Tips to improve a workforce culture

January 4th 2018 | Posted by phil scott

Tips to improve a workforce culture

What is workforce culture?

The culture of a workforce is influenced by many different factors: company size, office environment, business structure, people’s personalities, leadership style as well as the organisation’s mission, vision and values, to name just a few!

The combined effects of all of these factors make up the ‘workforce culture’ – the personality and characteristics of the employee population as a whole.  No two workforce cultures will be the same – they are individual, unique to each company.

Why is it SO important?

Workforce culture is massively important in terms of company success.  A positive, progressive and inclusive company culture will help attract new talent, retain good staff and cultivate a workforce of happy, dedicated and inspired individuals.   Workforce culture is not an afterthought for senior leaders, but should be at the core of business strategy.

What simple changes can your company make that will have a noticeable impact on your workforce culture?

1. Encourage communication

A happy and contented workforce is one that feels comfortable speaking their mind – both within their team and with their managers.

Encouraging communication, across teams and seniority levels, has many advantages.  In an environment where open communication is proactively encouraged, employees will feel able to speak about both positives and negatives at work.

They ability to speak openly, knowing that their feedback is welcomed, will help contribute to a happy and engaged group of people.

Methods use to encourage communication will be different within each company but could include regular drop-in sessions to discuss issues that come up; creating an open-door policy with managers or setting up in-formal team get-togethers.

2. Celebrate growth and learning

A workforce culture that helps build success is one that celebrates growth and development.  Employees need to feel that they are valued and that their company will invest in them because they believe in their long-term future.

A company that provides growth opportunities and gives their employees the chance to develop new skills and improve their abilities, will have a head start when it comes to creating long-lasting and loyal employee relationships.

There are many ways to celebrate and encourage personal growth, from providing opportunities to study for formal qualifications, to enrolling staff in short term training courses to providing work shadowing or secondments to internal departments.   When it comes to celebrating growth, simple actions like announcing achievements internally, can boost the positivity of a workforce culture.

3. Foster diversity

A workforce is made up of a range of different people, all with different stories, characteristics and roles within the company.

It’s important to foster diversity – and diversity is so much more than simply personality, background or job role within the business.  It’s about individuality – the distinctive elements that a person brings to the business, from the way they approach a task to the uniquely individual way they interact and work with others.

It takes all types of personalities to make a team succeed, as it’s the combination of individual strengths that lead to accomplishment.  A workforce culture that positively promotes every individual’s contribution will see great success.

4. Promote altruism and helping others

People spend a huge amount of time at work and while salary and a sense of achievement from work are two significant (and obvious) rewards, many of us are looking for more.

Offering staff the opportunity to give back is a way of involving employees in much more than simply the day-to-day role they work in.  Helping others gives a sense of fulfilment that can have a positive effect on workforce culture.

There are lots of ways a company can promote helping others, from creating formal charity partnerships with varied event calendars, through to matching the fundraising totals of employees’ individual efforts, to offering volunteering opportunities to get involved at a grass-roots level.