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What is Workplace Culture & How Can You Improve It? - HRDQ

What is Workplace Culture & How Can You Improve It?

Workplace culture is an organization’s core values, which are manifested in employee behavior. The core values guide the company and employees on what should be prioritized in terms of work and interactions with others. But how can you improve workplace culture? And why does it matter? We’ll dive into everything you need to know, below.

HRDQ offers a fully customizable virtual training library that can help you cultivate your business’s workplace culture. Explore the Reproducible Training Library.

Why is Workplace Culture Important?

A healthy workplace culture is crucial to every organization for so many reasons:

  • Improves employee retention rate. When employees align with and feel supported by a company’s workplace culture, they enjoy their jobs more.
  • Increases performance. With each team member working towards common goals under the same values, you’ll see an increase in job performance.
  • Fosters positive communication. Workplace culture establishes how employees should interact and treat one another, which encourages positive communication.
  • Builds trust. Knowing that each member is expected to be held to the same beliefs and behaviors can promote accountability and increase trust amongst team members.
  • Eases the hiring process. When you have a clear workplace culture, it helps narrow down which applicants are a better fit for your company.

Good vs Bad Workplace Culture

Workplace culture is an abstract concept that can be difficult to grasp, but examples often provide further clarification.

Here are some characteristics you might see in a company with poor workplace culture:

  • Employees have an “every man for himself” attitude
  • Employees don’t see the value of their work
  • Management does not listen to the needs of its employees
  • Management disproportionately distributes work
  • The organization offers a poor physical work environment (e.g. dim lighting, uncomfortable chairs, broken appliances)

Here are some characteristics you might see in a company with positive workplace culture:

  • Employees enjoy and succeed working as a team
  • Employees are not disengaged or inactive at work
  • Managers emphasize face time with their subordinates
  • Managers give feedback, direction, and encouragement to employees
  • The organization ensures employees have the proper tools to comfortably complete their jobs (e.g. the right software, decent computers, office materials)

How to Improve Workplace Culture

It takes plenty of time and planning to hone in on and improve your workplace culture. We suggest getting started with the following steps:

Assess the Health of your Workplace Culture

First, you need to get a pulse on the health of your current workplace culture. The best way to do this is by assessing employee satisfaction. If there’s a general dissatisfaction amongst your employees, it indicates that the company as a whole is doing something wrong to cause this reaction.

The online assessments from HRDQ are designed to accurately gauge individual attitudes and preferences. They can help you target which areas of your organization need improvement to get you started on the right track towards a better workplace culture.

Determine the Core Values of the Company

Next, you need to identify the core values that you want your organization to embody. You should create a list to post on your company’s website and around your office to encourage potential and current employees. In addition, you should have a minimum of five values, but no more than eight. The clearer and more concise you keep them, the easier they will be to implement in daily behaviors.

Some examples of core values include:

  • Doing what you say you’ll do
  • Respect the differences of others
  • Constantly strive for success and growth
  • Work with the utmost integrity
  • Be a team player

Implement Core Value Training

With a list of core values defined, it’s time to integrate them into your workplace. To do this, we suggest starting with a training program that’s designed around these values. The training should provide employees with clear definitions, examples, and the soft skills they need to incorporate these values into their day-to-day work lives.

View our blog, How to Design an Effective Virtual Training Program for Employees for assistance. Or, get started using the HRDQ Reproducible Training Library

Show Long-Term Dedication

Improving workplace culture doesn’t end with initial training. In fact, it never ends—culture is constantly evolving, so if you want to ensure your company stays on track, you have to remain diligent and be able to adapt. One way to ensure the health of your workplace culture in the long-term is by implementing annual check-ins with your employees to reassess their satisfaction. This will show you if you’re still on course.

You might also consider making some changes for your employees that will last in the long-term, such as rolling out a new career development plan or making improvements to your office space. These are indications that you care about their needs.

Likewise, the organization itself might consider making changes to some of its current practices so that they better align with the core values. It’s not just the employees that must adopt the core values—the business as a whole must believe in them, as well!

Improve your Business with HRDQ

Now that you know how you can improve workplace culture, get started with HRDQ! We offer the assessments, virtual training programs, and workshops you need to begin cultivating top talent. Our collaborative and intuitive training materials will provide you with the tools you need to begin seeing real, lasting change that will become part of your business’s legacy. If you’re ready to experience the power of online training, view our virtual training programs and assessments today!

click hereFor more great career development assessments and training materials, explore our full Career Development collection. Shop Now!

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About our author

Bradford R. Glaser

Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.