The Culture

It’s often said that people come for the job but they leave because of the manager.

“Create the kind of workplace and company culture that will attract great talent. If you hire brilliant people they will make work feel more like play” Richard Branson.

How important is culture? Culture is everything!

How important is culture?

Take this situation where an employee worked in a large established organisation and she was treated very differently to other employees. She was denied leave, flexibilities, entitlements, without any explanations or reasons. She was distracted by the unfairness of how she was being treated. She did not do great work. She pursued other opportunities and left 3 weeks later, much to the surprise of the executive. The other employees in the team were unhappy with how she was treated; they couldn’t understand why it was happening and they felt that they would be the targets once this employee left because the manager needed a different target.

The culture of the business area was completely destroyed because of the unnecessary targeted actions and deliberate mistreatment by a manager. They lost another two long-term staff within 6 weeks. The branch was decimated. A lot of people were asking a lot of uncomfortable questions and the branch lost the trust of its client group. If your clients don’t trust you then what’s the point?

Your productivity, reputation and outcomes will decline unless you take steps to address issues as they arise.

Productivity and Culture

Now, as someone advising business owner and managers on human resources and employee relations matters my first questions are about culture and how they treat their employees. Even when the behaviours are towards only one employee, it seeps into the culture of the business. Your employees lose trust, they lose respect for you and start to feel unsafe. And you may have to face bullying allegations. You will be distracted from your organisation’s purpose and have to focus on an issue that could easily have been avoided.

If you want a great organisation culture with productive and engaged employees, no matter what size your organisation is, treat your employees fairly and pay them their entitlements on time. And if you can’t fulfil your obligations as an employer, be honest, explain and remedy the situation as soon as you possibly can. If you can’t work out what to do to fix things, get some help. We can provide guidance on how to achieve the right culture for your business.

How do you address workplace culture issues?

A great starting point is to identify the culture you have and the reasons you believe there are issues in the workplace. Make a few points about what those issues are and why you believe they exist. If you’re too close to the situation you may need to engage a consultant to help you..

Think about the culture you want. How will you achieve this? And especially important, make sure you are clear on why the culture you want will achieve your business outcomes.

Create a Great Workplace Culture

At Verje Human Resources we work with you to help you address these types of issues with your employees and build a better culture. The basics:

  • Be reasonable. Check your thinking or actions with people you trust. Or an HR consultant.
  • Pay people according to their contracts of employment, awards, agreements. Stick to the rules.
  • Make sure you know what employment legislation says about your business and apply it. This includes health and safety laws.
  • Have good HR policies and write up your standard operating procedures. Make sure your people can succeed. Provide the information and discuss it in your team meetings. Train your staff, retrain your staff, make sure they are competent. It is your business and it is your responsibility to make sure they can do their jobs well no matter how long they have worked for you.
  • Address issues as they arise. Including performance, behaviour, attendance.
  • Apply the rules to everyone, giving individual circumstances consideration. Favouritism makes employees resentful and they lose initiative.
  • Be kind. No one wants to come to work and do a bad job. Some days are hard.
  • Respect your staff, respect yourself and respect your clients.

Verje Human Resources has experience across a number of sector, business types and sizes. Contact Viviane for an obligation-free 60 minute consultation about your business. Our aim is to partner with your business for your success.

About The Author

Viviane Jabr is the principal consultant at Verje Human Resources with 25 years experience in human resources and employee relations across the public and private sectors, covering industries such as construction, professional services, creative industries and information technology.