Workplace Culture

Culture is the DNA of your organization, it is who you are, how you work, and how your employees experience it all. Discover your workplace culture with QuestionPro Workforce.


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What is workplace culture?

How often have you heard the term “workplace culture”?

Yet, the term is conceptual and defining it can be difficult. At its very root, culture is the words, actions, values, and beliefs that make your organization what it really is. It is what defines who you are and how you work. It is comprised of experiences and artifacts; it can be seen, heard, and felt.

And above all else: culture only works if it truly reinforces and clarifies what it is that drives success in your business. Your business. There is no one recipe for good or bad cultures. A culture is only good if it’s the right culture for your unique and distinct workforce, for the market and the consumers you serve, and for what your organization is resolved to achieve.

Creating the right workplace culture

Research by Deloitte shows, 94% of top-level management and 88% of employees strongly believe that distinct workplace culture is important to an organization’s success. I doubt any of you would argue with that. But is it easier said than done?

So how do you create the right culture for your business?

1. Live your values

It is essential to have clear organizational values and that they are effectively communicated to the employees. But if you’re going to say it, you better do it. Your culture should reinforce and clarify your stated values at every turn. Otherwise, all bets are off and you haven’t even really gotten started yet.

2. Communicate

Most organizations are getting better at pushing information out to the masses. They aren’t necessarily getting any better and pulling it from the masses, though. They speak but don’t necessarily listen. We’re biased, but there is no better way to do this than through employee surveys.

If employees believe their feedback will be taken in good faith and acted on within reason, they’ll give it to you. And they’re more likely to give it to you candidly in a survey that they are if you try to get it from them one-on-one. You can do both (and should), but don’t expect the get the whole story from a live conversation.

3. Customize

Our data shows us that there is one behavior that seems to have a bigger impact on desired employment outcomes like employee engagement, employee net promoter score (eNPS), intent to stay, willingness to put forth a discretionary effort, and growth. That behavior is all about customization and individualization.

There are very few products or services on the planet that cannot be customized by the consumer. Yet we still subject our employees to a one-size-fits-all solution. Each and every one of your employees is unique - they have their own interests and ambitions. They are motivated by and passionate about different things. If you can take the time to figure out what those things are, then you’re more than half-way there to providing a more individualized and customized experience for them. We know this makes an impact....big time.

4. Include

A positive workplace culture can only be created each an every employee - irrespective of their gender, age, color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc - feel comfortable in their own shoes. Foster an environment that not only respects differences but also leverages them. Involve people in the decisions which affect them, create a sense of ownership in and responsibility for the company’s success.

Why is the right workplace culture important?

Following are the reasons why you should encourage a positive workplace culture:

  1. It attracts and retains good employees: In the USA alone, a corporate worker spends an average of 60 hours at work. This is more than the time they spend at home so it’s only natural that one would want to enjoy being there. This also means if you want to attract the best staff and retain your high performers, you better take your culture seriously. In a study from Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2019, culture and engagement had top spots in the organizational agenda. Strong culture attracts good people.
  2. It facilitates engagement and retention: Employee engagement and employee retention are on top of the list for any organization. You can successfully recruit employees, but it is a costly affair if they leave the organization.
  3. It improves employee performance: Employees that feel connected to, committed to, and proud to be affiliated with their employer are far more likely to do more than is asked of them. They are productive while “on task,” they’re absent less, and they contribute because they want to (not because they have to).

3 Myths about workplace culture you need to know

The fact is: Culture is vital to the success of any organization. Here are 3 things culture is not.

  1. Culture is not about good or bad: It is all about what works best for your team, business or organization.
  2. Culture is not all about pay and perks: It is clearly one of the biggest misconceptions related to culture. Many people like to believe culture is about having a ping pong table in the recreation room, pizza and beer parties on Fridays, happy hours and open door policies. The right pay and perks are what we call “table stakes.” They get you in the game. But they don’t keep you there.
  3. Culture does not have to be expensive: Culture is mostly about how you behave. Driving the right kinds of behaviors into your organization takes attention and it takes intention. But it doesn’t necessarily take a lot of money... 40% of employees report they benefit when their own goals are in tandem with the company’s goals.