Creating a positive work environment is essential to ensuring your employees are happy and engaged in their work.  A key step in creating such an environment lies in your firm’s culture.  A firm’s culture is made up of its values and beliefs, underlying assumptions, attitudes and behaviours. In essence, it’s the personality of the organisation.

The importance of having a rich and positive workplace culture is well established. Not only this but an effective workplace culture improves employee satisfaction (and in turn customer satisfaction), reduces levels of turnover and absenteeism and increases performance and productivity.

Define your culture

To start with you need to know your firm’s purpose.  What is the driving force behind your business – the “why” you do what you do?  Incorporate this into your culture by sharing your purpose with employees and showing how they play a part in this vision.  This will motivate your employees and create a sense of working together towards a common goal.

Start from the top

To embed your culture within the firm, you must start with your leaders.  Leaders are the key influences in your organisation, so they must clearly understand your culture and encourage its adoption by consistently behaving in line with the culture.  Your leaders should live your cultural values on a daily basis.  After all, if your leaders don’t adopt the culture why would your employees adopt it?

Build your culture

Building a meaningful and positive culture is an ongoing process.  There are a number of ways you can embed a positive culture in your workplace:

  • Build your culture around your people – find a way to draw your employees into your purpose.
  • Communicate a shared vision and identify your employees’ role in the vision.
  • Establish shared values and standards of behaviour.
  • Encourage open dialogue and collaboration.
  • Implement a system where employee’s feedback is heard and responded to.
  • When hiring new people, consider how they will fit in with your culture.  Recruited talented people who identify with your cultural values.

While building a positive culture can take time, it is a worthwhile investment in the long-run.  While there is no perfect workplace culture, firms who invest their time and energy in their people will reap the benefits of a happy and engaged workforce.

If you would like more information around integrating HR best practice with your organisation’s strategic objectives, please contact your ESV on 9283 1666.

ESV is a Sydney-based accounting and business advisor they are sponsors to the Association of Australian Boutique Winemakers and supporters to