​​​​​Useful resources

Building a positive workplace culture: what you can doIdea jigsaw piece

If you have been successful in the past at recruiting employees only to lose them later, or if they have stayed, but haven’t lived up to your earlier expectations, the reason could be that your workplace culture is not as positive as it could be.

What is workplace culture?

A workplace culture can be considered to be the assumptions shared by the workforce about what behaviours can be ‘expected’ in the workplace and ‘accepted’ by the rest of the team – by both management and co-workers. Those beliefs about expected and accepted behaviours will be reinforced by what other people tell them has happened previously (the stories); the way people communicate with each other, both verbally and non-verbally (the languages); and what they see about ‘how it’s done around here’ (the symbols and rituals).

Symbols, for example, could be as simple as uniform style or clear job descriptions that show you respect employees. Rituals might include the fact that everyone downs tools half an hour before knock-off to allow time to clean up.

To get a feel for what your own company culture might be, think about how you would answer a prospective employee who asked the question, ‘Why would I want to come and work for you?’

Would you be able to include words and phrases such as: ‘family-friendly’; ‘flexible to your needs’; ‘happy team environment’; ‘will be a valued member of our team’; ‘professional development support’; culturally inclusive workplace; ‘individually based training’; ‘well respected company’ or other phrases that show a positive work culture?

Your business and its place in the community

Corporate social responsibility requires businesses and managers to behave ethically and strive to improve the quality of life for employees, their families, the local community and society in general. Job seekers are more likely to be attracted to a business that has a respected place in the community.

How you can be a good corporate citizen

Acting in a socially responsible and ethical manner can generate profit and win you points in becoming an employer of choice. It makes good sense to contribute to sustainable and supportive communities.

Use the corporate image information sheet for ideas on what you can do in your workplace to be a good corporate citizen.