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Culture: What does it mean to you? How do you keep it in check?

24 Jan 08:00 by Jeni Ogilvy

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In the 2017 iknowho candidate survey, over 90% of candidates listed culture as the most important factor when choosing a new employer, followed by career development and work/life balance.

But what does culture mean? Culture is the environment that surrounds us; which can shape work enjoyment, work relationships and work productivity. Within work, each employee’s beliefs, assumptions, values can impact a company’s culture.

We now know what it means, but how do you know whether your company culture is good or bad? You need to speak to the employees that are amongst it. Having regular open conversations with employees can help build your culture and deter from anything negative.

What should you be checking on?

  • Communication - Do you communicate with your broader teams when making decisions? Organisations that want to build a good work culture will want to communicate their decisions across to their teams and be as transparent and inclusive as possible.
  • Having a voice - Does every member of the team have a voice? Allowing every individual opportunity to speak their mind freely, will give them more control and improve the company’s culture.
  • Having autonomy - Do you encourage independent working? This is an opportunity for the individual to make their own decisions, an opportunity like this can show an increase in productivity and office morale.
  • Value - Do you show your employee’s that you value their time and effort? Offering benefits such as flexitime or quarterly work events, are a great way to show that you care and a great way to boost employee happiness.
  • Do you practice what you preach? When a new policy is put in place, do all members of staff follow it? To promote a good culture everyone must abide by the same guidelines.
  • Growth & Development - Do you offer an opportunity to your employees where they can develop their skill sets? Continual learning will keep an employee motivated and refrain from feeling bored.
  • Diversity - Every culture needs diversity. People’s different inputs and backgrounds are what shapes our environment, an environment that we can learn from.

This is a snippet of what you can measure your organisational culture on, but it’s a good start. Read through the list and mark your company out of 10. If you’re scoring below a 6, then give yourself a 2018 goal to improve it to an 8. Share this with colleagues and see how they would score the same company, bounce ideas off each other for how you can boost your organisational culture. Don't forget to check out last year's metrics, for more inspiration. 

Culture is very important to us and for that reason, we’re proudly sponsoring the 2017 AdNews People & Culture award, for the second year running. Who will be this year's winners? Watch this space for more articles on culture.

References:

https://www.thebalance.com/culture-your-environment-for-people-at-work-1918809
https://gothamculture.com/what-is-organizational-culture-definition/
http://www.selectinternational.com/blog/the-culture-checklist-good-organizational-culture