The employee culture of an organization can be difficult to pinpoint or define. It is made up of the attitudes, values, experiences, beliefs and behaviors shared by a group of people, and it varies dramatically from office to office.
Organizational culture is usually not written into a company manual or put into words in staff meetings, but it forms an unwritten set of social norms to which employees adhere. Build an employee culture focusing on high engagement and reap the benefits of a staff that is happy, productive and effective. This can be weaved into employee development courses.
What Forms Employee Culture?
The personalities and interactions of people in your organization have the most significant influence on culture. As a leader within your organization, how you communicate and behave has a powerful effect on the attitudes and engagement of your employees. If managers frequently hold closed-door meetings and implement policies without seeking employee input, a suspicious or negative employee culture may begin to develop. On the other hand, if managers focus on mentoring team members and encouraging leadership development, a culture of engagement has the opportunity to form instead. Also consider how employees are recognized or rewarded for a job well done. A little appreciation can go a long way.
Organizations with a strong set of core values are able to translate these tenets into action more easily. Learn how to identify and demonstrate your organizational values .
Evaluate the physical working environment of your organization, from the lighting and the decorations to seating arrangements and meeting space. Is it comfortable, welcoming, professional, severe, unfriendly or sloppy? Are there visible symbols of the organization’s values or accomplishments (for example, framed news articles, awards or photos of employees)? Are employees allowed to add small personal touches to their workspaces? Survey your staff about what they like and dislike about their working environment, and take their feedback into account. Making small changes can improve employee culture and engagement.
How leaders make decisions, both large and small, is very influential on organizational culture. Is it a strict top-down implementation of new ideas? Is employee input taken into account before or after making decisions? Take a close look at how decision making may have an effect on your employees’ engagement. If it is damaging to the employee culture, examine ways you can improve the decision-making process.
Learn more about EDSI’s Team Building course.