Workplace culture is the character and personality of an organisation. It makes an organisation unique and it is a sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviours, and attitudes. Positive workplace culture attracts talent, drives engagement, impacts happiness and satisfaction, and affects performance. The personality of an organisation is influenced; Leadership, management, workplace practices, policies, people, and more impact culture significantly. The biggest mistake organisations make is letting their workplace culture form naturally without first defining what they want it to be.
Top global companies like Google have set in place their workplace cultures and have topped the Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For lists for the six past years. They have also popularised their workplace culture to the extent that there is a Hollywood movie about it called The Internship which was released in 2013. There is more to Google’s approach to employee engagement than free food and bringing your pet into the office. According to Laszlo Bock, the company’s former Senior Vice President of People Relations, “If you took all of that stuff away… you would still have the same company, the same drive for creativity and innovation.” Its workplace culture is flexible as employees are encouraged to work when they like and as they like, fun as offices have nap pods, video games, and ping pong and is founded on trust. Collaboration is key and the relentless search for better answers continues to be at the core of everything people do at Google. More information about the Google workplace culture can be found in the book Work Rules by Laszlo Bock.
Another top global company, Netflix, has a workplace culture that focuses on “People over Process”. It offers its employees generous benefits like unlimited holidays and an expense policy that simply requires people to act in Netflix’s best interests. The essence of its culture comes down to honesty. The company is built on tight-knit, performance-driven teams with a strong sense of ownership and loyalty. Managers are asked to communicate regularly with staff about their performance and staff are encouraged to ask how they are doing in order to get honest constructive feedback. The manifesto says: “In the tension between honesty and kindness, we lean into honesty. No matter how honest, though, we treat people with respect.” Netflix demonstrates how important it is to choose core values that an organisation genuinely cares about, it encourages teamwork and has a policy of brutal honesty to help build trust between colleagues as well as management.
Workplace culture is important for organisations as it either strengthens or undermines the organisations' objectives. A positive culture is important because it impacts how employees interact with their work and the organisation and affect performance. Research shows that employee happiness and satisfaction are linked to strong workplace culture (Source: Deloitte). Organisations with stronger cultures outperform their competitors financially and are generally more successful. The workplace culture is too significant to ignore, and shaping it is one of the most important responsibilities for the leaders and Human Resources professionals. Find out more about your workplace culture whether or not your organisation is being represented well on the Top Preferred Employers in Zimbabwe at http://bit.ly/TopPreferredEmployersInZimbabwe. If it has not yet been rated, add your rating at http://bit.ly/RateAnOrganisationOnTopPreferredEmployersInZimbabweSite today. Make sure you get ranked in the top five of the Top Preferred Employers in Zimbabwe today!
Kudzai Derera is the Business Systems Manager at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm.
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