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What is Workplace Culture?

Sean Badley
Peter Bagi

By Sean Badley, Senior Facilitator, and Peter Bagi, Learning Designer,
1 January 2024

Why is workplace culture important for business growth?

Among many things, workplace culture is made up of our work experiences, organisational policies, and day to day processes. It’s also influenced by things like values, behaviours, leadership styles, ‘office norms’, traditions, and the kind of atmosphere we experience when we’re at work (either in the office or in a hybrid or remote context).

It’s a mixture of experiences that can lead to a thriving, healthy culture or – at the other end – a toxic culture.

Since the pandemic, many organisations around Australia have been striving to improve workplace culture – providing employees with more flexibility and ownership over their work. With some organisations shifting to hybrid working, more autonomy is helping team members enjoy greater balance and a positive relationship with their work.

A healthy workplace culture is a win-win for all as it leads to higher levels of motivation and engagement, and better outcomes as a result.

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How to Achieve a Healthy Workplace Culture

What can leaders and teams do to improve workplace culture?

While workplace culture is the sum of each person’s contribution, workplace initiatives need to come from leadership. Leaders also need to ‘set the standard’ by role modelling expected behaviours and providing a positive example.

Here are four ways leaders can help to build a healthy workplace culture:

1. Champion Health and Wellness

Coming off the back of multiple lockdowns and pandemic unease, team members have pushed health and wellbeing up the list of non-negotiables.

While the definition of wellness might look different for every business, simply asking questions and listening to your team’s suggestions is a good place to start. These types of discussions will point you in the right direction about wellness initiatives that will work for your team – because not everyone wants a weekly yoga class!

When you prioritise wellness, sick days often decrease, ‘quiet quitting’ won’t be a problem, and employees will be far more engaged.

2. Engage in Open Communication

Employees appreciate open and transparent communication. Research shows that leaders and teams want to be part of ‘something bigger’ and exposed to more than just the daily grind. Good communication throughout the organisation helps with this alignment.

Open and transparent communication is at the heart of a healthy workplace culture. People are more inclined to stay with the company, put in discretionary effort, and see the ‘greater good’ they’re contributing to.

3. Recognise People’s Value

There’s nothing worse than slogging it day-in, day-out with zero recognition from your leader or peers. Employees need to feel as though their contribution is valued, as gratitude and recognition goes a long way to help foster a thriving culture.

Leaders who regularly take the time to shout out ‘a job well done’, provide ongoing feedback, and celebrate the achievement of goals, will find that people will be more likely to go above and beyond.

4. Invest in People’s Development

Lack of access to development opportunities is the main reason why people leave organisations. Without an investment in career growth, people can become stagnant – leading to feelings of frustration or apathy.

An effective people leader will motivate team members, invest in their growth, and provide them with professional development opportunities to achieve their goals.

Contact Thinka

If you want to learn more about how we can help you foster a positive workplace culture, reach out to our friendly team today.