In the business world, it’s relatively common to hear conversations come up surrounding “company culture.” Often, it’s a factor that can make or break a prospective employee’s decision to accept a job offer – so it’s majorly important. What is company culture, and how can you make sure you’re fostering a good environment in your workplace?

The Basics of Company Culture

What is company culture?

The Balance Careers defines company culture as, “the attitudes and behaviors of a company and its employees. It is evident in the way an organization’s people interact with each other, the values they hold, and the decisions they make.” Essentially, it is the environment that is created by the people in a workplace. 

It’s affected by everyone’s individual personalities, working styles, and opinions, as well as by the physical structure of your workplace or the type of industry you’re in. Basically, it’s a culmination of a lot of things, and it has a tremendous impact on your employees. 

When all is going as it should and nobody has any beef with anybody else, it’s going pretty well, right? Well, even when things seem to be going well on the surface, there may be issues with company culture that have yet to rear their ugly heads.

What are some characteristics of a healthy work environment?

One of the core elements of a good company culture is trust amongst the leaders as well as the employees. When everyone trusts each other and knows that they’re working together for the common good, it becomes a very positive environment for productivity. 

Additionally, just like in your personal (and romantic ????) relationships, communication is key. Employees must feel like they can freely and openly communicate with their peers, supervisors, and anyone else they may come into contact with.

How about an unhealthy work environment?

In unhealthy, or toxic, work environments, there is little to no communication – or if there is communication, it’s very poor or verbally abusive. If your leader is berating you or your peers and treating you poorly, your work environment definitely needs a major fix-up. 

An indicator of a bad company culture is a high turnover rate. If people aren’t sticking around for very long, chances are, you’re going to find out why if you accept the job offer there.

The Nitty Gritty

How do you know when you need to make a change?

If you’re already starting to think that something in your work environment may be toxic, you may need to look into it further. You might be picking up on signs that point to a deeper issue, and the sooner you fix that issue, the sooner you’re back to having a great company culture!

What if solving a company culture issue results in someone getting fired?

Unfortunately, sometimes that’s the name of the game. Of course, it’s probably the last option anyway, so hopefully the person has been given enough chances to reconcile before being let go. If it’ll make your workplace environment healthier, though, it’s worth it.

The Takeaway

It’s in your best interest, the best interest of your employees, and the best interest of your business as a whole to invest in having a good company culture. Participate in team-building activities, encourage your employees to get to know each other, and be approachable! It’s important to maintain an environment that fosters productivity and protects the mental health of everyone involved.

Here at Blackwood, we are a team that is committed to having a strong company culture. We’d love to hear from you – what are some of the best ways you’ve found to keep your workplace positive? Let us know in the comments or on our social media platforms!

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