A positive workplace culture encourages professional growth, provides equal opportunities, and inspires self-development. Employees who feel happy in their roles are likelier to show commitment to their employer.
With today’s talent shortage crisis and employee retention challenges, workplace culture can be the deciding factor for employees, determining whether they stay and grow their careers with you, or leave for somewhere else.
What is workplace culture?
Workplace culture refers to the unique character and environment that’s established in an organisation, be it by managers for their teams or by senior leaders for the organisation as a whole.
Culture combines attributes rooted at a company’s core, and is expressed through daily interactions, behaviours, and values. Leadership teams can define elements such as mission, vision and values. However, multiple subcultures belonging to different teams and departments will develop organically through a combination of practices, beliefs, and relationships.
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Why does workplace culture matter?
Workplace culture can have a significant impact on the overall satisfaction and wellbeing of employees, as well as the overall success of a company.
Defined around your company’s long-term objectives, workplace culture drives a mutual sense of purpose amongst employees. When all members of a team are working towards a common goal, there is a sense of unity and understanding of how each individual’s objectives contribute to the larger mission.
Ensuring everyone is pulling together can also foster a sense of belonging among team members, leading to greater collaboration and cooperation. A positive culture can have a profound impact on employee morale, leading to better performance and increased productivity. By contrast, an unhealthy workplace culture can foster unhappiness and lead to lacklustre performance.
Higher employee retention is another benefit of a positive workplace culture. When employees feel supported and valued, they are more likely to stay with the organisation.
How do you communicate workplace culture?
Defining your workplace culture is an important step but it can be difficult to put your finger on exactly what sets you apart. Your culture has to be a lived experience, not just some phrases on a wall chart. And your organisation has to communicate it through your interactions with employees, customers, and the outside world.
Communications need to be intentional and mindful
The values you define need to be communicated in a clear way to employees, candidates, customers, and other stakeholders.
More importantly, these values need to be appropriate for different audiences. At TSA, for example, our values stem from our goal of revolutionising how we connect brands with customers. However, these values will be expressed differently for different clients and for employees at different stages in the employee lifecycle.
For example, for candidates we focus on providing a premium experience during the recruitment and interview process, demonstrating our values of honest and open communication. During the onboarding process we demonstrate our values of support, continuous improvement, and quality by investing in training and development.
Whatever your values are, you should ensure they are specific to your organisation rather than generic statements that anybody else could make.
Group People Operations Manager at TSA Group, Brittany Eaman adds,
“We lead with care – We know that if we are talking, we’re not listening. We dive deep to understand the nuances of issues, make appropriate and informed decisions to enable intentional and mindful communication for a diverse workforce like ours.”
Designing engaging and collaborative communications
The key to understanding whether your organisation remains firmly on course or is drifting further from its goals, is feedback. Everyone in the company – as well as its customers, investors, suppliers, and partners – has a role to play in shaping the workplace culture. Every opinion is valuable. While senior leaders can set the direction, it is the employees and customers who live the journey.
Communication is never a one-way street. Our leadership approach promotes a supportive environment where team members feel safe to call out their own mistakes and through that, learn and grow together. We employ platforms such as Yammer, where employees can create their own communities, to help different parts of the organisation stay connected, share ideas, and create collaborative opportunities. These spaces should be accessible to employees of all levels in the organisation, inspiring discussion, and change.
Striking a good balance between organic and formal communications
In every organisation there are two different ways of expressing your workplace culture.
The first is organically, via everyday interactions employees have with each other and other stakeholders.
For example, creating spaces where people meet by chance during their workday. These ‘collision zones’ are designed to encourage connections and collaborations between colleagues that wouldn’t normally meet during the course of their work. Those unexpected conversations can then be further extended into digital platforms such as Yammer.
The second way a company can express its workplace culture is through formal communications. These include annual reports, press releases, employee handbooks, HR policies, and so on. While formal communications can bridge the gap between the organisation’s aspirational goals and the daily practicalities of work, the focus should be on living those values through more mundane, day-to-day interactions.
Having said that, there are ways to bridge the gap between formal means of communicating values and culture that resonates with employees. For example, our TSA Ways Legends Awards programme which rewards employees for great results can help motivate our employees and drive better performance. It also encourages employees to nominate their peers and leaders who they think deserve recognition, encouraging them to reflect on how their colleagues live out our shared values.
Workplace culture is what your people experience every workday and can even impact their lives far beyond the workplace. In a business like ours that focuses on building relationships and experiences, having a strong culture benefits our employees, our clients, and their customers. What does your workplace culture look like? And how do you communicate it?
TSA are Australia’s market leading specialists in CX Consultancy and Contact Centre Services. We are passionate about revolutionising the way brands connect with Australians. How? By combining our local expertise with the most sophisticated customer experience technology on earth, and delivering with an expert team of customer service consultants who know exactly how to help brands care for their customers.