How To Grow Workplace Culture

How To Grow Workplace Culture

In our recent Employee Engagement survey, 81% of employees believe Schlam fosters a workplace where they can be themselves at work without fear.

Positive workplace culture attracts talent, drives engagement, impacts happiness and satisfaction, and affects performance.

This begs the question, what does a good workplace culture actually look like? 

We sat down with our own People and Culture team recently to uncover the quintessential factors that drive culture and what influences employee perception of the companies in which they work. 

So, does a good culture mean people look forward to coming to work each morning? Is it when there’s no negativity in the workplace that brings morale down? Is it when you feel safe when asking your boss a question or providing constructive feedback? 

Perhaps it is when departments work together collaboratively and together as a team? Maybe it’s when no one is arguing or fighting at work? 

Quite literally, cultural norms define what is encouraged, discouraged, accepted, or rejected within any group. But culture in the workplace can be complex given the melting pot of diverse backgrounds, influences and personalities that make up the team. 

‘Culture’ is a hot topic right now as there is a visible trend turning the traditional ‘personnel’ and ‘human resources” departments turn into ‘People and Culture’. This transformation is a testament to how the profession has been perceived and valued by a business. 

The focus that is being put on people and culture, such as how it contributes to the success of an organisation and the values it brings to the people working within the organisation, as well as to external customers. 

Culture has been defined differently by different organisations and by different people but Schlam’s Group Manager – People and Culture, Jessica Midjaja defines culture as “how things are done around here and how people deal with successes and failures in the workplace on a day-to-day basis”. 

“It is important that people enjoy coming to work each day and feel that they are contributing to the organisation’s bigger purpose. It is also important that people feel safe to be heard and to be able to provide their feedback and talk to their leaders if they have any concerns and issues, so we can resolve them quickly”. Jessica further explains. 

At Schlam, we are committed to focusing on the bigger picture and bringing our people on a journey of success and growth. Our leaders want to engage more directly and deeply with our employees, and we let our employees bring their ‘whole selves’ to work. 

Ultimately, this means at Schlam that we respect and appreciate diversity, equity and inclusion and their individual sense of purpose. At the head office in Welshpool, there are no offices. Every employee, including the members of our Executive Leadership Team, sit in an open-planned office and actively engage with all of their team members. 

We celebrate and recognise our peers’ actions when they demonstrate the six key vales that we uphold. We do this by peer-to-peer recognition programs such as the newly created North Star Awards. 

The North Star Award is designed to encourage peer to peer appreciation. It allows all employees to provide positive feedback on other employees, which traditionally are done from manager to employee perspective. Now employees can recognise their managers and peers when they see a job well done.

Activity promoting a culture of appreciation has been a successful way to reinforce Schlam’s core values. We know peer-to-peer recognition encourages employees to make deep, personal connections with their team members and we have found this has increased here at Schlam. We have witnessed employees create and strengthen their working relationships with their co-workers. 

Appreciation is authentically earned and authentically given, not just something to be crossed off a to-do list. Gone are the days when leaders were the only ones dishing out recognition. Schlam’s North Star program focuses on timely, genuine, specific, and public appreciation. We know this will continue to encourage employees to be courteous, helpful and happy.

Let us know what you think – join the conversation on Facebook @Schlamengineering

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