Building a Positive Workplace Culture
A few months ago, Forbes predicted that 2022 would be the year of workplace culture. Of course, with the Covid-19 pandemic having completely changed the way we work, this is only to be expected as employees begin to demand companies take better care of them. In a study conducted by Deloitte, 88% of employees believed that a distinct culture was important to business success. And it’s no surprise! Positive workplace cultures have been cited to boost employee morale, reduce average stress levels and even contribute to overall employee health (read more here).
Great leaders recognise these benefits, as seen in former Disney CEO Robert Iger’s autobiography, The Ride of a Lifetime. Here, he stressed the importance of maintaining the strong, positive workplace cultures of huge acquisitions such as Marvel and Pixar. He argued that these cultures motivated employees to create movie magic, and this is exactly what made them worthwhile acquisitions. While a difficult task on such a huge scale, profitability can take a hit if culture is not handled with care.
So with all this, you must be wondering: How do I create a positive workplace culture?
1. Define your values
The core of a successful company culture is usually a set of core values that resonate with the majority of employees. With numerous companies boasting core values such as “honesty” and “integrity” at times they arguably lacking, one may wonder how genuine these values tend to be.
Nonetheless, authenticity in these values shine through, and are good to state and reinforce throughout the company. Here at TRIIIO, we distributed a culture deck to all employees to establish TRIIIO’s culture - one that we reinforce through daily interactions with one another. It is important that such positive values cannot simply be words pasted on the company website - they must be underpinned by daily actions from all employees, particularly leaders. Without this, the words hold no weight, and can cause a lack of motivation and loyalty amongst employees.
2. Work on your leaders first
A strong company culture begins with the leaders - from the C-suite all the way to junior mentors within an organisation. It is not enough for leaders to push for a new and positive workplace culture - they must also lead by example. Managers often wield the power to make or break company culture, playing a large role in overall employee experience and wellbeing. As such, having managers become cultural leaders within the workplace can lead to a trickle-down effect amongst employees.
In a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, only 13% of leaders were capable of being results-driven whilst also maintaining a highly engaged and motivated team! A key skill they all had in common was a drive to inspire and motivate, relying on strong people skills to push employees to do their best work. There was also a strong theme of collaboration, as these leaders were seen to drive to develop their team whilst also engaging in feedback to develop themselves.
3. Employee wellbeing
Employee wellbeing comes in many different forms - from compensation benefits to a career development plan. With research showing that employees with high levels of wellbeing are 81% less likely to switch employment, it’s quite clear that employee wellbeing should be high on the list of priorities. With the Covid-19 pandemic having shown us a new way of working, the focus on employee wellbeing is stronger than ever, as companies and employees are split on the need to work from physical offices.
Aside from monetary benefits such as lifestyle allowances and development stipends, workplace wellbeing can be nurtured through regular check-ins and anonymous workplace culture surveys. Research shows that employees - particularly those under age 35 - value regular check-ins extremely highly, with a third of respondents revealing they would like to speak specifically about health and wellbeing. This would require a holistic approach to ensure employees are well looked after and are getting the support they need.
4. Get hiring right
“Hire the right people, not necessarily the best people.” To Jack Ma, the best people are those you train, those that you can see yourself working with and for. Hiring for cultural fit is often overlooked, and should not be seen as just making sure someone fits to company expectations. Instead, keeping cultural fit in mind during the hiring process helps to identify individuals who may challenge the status quo in a positive way, and ultimately push the company to move forward.
In James Collins & Jerry Porras’ book Built to Last, they identify a number of companies such as Sony, Disney and Hewlett-Packard, that place huge emphasis on hiring, developing and managing their people based on clear principles. Such principles not only help with employee retention, but also the attraction of like-minded people. Here at TRIIIO, our interview process looks closely at candidates’ ability to build relationships, as partnerships both internally and with clients and candidates are prioritised. In addition to this, TRIIIO possesses a quick feedback culture, and this extends into our internal hiring process. We pride ourselves on providing interview feedback to our internal candidates within 48 hours - the same process we strive for in our work.
Overall, why wouldn’t you strive for a more positive working culture? The benefits are clear, but a “positive culture” looks different with each company. For smaller companies, this may be a much easier task, with less people to manage and less minds to change. However, as TRIIIO has discovered, maintaining this culture can be difficult with rapid growth. Despite this, we feel this is a worthwhile investment, and take pride in our regular social gatherings and frequent wellbeing check-ins. However, one size does not fit all, and conversations must be had to create a healthy environment for all involved.
TRIIIO is a Malaysian recruitment firm focused on partnering with companies to find and recruit top talent and build their Software Engineering teams. For more information on how we can help you recruit Software Engineers in this candidate tight market, visit our service page.
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