Learn Why Workplace Culture and Values Matter
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Explain the benefits of having a healthy workplace culture.
- Describe how a company’s values serve as a foundation for its culture.
Understand the Benefits of a Healthy Workplace Culture
What comes to mind when you think about workplace culture? Perhaps you picture unique offices, exciting events, free swag, and employee perks. While there’s nothing wrong with these things, a healthy workplace culture involves so much more.
Workplace culture is an organization’s unique values and the shared mission of its employees. It’s a powerful force that impacts company practices and policies and guides how employees work together and show up for their customers, their partners, their communities, and one another.
But what makes a workplace culture healthy, as opposed to unhealthy or even downright toxic? Well, a healthy workplace culture is one that:
- Fosters collaboration and open communication.
- Encourages personal accountability and responsibility.
- Provides opportunities for growth and development.
- Emphasizes the meaningfulness of the work.
- Ensures that employees feel heard, valued, and safe.
- Contributes to the community at large.
In addition, a healthy workplace culture is distinct, clearly articulated, and consistently lived. A global PWC study showed a strong correlation between workplace culture and business outcomes. The same study showed that 67% of respondents believe culture is more important than strategy or operations.
Sounds pretty great, right? It is—and it gets even better. By establishing a healthy workplace culture and supporting employees as they consistently live the values and behaviors of that culture, an organization:
- Attracts, engages, and retains talent.
- Improves productivity and efficiency.
- Amps up speed and agility.
- Increases customer centricity and loyalty.
- Unleashes innovation.
- Strengthens their brand.
- Fuels financial performance.
Long story short: A healthy workplace culture not only increases employee satisfaction and improves the experiences of customers, but it also gives a company’s bottom line a big boost. But while the benefits of having a healthy workplace culture are undeniable, establishing this type of culture is no easy feat. It takes some time and a lot of hard work and dedication. So, where does an organization even begin? With a firm foundation of values.
Recognize the Power of Values
A company’s values are the core beliefs and guiding principles that:
- Inform employees’ daily behaviors, actions, and decisions.
- Influence how work gets done and how people treat one another.
- Serve as a North Star for how to show up for one another, for the company, and the community.
When an organization is guided by its values, its employees understand how to work together in pursuit of a common goal.
For example, have you heard the story about the Nordstrom employee who diligently picked through a store vacuum cleaner searching for a diamond that had fallen out of a customer’s wedding ring? How about the Southwest pilot who delayed a plane’s departure for a man flying to see a critically ill relative? Or, the Zappos employee ordering a bouquet of flowers for a customer who had a medical condition affecting her feet? No one told these employees to act as they did—they simply delivered exceptional service in accordance with their respective employer’s values.
An organization’s values are incredibly important because they serve as the building blocks for a healthy workplace culture. Head on over to the next unit where you’ll learn all about our culture at Salesforce and the core values that serve as its foundation.