The concept of workplace culture encompasses various facets of an organization: perceived norms, reinforced behaviors, relationships, dynamics, and attitudes. The tone and pace of a workplace can be shaped deliberately or accidentally – leaders of an organization have the responsibility to either reward or alter the behaviors of their employees.

Why is workplace culture important?

Highly engaged businesses achieve, on average, 59 percent less employee turnover than their counterparts. Additionally, 87 percent of human resource professionals deem employee retention a primary concern for their organization.

Unfortunately, when a business does not have a positive workplace culture and its employees don’t feel engaged, many aspects of the organization are negatively affected; nearly 57 percent of employees wouldn’t recommend their organizations as a good place to work and 15 percent do not foresee themselves working at their company a year from now.

Ineffective communication between leaders and employees can contribute to a toxic work environment. If workplace leaders suppress individuality and do not allow members to suggest new ideas, the organization can succumb to groupthink; resulting in employees conforming to the majority’s opinion merely for social acceptance. Groupthink is a major downfall for businesses and expulses independent decision making, according to Forbes.

How can businesses cultivate a positive workplace culture?

Employees must be self-aware and evaluate if they are happy in their occupation. If an employee is miserable at work, their negative outlook can spread and affect their fellow peers.

Additionally, leaders of an organization should be cognizant that they need to provide trust, safety, and security for their employees. An employee cannot be expected to share their ideas and opinions when they are afraid of being fired for speaking up. All members of an organization contribute to the progression of their workplace culture.

Workplace culture is not stagnant, it is ever-changing.

Businesses of all sizes do not need to operate under a zero-sum game where only revenue matters.  Fresh, rich, and bold ideas should be encouraged by leadership and peers – businesses thrive on creativity and innovation. Nearly 82 percent of employees highly value their colleague’s input, thus advocate for collaborative efforts and witness your organization flourish.

Yes, culture transforms slowly, but it can change!