Facts vs. Fiction: Four Workplace Culture Myths That Might be Inhibiting Your Success
Developing — and maintaining — a healthy workplace culture is about more than break room ping pong tables, unlimited drip coffee, and high fives. In fact, employees often point to far more obvious factors such as management style, workplace practices, and an organization’s values and mission as positively (or negatively) impacting their relationship to workplace culture.
As we continue to navigate 2023 and focus on new intentions, now’s the time to dispel common workplace culture myths with facts so you can re-prioritize the happiness of your employees.
Myth #1 – The biggest contributing factor to an organization’s culture is pay
For a long time, it seemed as though the biggest contributing factor to an organization having a healthy culture is how highly paid its employees are. It is often assumed that if the wages are fair or above market value that it automatically means the organization will be a great place to work.
While collecting a paycheque that supports a comfortable lifestyle does impact employee morale and wellbeing, the age-old saying “money can’t buy happiness” rings true. In fact, 71% of Canadians say they would refuse a job that’s frustrating or unrewarding, even if it came with more money. Increasingly, employees report a desire for:
- Community – Employees prefer to win together as a collaborative team and to stick together when times are challenging
- Fairness – Companies and organizations whose employees feel like everyone is provided a fair opportunity report a higher number of positive employee experiences
- Trustworthy Management – When employees feel that their managers are honest and ethical, they’re much more likely to stay with the company for a long time
- Innovation – Organizations that have innovative work cultures inspire employee confidence and loyalty, and exceeded expectations
- Trust – Allowing your employees to work remotely with flexible hours provides them with the opportunities they need to complete their work on time while also exercising work-life balance
- Caring – Don’t say that you care, show it! Supporting your employees during difficult times such as the Covid-19 pandemic shows that you care about their well-being, which improves their employee experience
Myth #2 – An organization’s culture does not affect its success
Sadly, there are many managers who believe that prioritizing company culture is a poor use of resources, and that our global culture of sensitivity and understanding is just a “fad” that they can wait out — this is not the case!
Research shows that 88% of employees believe a distinct corporate culture is important to a business’ success — illuminating the importance of investing in employees’ happiness. Organizations that invest in healthy workplace cultures enjoy greater employee job satisfaction, higher levels of retention, better performance quality, and increased levels of accountability and productivity. There’s a trickle-down affect on customers too: a positive customer experience can undoubtedly be traced back to the happiness of an organization’s management and employees, which is easily distinguished from business to business.
Myth #3 – A healthy workplace culture can only be developed with employees working on-site
Many leaders will argue that in-person work is a significant contributor to workplace culture and that it is necessary to do work on-site in order to network and create meaningful connections with colleagues and clients alike. Admittedly, in the early days of the pandemic, this may have felt true, but in reality, is not the case.
There’s a reason more than three-quarters (78%) of Canadian employees say they prefer working from home to their regular workplace: remote or hybrid work arrangements offer flexibility, and less pressure and stress. There’s greater work/life balance without a daily commute, which allows employees to spend more time doing the things they love. This results in renewed productivity, engagement, and an overall positive employee attitude. There is no doubt that staring at our screens all day and going in-and-out of virtual meetings can become challenging and disengaging – this is why workplace culture is so important! If employees are spending too much time on their screens, they should be encouraged to step away and take breaks.
Myth #4 – You can buy a healthy workplace culture
Companies like Google and Apple are widely celebrated for having amazing company cultures. And while their many perks and benefits create a culture of “fun”, they overlook many of the aspects that result in a positive, community driven, and caring operation in the longer term.
To find out what your employees really value, it’s worth circulating an employee satisfaction or engagement survey to obtain the data you need to improve company culture. By asking the right questions, you might be surprised to learn that instead of monetary rewards, employees would be happier with having a casual day or a bi-weekly team lunch. An engagement survey provides an organization with the opportunity to ask what their employees want, rather than to assume. Positive reinforcement and a “job well done” from management can go a long way to boosting employee morale more than a vending machine ever could.
While there’s more workplace culture myths out there than there are pens at your local Staples, one fact resounds as true: developing and maintaining a healthy workplace culture is key to attracting and retaining qualified employees. Ensuring your employees enjoy, rather than tolerate, coming to work each day positions your organization as a competitive and positive place to make valuable contributions.
Now that you know some of the top myths and facts surrounding workplace culture, don’t let them hold you back from creating and developing an amazing culture in order to develop and foster a healthy workplace. If you are interested in learning more about workplace culture, you can reach out to us directly here.