PKF Kerikeri

The Importance of Workplace Culture

Culture is the character and personality of your workplace. It's what makes your business unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviours and attitudes. Get it right and it can attract talent, drive engagement, make people happier and more satisfied which has a positive effect on their performance. A great culture provides the context for people to deliver their best work. But get it wrong and it undermines your objectives, causes disruption in your team, and negatively impacts the service you provide to your clients. 


A multitude of factors play a role in developing workplace culture. Leadership, management, workplace practices, policies and philosophies, people, mission, vision and values, work environment, and communications. 


Culture is not an HR function. It comes from the top. The biggest mistake businesses make is letting their culture form naturally without first defining what they want it to be. Successful work cultures in service industries thrive on appreciation, recognition and celebration. Businesses often forget about the culture and ultimately they suffer for it because you can't deliver good service from unhappy employees. TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More


Traditional workplace culture is being radically challenged by the increase in millennials. Although described as the “Me Me Me Generation”, 35% of the workforce will consist of millennials by 2020 and a further 24% will be Gen Z workers. They grew up online, teaching themselves digital skills and shortcuts and are often frustrated by outdated and rigid workplace environments that aren’t open to doing things differently. It’s time to ditch the negative stereotypes and embrace this generation’s assets at work.


Why does this matter?


A strong culture is a power talent attractor. It can win you access to the best talent in your industry and be the glue that retains top employees amid fierce competition.


"Create the kind of workplace and company culture that will attract great talent. If you hire brilliant people, they will make work feel more like play." Richard Branson​


Top tips for creating a great work culture


  1. Prioritise transparency. Employees that feel included and in the loop on important decisions are motivated to be more engaged and do their best work. By communicating with your workforce early you are fostering a culture of trust and inclusion. 
  2. Hire for cultural fits. Studies have shown that a strong culture fit can mean greater job satisfaction, stronger identification with a company, more commitment, and superior performance. Integrate your core values into your employee brand messaging, job content and interview processes.  
  3. Make people feel like they belong. Neuroscience experts say feelings of safety, belonging and mattering in employees can improve communication, collaboration and alignment, which ultimately boosts company revenue. Once you've defined your culture and hired people who align with your values, encourage them every day to be themselves. 


Culture is always a work in progress. It can and will change. Make culture as important as your business strategy. It's too significant to ignore and shaping it is one of your most important responsibilities as a business owner. If you don't have a work culture that defines expectation and behaviour, then we recommend you contact Alison or Jancy today.