By: Larissa Kwasnitza

Have you heard of the term “Workplace Culture”? What exactly is Workplace Culture and why does it matter?

Culture is defined as the character, values, traditions, beliefs, behavior, and attitudes practiced within. Apply that to the small community that is your workplace. Workplace culture is the character and personality of the organization.  It encompasses the values, beliefs, behaviors and attitudes of the organization that has evolved though employee interactions. Here is a small list of components that helps to contribute to each workplace’s unique culture:

  • Environment
  • Employees
  • Management style
  • Diversity
  • Dress code

Sometimes an organization/company will allow their workplace culture to form naturally, rather than defining what they want it to be. This can have a  positive and negative impact on the workplace because it can either strengthen or weaken your organization’s fundamental mission and goals.  A positive workplace culture impacts happiness and satisfaction, it affects overall employee performance, it attracts talent, and it drives engagement.

The nature of workplace culture can establish an environment that has a high volume of staff turn over, or  it can sustain long term employees. The components that influence the success of any organization’s workplace culture include:

  • Leadership
  • Workplace practices and policies
  • Workplace incentives
  • Employee benefit programs
  • Mission, vision and values
  • Communication
  • Health and wellness

To make an impact on your own workplace culture, you must ask yourself:

What am saying or doing that influences my organization’s workplace culture?

Lateral violence is negative behavior directed at our peers. Office gossip, bullying, isolating and not being inclusive are examples of lateral violence. Becoming more self aware about how you participate in lateral violence, such as gossip can help you change the environment you work in. An example of flipping the switch is Office gossip. Office gossips break down the cohesive bond in a positive workplace, whereas encouraging conversations and productive discussion help to lift a workplace’s morale up.

Better Reasons to Stop the Gossip

If you value a positive workplace where open communication is a tradition that reduces conflict, then you should value a tradition that refrains from gossip. Office gossip corrodes a positive workplace, and here’s why: Gossip produces a chain reaction of secrecy and negativity that erodes trust. As one person shares gossip, the next person to hear it is naturally left inhibited from being open and sharing of themselves in the future because they figure they might be the next victim. Gossip creates a short-lived bond between two people, but it comes at a high cost. Choose optimistic information sharing instead. You’ll be a more enjoyable person with whom to speak, and you’ll bond in a more positive way.

FSEAP Solutions-Volume 4, 2019

One small task, that YOU have complete control of, is to be responsible for how you want your workplace culture to be, and to find positive ways to contribute to it each day.

Here is a short video that demonstrates the importance of a good workplace atmosphere that carries the good vibes to the customers and the general atmosphere: