By Penketh Group Insights Team
5th January 2017
In an increasingly complex and competitive world, where creativity and innovation are vital, it has never been more important to get your workplace culture right.
Workplace culture is the character and personality of the business, it represents what the business stands for and what makes the business unique from the rest of the competition. People are not just simply looking for a job that can provide them financial growth, job satisfaction and development however they also looking for a job that fits in with their personality, their values and beliefs.
It is important to have a strong workplace culture to attract and retain the right people for your business, which improves employee engagement and ultimately improve productivity for the business.
So how do you create a good workplace culture? Each culture is unique and lots of different factors go into creating one. But there are a number of key elements to consider. For each, consider where the gaps lie in your own business and where there is scope for improvement.
THE SIX AREAS OF CULTURE
A great workplace culture begins with a strong vision. Having a firm sense of purpose will then help to guide a company’s true values. This purpose in turn filters down to employees and helps to shape their decisions. Having a good vision statement is also important for your customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.
The values that a company holds dear are at the very heart of its culture. It is these values which provide guidance on the very behaviours and mind-sets required to achieve a company’s vision.
Once you have a firm set of values, you have to know how to put them into practice on a daily basis. For example, if you value your employees you also need to be ready to invest in their training, development, promotion and welfare.
How do you find the right people for your company and how do you encourage them to buy into and believe in your values and vision? The right recruitment process is crucial here. Some firms also believe that having a number of people interviewing each candidate can be useful to work out if the potential employee is both talented and suited to their company’s particular culture.
What’s the story of your company? When was it established and by whom? Is it a family business or a start-up? Every business is unique and each has its own distinct narrative. Discover it. Shape it. Retell it. It’s valuable and it all feeds into a company’s culture.
Place shapes culture. So what is your office space like? Do staff from different departments have the opportunity to bump into each other during the day or do you have lots of separate offices where staff are hidden away? Open plan offices encourage certain office behaviours such as collaboration. Where is your company based? In a city, town or industrial area? Certain areas have local cultures too. Your geographic location, how your office space is laid out and how it is designed all influence the values and behaviours of your people.
Successful companies understand the importance of a strong workplace culture. They also understand that place matters more than ever before. Watch this video to find out more:
Some tips to help you to create a good workplace culture
- Have a range of collaborative areas from open and informal to enclosed large-scale spaces. They will help your staff to connect with each other and, as a result, feel more connected to the organisation.
- Optimise your space. Bench desks can save space and also make it easier for employees to be more productive.
- Incorporate storage elements at benches to provide boundary separation for workers.
- Enhance collaboration by equipping project spaces with virtual collaboration technology. It helps promote a blend of team and individual work.
- Provide informal collaboration spaces throughout areas for individual work to promote the flow of ‘I’ and ‘we’ work throughout the day.
- Offer a range of spaces that allow staff to shift between work models easily, with greater choice and control over where and how they work.
- Consider Media:scape areas which integrate technology and furniture to bring people, space and information together for greater collaboration and productivity.
- Designate zones to reinforce your brand messages for employees.
- A variety of spaces and transparency will promote a culture of openness and collaboration.
- Enrich wellbeing with enclosed areas in close proximity to open spaces to support the need for private conversations.
- Access to ample natural light is not a given in the UK but it is highly valued by employees.