The Importance of Workplace Culture

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Workplace Culture, aka Organizational Culture is the term used to describe the characteristics that shape the working environment. Very similar to the unwritten rules at work, organizational culture is essentially a physical manifestation of the norms and values of an institution.

It can be seen in almost everything from the way employees dress to the way they arrange their desk. It is something that ultimately affects the productivity, efficiency and happiness of its employees and as a result, the outcome of whatever product or service an organisation is involved in.

Different factors go into creating Workplace/Organizational culture, but the main contributor is what is known as “workplace ethics”. These are the moral principles that guide a person’s behaviour within the workplace.

Examples of good workplace ethics include:

  • Honesty
  • Integrity,
  • Confidence
  • Responsibility
  • Positive attitude.

Most of these values are just common sense but they really do make a difference in the overall feel of the work environment.

However, “unethical workplace values” in a nutshell is just the opposite. These are the behavioural or character traits that don’t compliment the way in which an organization is run. “It’s not just limited to breaking company rules but exploiting and using weaknesses whether it is co-workers or clients”.

Different companies adopt different workplace cultures according to their business and workplace ethics; however, the differences don’t mean that the way in which a company has decided to work is wrong.

Research has confirmed that some of those who are infamous for their unique and unorthodox work environment are one of the best-known companies in the world, e.g. Google.  They have broken away from the traditional norms and values of the workplace and don’t plan on going back. It is something that has worked incredibly well for them and has led to an increase in quality of their overall product output and service. One of the ways they have achieved this culture is the PiLab which in an onsite analytics team dedicated to scientifically studying the ways in which the company should manage the employees.

But it is important to note that what works for Google doesn’t necessarily work for the rest of the world. You might find that their practices don’t help or even decrease employee productivity and increase levels of stress. The main point is to find something that works for your organisation.

In actual fact, companies can still hold the same workplace ethics but display them in a totally different manner because “the creation of workplace culture is something that depends on several factors; it could be the industry of the company, the owner, where it’s located or even whether employees are allowed to eat at their desk”.

Employers sometimes think that employees should be happy with the fact that they have been given an opportunity to work there. But just giving someone the opportunity to work isn’t enough in today’s society. People want to be comfortable, satisfied, build relationships and develop skills; and if work environment don’t find a way to create that, it is likely that the company is not performing at its best.

This is where the introduction of an HR department really comes in. It’s important that organisations have a department which can monitor the wellbeing of its employees and the created work life. With them coming into play, it’s easier to identify and solve issues within the company. And in place of that, is where HR Consulting firms come in to need.

So, to employers and various companies, try and engage with your employees to see if you can meet their needs. This can be done through, questionnaires, talks or a suggestion box. Attempt to create your own unique workplace culture that will allow your company to thrive.

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