What is company culture?
Company culture essentially boils down to the energy in the room. It's how your employees feel in their place of work, how supported and trusted they are by you, their employer, and how happy they are in all aspects of their working life.
A positive culture is one where teams work together openly and transparently. If you have a strong, positive culture in place, then your employees will be happy to put the effort in to ensure the success of the firm. Appreciation breeds appreciation, and the old cliché of a happy worker being a productive worker applies to life at work more than ever before, as workers are focusing more on the quality of their work/life balance.
It's important to note however, that it is not possible for a company to either have a culture or not. Unless you put in the effort to create a positive culture, then a negative or toxic, culture will take root instead. A positive culture must be worked at, if left alone a negative culture springs up like a weed.
A negative culture can be toxic in several ways, mostly stemming from undesirable behaviours going unchallenged. This includes the likes of discrimination and harassment (both sexual and general), as well as poor practices such as cutting corners or even covering up malpractice.
What is the benefit of a positive company culture?
Workplace culture has been shown to directly affect a firm's ability to both attract and retain members of staff. If your organisation does not support and nurture talent then they will either leave or stop performing to the best of their ability, creating an atmosphere of detachment and low energy. A positive culture, on the other hand, breeds positive working relationships, collaboration, loyalty, and trust, and it is these elements that forge success.
How do you create a positive culture?
Engagement is key, and encouraging employees to actively respond to initiatives designed to shape culture will help to solidify them within the firm.
One of the best, most proven ways to promote a positive culture is to encourage speaking up. Too often, employees are afraid of the personal ramifications of making a disclosure or raising a complaint, fearing it will lead to discrimination, retaliation or even dismissal.
Making it clear that unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated, and encouraged people to report concerns, will help to make honesty and transparency a part of a positive culture.
Giving staff access to independent external whistleblowing services, such as the dedicated reporting line that Safecall provides, is one of the best ways to encourage and normalise the act of speaking out in the face of malpractice.
By following these steps, you will be able to implement a company culture that benefits both employees and the firm alike, with positivity feeding back from one to the other to create an energised, and successful, environment.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.