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Making workplace culture a priority for leadership teams

‘Culture’ is a unique identity that will differentiate one business from the next. And in today’s world, obtaining a positive culture is classed as a must-have, rather than a nice-to-have, to gain and retain the best talent.

In fact, a staggering 47% of people looking for a new job cite culture as the primary reason for leaving. It’s even been estimated that the cost to replace employees can be between 6-9 months’ salary. This cost comes as a sum of recruiting, training expenses, knowledge gaps, and new salaries.

Having a great leadership team is one of the basic building blocks to creating a successful business. But have you ever thought about how influential your leadership teams are in terms of their ability to bring across culture change? With employee satisfaction with leadership on a downward trend, dropping 8% over the last 4 years, it’s time to make workplace culture a priority for your leaders. And here’s why.

Culture impacts employee engagement

There’s no quick fix to better employee engagement. And it’s not something that can be immediately improved with a survey or process change. Instead, employee engagement requires cooperative effort, time, and investment to drive and sustain it at a high level, which will come from attaining a good standard of workplace culture.

People spend roughly one third of their lives working. So, it’s fair to say that employees should have a personal connection and a level of commitment with the work that they do on a day-to-day basis.

But if the workplace culture – which should enable employees to feel connected, involved and supported – does not fulfil staff, it will undoubtably disengage employees, which may lead to resignation. And this will have a detrimental impact on business spend.

Culture impacts customer service

Ever heard of the phrase “Feel good, do good”? Well, it couldn’t be more prevalent in a business setting. Positive employee attitudes will come as a result of the workplace maintaining a great standard of company culture. And employees who are valued and feel valued will project this positivity throughout the work that they do.

This is particularly important where staff are customer or client-facing. More care will be taken to help answer customer questions, solve problems, address concerns, and in general help customers when they need it. Helping build strong rapport, this will encourage returning business.

On the flip side, a ‘bad’ workplace culture will create unhappy employees. And staff will therefore not come across to customers in the best way. Tarnishing the organisation, this will not be beneficial when trying to bring on new business. It may even deter current clients from returning.

How can leadership play their part in building a good culture?

Actively listen and take action

Employees that feel like they’re being listened to are more likely to perform better. But those at the top should not just assume that staff feel heard. Leaders need to be active with their listening and elevate employees by putting listening practices in place. For example, regular one-to-ones and the utilisation of employee feedback tools. But simply gathering this consistent feedback is not enough. Meaningful action must be taken in a timely manner, so employees feel like their opinion truly matters.

Recognise great work often

Unnoticed work efforts can come with the risk of a damaged company culture, or even worse, losing your best employees. It’s very easy to move on from one project to the next without reflecting. But employees want to know that they’re making a difference, so let them know that the work they’re doing matters. Recognising efforts will then empower staff to outperform expectations.

Don’t punish mistakes

Making mistakes is just a part of life. Whether this is in a personal setting or a professional setting, everyone has managed to slip up at some point. But mistakes are what helps us to grow and do better. So why penalise employees for it? Punishment over mistakes can lead to shifts in work habits and behaviours, becoming detrimental to employee attitudes and output. Instead, accept that what has happened has happened and utilise a constructive criticism approach to give actionable advice.

Be a role model

A role model in the workplace is someone that inspires staff by demonstrating honesty, perseverance, confidence, and positivity. And by setting a good example for others as a leader, a more positive atmosphere will be created in the workplace, amongst other benefits like increased motivation and open communication.

Have fun!

Work is important, but it doesn’t need to be so serious all the time. Letting loose a little and spending time forming personal connections with colleagues during work hours will help employees to become more engaged and productive. Down-time is beneficial to refresh and rejuvenate, so if staff are having fun whilst they work, energy and motivation will simultaneously be higher.


Leadership playing their part to enhance the workplace culture is one thing, but this should be done in harmony with regular employee listening. This is where WorkBuzz can help!

Our platform offers a flexible, simple-to-use survey tool which allows your organisation to gain insight on employee wants, needs, company highlights, and areas of improvement, enabling your business to grow and improve. Book a demo with us to understand how our platform works and how we can customise it to your business needs.

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