You must have heard the phrase ‘work culture’ in discussions about organizations. But have you ever really wondered what it means? And why is it important?

Any person working in any role, anywhere, would want physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Spending more than eight hours a day in the workplace with different kinds of people comes with its challenges.

It’s not unusual to take some time to adjust to a new workplace, or even to a new team in the same organization. After the initial period of discomfort and awkwardness, most people slowly settle in. They start mixing with other employees and feel like they are becoming part of the organization.

This happens because of assimilation into the unique company culture of the organization.

If the values and ethical practices held up by an organization match an employee’s ideals and beliefs, they have a better chance of ‘making it work’ there.

On the other hand, if one finds the workplace culture cold, harsh or unfair, it will negatively impact their productivity and morale.

This is why every professional must spend some time reflecting on their organizational work culture.

What Is Company Culture?

Every organization has its own personality, characteristics and unique atmosphere. This contributes to the creation of a workplace culture.

Remember, workplace culture is not a written set of organizational practices. When individuals of different social, political and cultural backgrounds and varying core beliefs get together, a unique culture emerges.

So when someone talks about the ‘work culture’ or ‘company culture’ of an organization, they are referring to the set of shared guidelines, rules, values, beliefs and attitudes that guide how things are done in the organization. The employees and employers interact with one another in ways that adhere to the larger company culture.

How Is A Work Culture Created And Sustained?

Every organization or company has a company culture or work culture. Whether it is formally verbalized or not, it is certainly present in any professional environment.

Work culture is generally guided by internal organizational leadership. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, managers and team leaders shape the workplace culture. They should be conscious of the effect of their work, attitudes and policies on the employees or workers around them.

It is a special duty of the leadership to ensure that the work environment remains positive and fair.

The Importance Of Work Culture

The meaning of work culture implies that it influences the day-to-day activities of an organization.

An organization’s work culture can impact the following:

  • How people or employees interact with one another

  • How employees interact with leadership

  • How employees interact with customers and other stakeholders

  • Workstyles and work processes

  • How employees approach their work and responsibility, their attitude in the workplace

  • Employee satisfaction level

  • Overall productivity of employees and teams

Features Of A Positive Company Culture

Human beings do not merely work for their survival. They need respect, recognition and rewards. In a positive work environment, the workers’ productivity increases as their job satisfaction levels go up.

A healthy, positive work culture tends to have the following features:

  • No office politics

  • Fair and  equal distribution of work

  • Compassionate and collaborative leadership

A positive company culture promotes hard work and transparency. The leadership wins the support and admiration of their workforce by being fair and honest.

Features Of A Negative Company Culture

Ask yourself: what is your company culture? Is it conducive to good work? Does it make you feel stressed or anxious? If you feel anxious, stressed, or tense all the time, it’s possible that your work culture is negatively impacting you.

A negative work culture can affect the employees in the following ways:

  • Demotivates the workforce

  • Reduces work satisfaction

  • Lowers work quality and productively

Some signs of unhealthy workplace culture are:

  • Stressed, overworked, or unhappy employees

  • Favoritism from the leadership

  • Office gossip and office politics

The Stakeholders Of Workplace Culture

Harappa Education’s  Navigating Workplaces course can help you find answers to the question, “What is company culture?” This course will also help you understand the meaning of work culture using the concept of a Stakeholder Map.

The Stakeholder Map categorizes stakeholders in an organization into four types.  This gives you an insight into who you need to deal with and how you need to deal with them by helping you identify what your working relationship with them is.

These four categories of stakeholders are:

  1. Managers and senior leadership: people who are responsible for your growth

  2. Mentors: people who are invested in your success and well-being

  3. Team members: people whose growth you are responsible for

  4. Mentees or proteges: People whose success and well-being you are invested in.

Remember, you can successfully build alliances in the workplace. This will help you deal with any stress and conflict better. Sign up for the course today to successfully navigate your workplace!


Explore topics such as How to Say Sorry, Office Politics & Types of Corporate Culture from our Harappa Diaries section.

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