Voices of our Nation

Developing a Positive Workplace Culture

A workplace’s culture is composed of the values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours that the employees share, and use frequently, within the workplace. The workplace culture determines how employees describe where they work, how the employees understand the workplace, and how the employees see themselves as an essential part of a productive workplace. The workplace culture is what makes the workplace unique. This culture is very important, because the workplace culture can either strengthen or weaken the objectives and goals that the workplace is trying to achieve.

Every workplace has a unique style which contributes to developing a workplace culture. The beliefs, principles, and values of individual workplaces form the workplace culture. A positive workplace culture encourages the employees to stay motivated and loyal to their employees and also committed to the goals of the workplace. The culture of the workplace controls how employers and employees behave within the workplace as well as managing behaviours in regards to interactions with people that an organization may do business with outside of the workplace. A positive workplace culture encourages employees to behave in responsible, ethical ways, resulting in higher workplace morale, employee collaboration, and empowerment.

A positive workplace culture allows individual employees to be clear about his or her role and responsibilities in the workplace. A positive workplace culture can increase productivity and improve employee satisfaction. A workplace culture should be established where employees are treated equally. Every employee should be made to feel valued and respected within the workplace. Workplace policies can help to develop a positive workplace culture as these policies assist to guide the employees’ conduct. Policies also give employees a sense of direction at their workplace. A positive workplace environment can lead to significant benefits for employers and employees as the workplace is more likely to be successful when a positive workplace environment is established.

A negative workplace culture can decrease productivity and also reduce employee satisfaction. Employees can become uninterested or disengaged, in their job, which will cause significant workplace issues. Workplace stress has been linked to serious health problems and absenteeism which can be costly for workplaces. Workplaces can improve their culture by addressing negative issues promptly and effectively. Workplaces should make it clear what types of positive behaviours are expected to reduce the impact of a negative workplace culture.

Changing the workplace culture might seem like a quick and easy process. However, changing a negative workplace culture can be challenging when negative workplace habits have been allowed to continue over a significant amount of time. Adjusting the workplace culture will require setting policies with clear boundaries and consequences. The long term goal will be to change the negative workplace culture, but this process usually requires changes in the behaviour of individual employers and employees before there can be a noticeable difference in all aspects of the workplace culture. Improving the workplace culture may require letting go of disengaged or unproductive employers and employees which could present temporary challenges, such as an increased employee turnover before workplaces will benefit from a more positive workplace culture. Developing a positive workplace culture will typically require patience and also a commitment from to employees and employers to improve their workplace habits.

A positive workplace culture can be achieved by encouraging good communication, employee input, cooperation, participation, and trust. Better productivity is accomplished through increasing employee satisfaction along with paying attention to the physical and emotional needs of individual employees. Policies should be implemented that will promote the success of workplace. These policies should be evaluated and adjusted to ensure that workplace policies can remain effective in the future. The development of a positive culture leads to greater workplace effectiveness, which positively affects financial workplace performance, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and also an overall improvement in workplace productivity. When employers and employees are willing to cooperatively to create a positive workplace culture there is a better chance of ensuring that workplaces will be successful.

Challenges to Promoting a Positive Workplace Culture
Importance of the Workplace Culture
Statistics Canada
The Impact of a Positive or Negative Workplace Culture

This article was written by volunteer blogger Shan Simpson.