Workplace culture, put simply, is kind of like the “vibe” of an office and how it affects human interaction. It is a compounding of management styles, company values, physical environment, employees and dress codes that give a workplace it’s unique feel.
It can also mean the difference between an excruciating workday and one that you don’t mind dragging your arse out of bed for.
It might sound like some unimportant piece of a relatively large business-puzzle, but workplace culture can actually make or break an organisation, which is why so many businesses are quickly changing their hiring techniques.
Employing someone that has a high cultural fit and lower skill level might sound like a no-deal, but current popular opinion says this is exactly who you should be aiming for (assuming they still need to have the aptitude to learn).
Here’s why it’s so important.
Effortless workplace learning
Teaching someone a new skill is relatively easy. Teaching someone how to fit in with a group of people is not.
As the stress and friction of working with other people decreases, the organization becomes a far more forgiving environment to learn and work in.
Think of it this way, picture a group of strangers that you don’t really like to hang out with awkwardly trying to teach you something. Now picture the same scenario, but the people are your friends and you like to hang out after work and play Mario Kart or whatever.
The level of comfort that individuals perceive in the workplace will dictate how easily they will learn and work together, because working with your friends is SICK.
Less staff turnover
Staff turnover is expensive, so minimizing it is crucial. the question is, how do you get someone that’s unengaged with their work to stay in the job?
Think about Google. People want to work for them, some because they want to be able to take a slide to lunch, others because they know that the company culture is nigh on perfect. They made a whole damn movie about it!
But it’s way more than just putting a pool table or bar in an office, they need to offer intrinsic motivators that give a sense of purpose.
Why are you answering the phone and helping customers? Maybe it’s because you enjoy helping people, or have a genuine interest in the product or service the company sells. Motivation that cuts through the money and fulfils your interests/goals/passions is what will make you truly happy.
It’s about the why you and the people you work with are all in the same place five days a week. This sense of comradery goes a long way to improving attitudes towards the company and its overall goals.
A company that can provide great culture is a company that retains and attracts the very best talent.
Happier and healthier employees
They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Too bad there isn’t a job the requires watching Netflix all day.
Platitudes aside, if you hate going to work, you’re probably stressed. If you’re stressed, your immune system is probably rubbish and that usually leads to you getting sick pretty often.
You can see where I’m going with this; if you enjoy the vibe of your workplace, your more likely to be happier and in turn, healthier, even if the work your doing is boring.
At the end of the day, it’s important to realise that culture will be different from workplace to workplace, and rarely will any one person fit into all of them.
Jake and Kenny, the founders of Mary’s, a bar and burger joint in Sydney’s Newtown say that hard work and generosity trump “cool culture” any day.
“People that show no respect to hard work will not last fucking 2 seconds in here,” says Kenny.
Watch the full 8 episodes at the link below.