Why You Should Put Workplace Culture First

Running a business can be tricky as there are a lot of things to consider and monitor. However, there is one area a lot of businesses overlook and underestimate until it comes back to bite them – workplace culture.

Why You Should Put Culture First?
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There are a lot of benefits to making your workplace culture a priority when it comes to handling your business – but why should you bother? Here are some reasons why you should consider putting culture first!

What Is Workplace Culture?

First, let’s define what exactly a ‘workplace culture’ is. Workplace culture is basically the kind of environment and atmosphere that is present at your business.

It is influenced by the attitudes of you and your employees, your values and behaviors, how you interact with one another, and how it all aligns with your business’s policies.

This has an impact on areas such as recognition, freedom of expression, equity, and more. Workplace cultures can range from positive and friendly, to negative and toxic.

Some workplaces recognize employees for their hard work and treat everyone fairly, while others feature team leaders who favor certain members over others and or lack communication between employees.

Every business has its own workplace culture so long as there is more than one employee (including you) – so why should you care about what kind of workplace culture your business has?

Why Culture Is Important To Businesses

It Impacts Employee Productivity

A 2022 study found that a toxic work culture had a huge negative impact on employee productivity.

In this study, half of the workers questioned said that they felt their productivity had been impacted by their workplace’s ‘toxic culture’ with 38% saying that they were less engaged with their roles and 21% even taking time off work just to avoid it (see also “What Is The Workplace Genome?“).

What this means is that if you allow a toxic workplace culture to fester at your business, you could see a huge drop in the productivity of your employees. The domino effect this will have may lead to lower profits and put your business at serious risk!

On the other end of the scale, another study found that businesses with more productive employees are more successful.

Studies have found a direct correlation between a business’s performance and its culture so going that extra step by putting culture first means that you are actively encouraging your business’s overall success too.

So, it’s important to monitor your business’s culture to ensure that employees are productive so your business can keep growing.

It Impacts Employee Satisfaction

Why You Should Put Culture First?
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Having low job satisfaction means that your employees are unhappy with their roles and this can be caused as a result of the poor culture in your business (see also “How Much Is Culture Friction Costing You?“).

In the US, businesses lose $550 billion annually due to unhappy employees – so to keep your employees happy, focus on improving your business’s culture.

Common practices and methods used to improve your business’s workplace culture can also improve your employees’ satisfaction (see also “Useful Workplace Culture Metrics To Track“).

For example, 72% of employees have said that respect is important for job satisfaction and 37% said that recognition had an impact on their job satisfaction too.

Respecting your employees and recognizing their efforts are two key factors for improving a business’s workplace culture – and so they can easily make your employees feel much happier at work too!

It Impacts Your Business’s Employee Turnover

Studies have shown that factors like employee wellness and satisfaction have a huge impact on your business’s employee retention rate. As a result, your business’s culture also has an impact on whether or not your employees want to stay with your business.

Improving your employee retention rate should be a priority for your business. Constantly replacing employees can eat into your business’s profits.

One analysis found that replacing a salaried employee costs a business an average of 6 to 9 months’ worth of that salary. This means that for each employee you are replacing, you are spending thousands of dollars on onboarding, training, recruitment, and more.

Methods that encourage a positive culture at your business actually contribute to making your employees feel happier with their role, thus they are less likely to leave your business and take their skills and labor elsewhere.

One report found that more recognition (a common method for culture improvement) would help 69% of employees stay at their current job – so you can reduce your business’s turnover simply by implementing common positive workplace culture practices like introducing more recognition and rewards for your employees.

Company culture has a huge impact on employee retention.

In the 2021 ‘Great Resignation’, toxic cultures were found to be one of the leading causes according to numerous studies – so if you don’t want to see a mass walkout at your business, pay close attention to its culture and put practices in place to avoid any toxicity.

It Impacts How Easily You Hire New Recruits

Not only does having a toxic workplace culture at your business increase your turnover rate, but it also impacts how quickly you can hire new employees. 86% of job seekers actively avoid companies and businesses that have bad reputations.

This means that if word about your business’s ‘toxic’ culture grows, you will struggle to hire new employees and soon, you could be seriously understaffed and struggling to get things done.

Studies show that understaffing can lead to higher levels of stress, as well as increase employee turnover and its related costs, and increase the risk of accidents – so it’s vital that you encourage a positive workplace culture to help lead your business toward success.

Final Thoughts

So – why should your business’s culture be a priority for you? Because it impacts every aspect of your business overall! From finances to your business’ reputation, having a positive workplace culture can improve many different aspects of your business.

Having a negative or toxic culture at your business can have a domino effect on the rest of it, causing higher costs and low productivity which can actually lead to the downfall of your business.

So, if you want your business to succeed, you need to focus on your business’s culture and keep your employees safe and happy.

Jason Sullivan
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