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Workplace Culture: What Is It and Why Is It Important? 

Did you know that plants grow faster when listening to music? The Institute of Integrated Study and Research in Biotechnology and Allied Sciences in India found that music promotes plant growth. It just goes to show that your environment can have a huge impact on your growth and success. The same can be said for work environments and it is important to develop a positive workplace culture for your employees. Now, we’re not saying you need to blast music in your office all day long, but there are ways that you can positively impact your company’s workplace culture. Keep reading as we review what workplace culture is, why it is important and a few tips on how you can create a positive environment for your team.  


What is workplace culture?  


‘Workplace culture’ is a tough term to define. Many people have different definitions of what a workplace culture is because it is hard to describe in a tangible way. It is more about how it feels to be at work, rather than a defined set of rules. Every organization has a personality and atmosphere which can be hard to outline in specific terms.  


Put simply, workplace culture relates to how your employees feel at work. Think of workplace culture like the air you breathe – if it is toxic, your organization can feel unhealthy and suffocating.  


Why is workplace culture important?  


Here are some specific reasons why workplace culture is important and the areas of your organization that it can impact.  


1) Employee well-being  

Work culture has a significant impact on employee's well-being. It is important for you to create a culture that supports and prioritizes employees’ physical and mental health.  


2) Employee motivation and productivity 

A work culture that is happy and supportive can energize employees and encourage them to bring their best every day. If employees feel valued and supported for their efforts, it can boost their mood and concentration.  


3) Employee communication and teamwork  

A workplace culture that promotes asking questions, proposing ideas and open streams of communication demonstrates to employees that their ideas are valued. It is also important to celebrate diversity amongst team members to allow all different outlooks and personalities to work together.  


Five Tips on How to Create a Positive Workplace Culture 


1) Set the tone right away  

Leaders at your organization should embody the values and ethics they wish to see in all employees. By setting this example, you can help to ensure that current and new employees follow these standards and behaviours.  


2) Encourage open communication  

As we mentioned above, communication plays a huge role in the productivity of your team. A culture of open communication allows employees to share their ideas and feedback without fear of repercussions or judgment.  


3) Recognize and reward employees 

Acknowledging your employees’ achievements helps to motivate them and allows them to see that you recognize their consistent efforts. A great way to do this is to develop a recognition system that highlights individual and team accomplishments. For example, here at STEPS we have various reward systems that acknowledge employees’ anniversaries at the company.  


If you want to learn more about how to show your employees appreciation, read our blog post that outlines how to best celebrate your great team members. 


4) Highlight the importance of work-life balance  

Disconnecting from work is extremely important for employees’ mental health. By creating a culture that values taking time away from work, you can help support your employees’ well-being and help them avoid fatigue or burnout.  


5) Encourage innovation and creativity  

Nothing kills a person's creativity faster than a workplace that is against change. By supporting innovation and creativity, you allow your employees to think outside of the box and develop fresh solutions. One way to do this is to host brainstorming sessions that allow employees to troubleshoot their more unique ideas. 


It’s easy to see that having a strong workplace culture can either make or break your company’s success. As with the plants that we mentioned earlier, in order to thrive, employees need to be given a positive environment that adheres to all of their needs.  


That being said, each company is different and the type of workplace culture you want to create can vary. It can be hard to determine what models would best fit your company’s unique needs. But not to fear! We can help you. Here at STEPS, we offer business management assistance to small businesses and can help you develop and implement the workplace culture that will best support and inspire your team. Learn more on our services page or reach out to us on our contact page.  

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