skill sets, and experience levels. We believe that gives us a competitive advantage in delivering creative and unique marketing concepts and campaigns.
One way the Culture Committee has helped drive an increased culture of collaboration is by converting some office space into an employee lounge. The lounge includes couches, chairs, a TV, gaming systems, a coffee bar, and a snack station. We've been enjoying the space as a nice change of environment from our desks, a quiet place to focus on tasks or participate in virtual meetings, or a spot to grab a snack and take a break.
Beyond grabbing a coffee, the lounge also provides a unique place for the team to collaborate on projects or build stronger interpersonal relationships that can lead to stronger, more effective collaboration in the future.
Culture of Caring
Not everyone in a workplace is going to be best friends. It's just not realistic. However, a good workplace environment should include relationships that include a fundamental culture of caring between humans.
That includes celebrating victories (professional and personal), offering support and understanding, recognizing effort and success, and putting other team members in a position to succeed.
At PALO, we take time to do these things during our full team meetings. Employees can share personal or professional news with the group. We also take time to award verbal "PALO Props" to other team members who have stepped up to do exceptional work.
Another impactful way the committee, along with support from the PALO Creative executive team, is building a culture of caring is by implementing a new flexible work schedule. Life is hectic and doesn't always adhere to the typical 9-to-5 work schedule. Our new scheduling capabilities allow us to react to life's interruptions more easily while still getting our work done.
Employees have the flexibility to work non-typical office hours, schedule meetings around personal appointments, and work a combination of in the office and from home. This change has been well received by the team and goes a long way in helping achieve a healthy work-life balance, which helps create a positive workplace culture.
Positive workplace culture is important for everyone. It leads to higher quality work, stronger relationships among team members, happier employees, increased productivity and revenue and makes it easier to market your company to potential employees and customers.
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