In a business setting, ‘culture’ can be defined as the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterises an institution or organisation.
A workplace culture is exactly this, but a lot of people are missing out on the benefits of developing or experiencing one.
So what exactly is a workplace culture? Why does it matter? We’ve compiled information and ideas on what to look for in a positive workplace culture.
Here are five huge ways that the importance of workplace culture actually matters:
1. Developing core culture values
Working for a successful business means you need to care about more than just the bottom line. I’ll admit, profit is important, but it’s not everything. Just as a business adds value to a client’s journey, it should also add value to an employee’s.
These values need to be intrinsic to the makeup of an office. They have to mean something to everyone who works there. Ask yourself, what kind of workplace environment am I excited to be in every day?
If you’re looking for a job, think about choosing a place that has a coherent ethos or mission. Something that resonates with you, something that’s demonstrated not by words, but by actions.
Here at Digital 22, we have two things in place that help us create a positive workplace culture, our Core Values and our Culture Code. Having these in place helped us to create a positive workplace culture. This gave us the foundation to go on to win HubSpot Partner of the Year for 2018 and Employer of the Year at the Lancashire Red Rose Awards this year.
2. In a positive workplace culture, people are paramount
People are the main ingredient of an organisation. The importance of workplace culture is directly influenced by the people that create it.
In inbound marketing, we talk about adding value to a person’s journey. It’s a way of making sure that they’ll find something trustworthy to interact with. This is an idea which doesn’t just apply to a customer or prospect, but to the very people that make up the organisation.
If we value our employees and coworkers, we create a workplace in which people feel comfortable and secure.
How does an organisation do this? They support everyone at every level of the workplace.
This all has to be irrespective of gender, sexual orientation or race. Everyone is valued equally and inclusively.
At Digital 22, we make use of an Employee Value Proposition, or EVP. This is a set of value and benefits all the staff here receive in return for the hard work they do. It includes little things like monthly awards for the best work, an early finish on a Friday, and access to education and training. Providing things like that help an employee feel valued.
The importance of workplace culture finds its relevance and strength in how much people feel valued, in how much you feel valued.
3. Communication creates a quality culture
A positive workplace culture relies on communication.
Without effective communication, collaboration is impossible. Progress stalls. Businesses stagnate. Whereas, an environment where communication is encouraged allows for collaboration, experimentation and growth.
Open and honest communication allows for regular evaluations on business processes and personal development. Good communication allows for feedback. It’s bad to not listen to constructive criticism, but having a workplace culture that doesn’t even make that criticism possible is worse.
So what should workplaces do to encourage good communication? We’ve come up with these ideas:
Regular one-to-ones (we recommend at least once a month) where an employee can talk about any issues or development goals with their line manager.
Weekly company meetings: set aside time to have a weekly meeting where each department can update the others on their progress and any needs for collaboration can be scheduled.
If you have a large company, why not create a bi-weekly internal newsletter that can do the job of a meeting by updating employees on progress? Digital 22 has the D22 Life Blog, which you’re currently reading. It acts like a journal of sorts, where we welcome new faces to the team and talk about the culture here. We even offer tips on working at a digital agency, such as what skills you need to be an inbound marketer.
4. Workplace culture = bringing people together
How do we bring people together? It’s as simple as creating situations where people are together. And because we spend so much of our day in the office, why not make it into a place that feels like home?
Think about coffee mornings, team days out and enjoying meals together. These don’t need to be every day, but often enough so that people feel valued.
How do Digital 22 bring people together? I’ll give you a hint - it’s all about cake!
5. Personal development and workplace cultures
As we develop, so do our cultures. As our culture develops, so do we. It’s a give and take balance between development and delight.
Personal development stalls in a place you don’t enjoy working in. This increases the amount of negativity in the workplace.
Having a positive workplace culture allows for people to develop not only in their work and skillset but themselves as well. A culture that helps people combat their own unconscious biases will be one that thrives in the arenas of inclusivity and productivity.
A good business will offer you the opportunity to take online classes, go to conferences, attend workshops - it all helps! Here at Digital 22, we want our employees to thrive and learn not only about their own work, but also about work that might not even apply to them. How about reading up on the skills you could develop as an inbound marketer?
The key takeaway from this is that the relationship between a workplace culture and personal development should be seamless. It’s the DNA of a business, two separate strands that spiral around one another which make for the building blocks of an efficient company.
Remember, the more we develop, the more we delight. The more we delight, the more we develop.
What’s it like to work in a positive workplace culture?
If you search the phrase ‘Workplace Culture’ you’ll find a myriad of different definitions and tips for developing it. It seems to be a term that resists definition. What’s important is finding a culture that works for you.
Hopefully I’ve answered a few of your questions about the importance of workplace culture. Here at Digital 22, we believe a positive and efficient workplace culture is what holds an organisation together.
Maybe I’ve raised more questions than I’ve answered - that’s good! Questions are the first step in development. In inbound marketing, asking questions is the very first thing we do to improve ourselves and the clients we work with.
If this sounds like somewhere you could work, take a look at our current vacancies