Culture – Can You See It? by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

Most people have experienced a bad workplace environment or culture at some point in time in their life. The results of poor corporate culture impact the whole organization, from recruiting and hiring to retaining employees. There is also a much higher staff turnover at all levels, with increased absenteeism, sick days, and lack of creativity, motivation, or inspiration throughout the organization.

Developing a healthy, positive, and engaging workplace culture is the most effective way to help reduce the problems mentioned above. It is also an effective strategy to create employee loyalty, retention, and a sense of joint purpose in seeing the company succeed.

Looking for specific signs of a healthy workplace culture makes it easy to spot areas where your business is doing well and where more focus is needed. The key signs of a healthy culture in the workplace include:

  • Collaboration not competition – teams and departments strive to do their best, but also work together collaboratively to achieve key performance levels, production, and end results. There is a sense of “together we accomplish more” rather than “win at all costs” between different groups within the organization.
  • People feel empowered – employees in the company feel confident, comfortable, and inspired to make suggestions, be creative, and take on challenges, knowing they have the support and backing of their teams and management. The culture is one of a learning mindset and trying new ideas rather than sticking to what has always been done.
  • Celebrations – when the workplace is healthy, everyone is part of celebrations and recognition of achievements. Everyone in management and on the team feels they have contributed and are recognized for their efforts.
  • Taking responsibility – in addition to celebrating successes, a healthy workplace culture opens up the door to people taking responsibility for their decisions, errors, or mistakes. Instead, there is a focus on correcting the problem and preventing future similar errors rather than blaming others.
  • People matter – a healthy workplace culture recognizes that individuals need time off, accommodations during personal challenges and difficulties, and time to recharge. There are programs and opportunities in place to promote healthy lifestyles, work/life balance, and to work with employees to assist with short and longer-term issues. Employees feel they are valued for who they are and what they offer, not just for their productivity, knowledge, or expertise.

In a healthy workplace, people feel comfortable talking to HR or their leadership about concerns and issues. They also understand the value of constructive feedback, training, mentoring, and coaching programs that are in place to help them become better at what they do.