When it comes to your business, culture isn’t something you can buy off the shelf, plug-in to your people and press go. It’s much bigger than that. It’s something that needs to come from within, a feeling that needs to be nurtured and carefully grown into a state of mind that encapsulates all that you stand for – as people, and as a brand.
How do we define culture in the workplace?
You might be thinking ‘I don’t need someone to tell me what culture means’ – and you’re right. The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary definition of ‘Culture’ is “the customs and beliefs, art, way of life and social organization of a particular country or group”. In the workplace, the word keeps that essence, but takes on a slightly different shape. In a business, culture can be described as the values, belief systems, attitude and assumptions that the people across every team share. It’s not rules, it’s being able to laugh and smile through each day, a feeling of support and togetherness.
Why is good culture important?
Culture creates a productive work atmosphere, boosts morale, helps collaboration and sparks creativity. It has also been found to reduce stress and increase levels of Oxytocin (check out our piece on Oxytocin to find out more on the trust hormone). From a company perspective, it helps your business productivity and your brand’s potential to draw in people that fit in perfectly with the rest of the team. And we believe that’s one of the biggest attributes a business can have – the ability to attract and retain great people – that’s what makes a great brand.
The benefits of clarifying your culture.
Luckily, there are loads of ways to nurture your culture – whether that’s re-defining what you already have, transforming it from toxic to positive, or building it in harmony with your brand-new business. Here at MuddyWellies, it’s our mission to do just that, to help guide businesses in growing their culture, if you’ve scaled rapidly or you’re starting from scratch.
So, how do we up the ante? Wherever you are in your journey, we can start with a few simple steps…
1. Establish a set of values that reflect your people.
2. Encourage collaboration.
3. Give clear and consistent communication.
4. Promote an inclusive work environment.
5. Ensure your employees are getting rewarded for their hard work – with praise and progression, not bribery.
Because these days, a great culture is more than free beers on a Friday. Since the pandemic, your people’s needs have shifted immensely. We know that we are just as productive without the nice-to-haves of that flashy city centre office. The focus has moved onto the working world’s lack of need-to-haves. We’ve been forced into adding some perspective to our lives, putting the importance on feeling valued in the team, acknowledgement and praise for your hard work, being part of a shared purpose, working with like-minded people, and being part of an inclusive culture. Getting to this stage, with these steps, may seem daunting when you’re not sure where or how to start, but a good leader – that truly listens to their people – will know when it’s time to call in the experts to help with your transformation..
The main thing employers need to remember is that superficial perks can only get you so far in creating a strong culture. Don’t get us wrong – we’re all for a freebie, but this ‘benefit’ has become almost laughable amongst the new generation of job applicants. Real change needs to come from the core. Culture depends on trust, a sense of purpose and passion for what you do. It’s such an intertwined combination of so many different components, but it needs to start from within – from what your people really feel about your business, and why they come to work every day. You can’t build a successful brand without taking care of the people that make it and by listening to their thoughts and needs.
Appreciate your loyal long-term employees, help your inexperienced members learn, encourage open and honest communication. A good culture isn’t about a physical space or a pool table in the office – it’s a feeling. It’s a nurturing atmosphere where people aren’t afraid to ask for help if they need it. Rewarding and rallying behind your people is the key to making sure they feel valued and motivated.
But this can’t happen unless it starts from the top, one step at a time. So, if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, we can guide you, the MuddyWellies way. Or are you already nailing company culture? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you.