Don’t treat ’em mean – the importance of workplace culture

Embracce Workplace Cultire

Workplace culture is the most important driver for staff, according to recent research…

We often write about the importance of looking after staff and investing in creating the right kind of workplace culture, and a recent survey conducted by Speakap has confirmed just how vital this is.

How important is workplace culture?

According to the survey [Speakap: Research Study – The Culture Factor: Improving Employee Loyalty and Relationships], 42% of employees would rather have a 60-hour working week, than work for a company that doesn’t value its workplace culture.

The study asked 1,000 employees from the UK and the US how important workplace culture can be when it comes to attracting and retaining staff – a massive 58% said they would move to a rival company if the workplace culture was more attractive.

And the most important part of that workplace culture, according to those employees? Respect and fairness, trust and integrity, and teamwork.

How can HR departments help?

And this is where HR departments come in… does your workplace culture need reviewing? How often do you do this? Do managers think that offering the odd free lunch or team night out is enough? Clearly, this survey shows that this is not what people are looking for.

While the social aspect may be attractive, especially if you have a young workforce, for older employees with other commitments outside of work, it is the way they are treated during the working day that will be most important.

When you are in a workplace for seven hours or more each day, being able to benefit from open and honest communication with more senior staff is far more rewarding than a couple of free drinks on a Friday afternoon. And, in the long term, knowing that your company is committed to helping you to learn new skills and invest in training you is far more valuable than an annual big party, which costs the staff member money in childcare and a hangover the next day on the school run!

Five ways to assess your workplace culture

  1. Take a look at your onboarding process: make sure your process is up to date and engaging, and helps the new member of the team learn everything they need to know to get up and running in a speedy and efficient manner.
  2. Are your senior staff open with employees? Times have changed and leadership needs to be open to change too.
  3. Take a look at reward schemes – it doesn’t all need to be about bonuses – especially if they mean your staff pay more tax. Think of more personal ways to say thank you.
  4. Encourage teamwork – work with staff to help teams work better with each other – to be supportive, co-operative and to communicate better.
  5. Ask your staff! Feedback from employees about how they feel about work, the company, their everyday challenges, will give you a great picture of your workplace culture – a lot of negative feedback will tell you there are some changes to be made!

Stop Press

As you may be aware, on Tuesday 16 July, MP Helen Whatley used the 10-Minute Rule to bring her innovative Flexible Working Bill into parliament. The bill was given approval to go to a second reading today on Wednesday 17 July – this development is a triumph for the organisations behind the campaign, who have been working tirelessly for the past 5 years to bring this to fruition [The House – Helen Whately: Employers should make all jobs flexible by default 15/07/2019].

Mother Pukka, Pregnant then Screwed, Fatherhood Institute and Fawcett Society joined forces to create the Flex For All campaign, calling on government to demand flexible working, meaning that all job roles must be advertised as flexible from day one of employment.

Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka commented: ‘We have been campaigning over 5 years for effective flexible working and today it seems the tide is turning. It feels like the Government is listening, businesses are listening and that the people are being listened to! Finally flexible working is being seen as something for people – all people – and not just ‘mummies who want to see more of their babies’. Crucially, this is now being seen as something that is not just good for employees but ultimately it’s proven to be very good for business too. Flexible working is simply for people wanting to live and often those with responsibilities beyond their control. Those people who want to get off the 9-5 hamster wheel, those who want to work the odd day from home, those living with disabilities, those with medical conditions, those with caring responsibilities – the list goes on. Today is a huge moment for the #FlexAppeal #FlexForAll campaign. Today is the first day we have been heard.’ 

You might also be interested in reading our other blogs related to this subject matter:

Is Flexible Working Your Friend?
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Being the Best – Starting at the Top
Is Yours a People Company?

If you would like to discuss the subject of trust or flexible working further and how it could help your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 769 282 or contact us here.

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Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.