“I love my job!” What is it that makes people say that? Apart from the actual work itself, and the salary, what is it that makes a workplace somewhere people want to work? Sure, location and benefits come into play, but an often overlooked but crucial factor is workplace culture. Companies with a healthy workplace culture attract the best talent that are a good cultural fit, meaning they’ll fit in well and stick around.
So what exactly is work culture and why is it so important? Put simply, work culture is the values, beliefs and behaviour of a company. It’s the way things are done. The culture of a company filters down from the very top. A workplace culture can be secretive and mistrusting, or open and collaborative, it can be rigid, or flexible. It can be nurturing, or unsupportive.
In the same way that workplace culture can positively influence workers and make them love their jobs, a toxic work culture has the opposite effect. No matter how much a person enjoys the actual work they do day to day, if the work culture is toxic, they’ll either stick around demotivated and unhappy or, more likely, look to move on.
Creating the right culture at work can reap rewards. Some of the main reasons for employees leaving their job are that their co-workers are difficult, that they feel that they’re not trusted by senior management, that they’re blamed for mistakes and that work is not flexible. The benefits of a positive work culture can’t be underestimated.
A bad work culture means disgruntled workers and high employee turnover, whereas a healthy one means happy workers who get along and work together towards a common goal. I know what I’d prefer! Culture is an important factor for both employers, to make sure they get it right, and equally for employees, to decide if the culture suits them.