Workplace Culture 101, Explained Through Pop Culture References

“We want to develop a positive workplace culture”. I know what you are thinking, ‘thank u, next’…but please stick with me. No matter the sector you work in, we have all heard this line before. So what is a positive workplace culture and how can your employees love their culture as much as Kanye loves Kanye?

Workplace Culture is your ‘9 to 5’, it is what surrounds you each day. It is your physical environment, the relationships with your co-workers and management team as well as your work processes.

Positivity is so important in all aspects of your culture including the way you communicate with staff. No one likes a grumpy colleague, ‘don’t look back in anger’ during your office “good mornings”.

Positive Culture all begins with the personalities, skills and values that lay within your prospective employees. When your company is looking at recruiting, reflect upon not only the type of professional experience you wish your new employee to have, but also their own personal values. Do these values align with the company values? Will they fit in with your team or will they kill your vibe?

Culture goes beyond employee perks. While everybody loves free coffee and cake at team meetings – long term support, consistency and appreciation are often more highly valued. Some companies determine their team values through team buildings days. These can be as simple as a round table discussion or as elaborate as a trip on a ‘big jet plane’. Either way, employees will appreciate that you want and value their input into the company, including what may make their day that little bit easier or strategies to deal with a tricky client.

Your squad wants to know that you have got their back and that there won’t be any ‘bad blood’ if they make a mistake or have questions. I asked a fellow colleague what they valued most in the workplace, the answer was “to be able to go to anyone when I have a question and to not feel like I am silly for asking it”. Essentially, an open door policy. Nobody wants to feel like they can’t ask a question or that they are working within a ‘mad world’ where everyone is too busy to help.

Consistency is key, as is communication. We all know that feeling when there is a ‘careless whisper’ going around the office. It creates negativity and staff are at risk of being taken over by fear, which then impacts their work productivity. Regular updates about changes within the company allow all staff to be in the loop.

Employees value ‘R.E.S.P.E.C.T’ and appreciation. This reinforces that you trust your staff and believe in them. Employers often remind staff of tasks they may need further knowledge on or critique their work but forget to reinforce the small wins and hard work from their employees.

Workplace Culture is about all staff (from the Management Team to the Administration Staff) creating a ‘we are the champions’ attitude, upholding those values and keeping each other accountable to continue to be positive – even on those days when you are feeling like 2007 Britney Spears.

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