Workplace culture is often talked about but hard to define yet is very important to a productive work environment and satisfied employees.
What do we mean by “workplace culture” and how do you demonstrate it? The simplest answer is that it’s the way you do things in your work environment and answers the question “what is it really like to work here?“. Some workplace cultures are more casual where others are strictly professional. Some like a fun environment and others opt to keep things plain. Overall, it’s really about how the workplace acts, the rules and norms of the environment, rituals and policies and of course, the type of people who work there.
Changing your staff isn't enough alone to change workplace culture. This is because the culture is bigger than the people themselves. Bringing in new people is not a quick fix. Here are some things that will help you change the workplace culture.
Be clear about the culture you want compared to where you are – You cannot expect people to do something when they don’t know what is expected. If you’re not happy with the current culture, you need to be able to clearly define what you don’t like about it and what you wish to see changed.
Define it into words and behaviours – It’s also very important that you are completely clear with your expectations. You need to be specific with your words and behaviours and deliberate about your expectations. Without these direct words and descriptive behaviours, you cannot expect staff to understand your expectations.
Hire the right people who support the culture you want more than the skill they bring – Workplace culture begins when you have people with the right attitude. You should be sure you are hiring the right people who support the type of culture you want. Skills can be taught but attitudes and behaviours are ingrained in who we are and are more difficult to change.
Live the culture in your leadership and provide feedback – your staff will do what you do more than what you say. You must lead by example. You need to be the change you want to see in your workplace culture. Live it yourself and watch it make its way down to even the newest staff member.
Showcase culture results and reflect on needed changes – When you showcase the results, you are highlighting what works and what doesn't. This is your opportunity to praise those who have done well at reaching your goals and apply positive reinforcement to the workplace. This is also a chance to reflect on the changes that are needed and put steps in place to improve.
Review your culture and be innovative in building it – any sound business will from time to time review its workplace culture and then take an active role in steering it in the direction that it wants it to go in. You should think outside of the box and find interesting, innovative ways to build the workplace culture that you seek.
Just changing staff doesn't change workplace culture and it’s not a process that can change overnight. It will take leadership and defined plan with these steps to help you get to your goals with the right culture to support it .