6 Common Misconceptions About Workplace Culture That Are Hurting Your Employee Experience - Deepstash
6 Common Misconceptions About Workplace Culture That Are Hurting Your Employee Experience

6 Common Misconceptions About Workplace Culture That Are Hurting Your Employee Experience

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Workplace Culture: What It Isn't

Workplace Culture: What It Isn't

Building a strong and healthy workplace culture takes time, consistent action, a commitment to communication, transparency, and buy-in from everyone at all layers of the organization. Many organizations believe having a mission, vision and value statement will bring their culture to life. Thus, they remain hands-off with the expectation their employees and formal statements will do the work for them. This is how toxic cultures manifest and spiral out of control resulting in a publicized scandal that destroys a company’s reputation.

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Prioritizing Culture

Prioritizing Culture

Workplace culture needs to be prioritized from the very beginning and worked on every single day. It’s not exclusive to a select few individuals or departments rather to everyone from contract workers, hourly, full-time, entry-level, board members and even the C-suite. Toxic or healthy, a culture sets the tone of how individuals communicate, interact and work as well as the beliefs, behaviours and values they embody.

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Myth 1: A Fear Based Culture Creates Instant Results

Myth 1: A Fear Based Culture Creates Instant Results

Fear-based cultures are more common than one may think.

In a fear-based environment:

  • Mistakes are punished and good deeds go unnoticed
  • Employees live in fear of whether or not they’ll have a job tomorrow
  • Rumours are more credible than what’s communicated by leadership
  • Employees are afraid to speak up and tell the truth for fear of retaliation or being ignored
  • Management relies on threats and humiliation
  • Little to no support from management
  • Unclear goals and expectations

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Beyond Fear

Beyond Fear

Employees who live in fear of being reprimanded are less likely to take risks and be inspired to think out-of-the-box. Consequently, this keeps the company from achieving great outcomes and gaining a competitive edge. Encouraging employees to take risks has a far greater outcome than embodying a fear-based culture.

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Myth 2: It’s Only About Social Events And Fun Perks

Myth 2: It’s Only About Social Events And Fun Perks

Free food, discounted gym memberships and beer taps don’t make a culture.

A healthy workplace culture focuses on:

  • creating a sense of belonging and a diverse environment
  • improving teamwork
  • investing in employee development
  • empowering employees to bring their whole selves to work
  • celebrating differences
  • having difficult conversations to bring awareness to tough topics and social issues
  • consistent communication
  • creating a safe space for employees to feel comfortable speaking up about issues and concerns

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Myth 3: It Needs To Come From HR Not Leadership

Myth 3: It Needs To Come From HR Not Leadership

The biggest misconception is that the HR department is in charge of creating and maintaining the workplace culture. While HR plays a significant role, it’s the responsibility of everyone to keep it going. Leadership especially plays a major role in influencing and inspiring others to buy-in. Employees can tell if their commitment is authentic or only empty words.

Also, when employees notice that C-suite members are exempt from the same rules and policies in which others are being held accountable, a disconnect is created and loyalty is lost.

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Myth 4: Culture Doesn’t Require A Lot Of Effort

Myth 4: Culture Doesn’t Require A Lot Of Effort

Creating a culture without involving your employees is just as bad as winging it and hoping it turns out okay. Culture cannot be created artificially and it doesn’t happen overnight. It requires consistent attention, nurturing and evaluation. More importantly, employees need to be included in the process. Otherwise, initiatives and benefits are implemented that don’t make sense for the culture.

To prevent wasted time and money, companies should seek feedback from their workers and take the time to learn what they want.

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Myth 5: Celebrating Milestones Is A Waste Of Time And Money

Myth 5: Celebrating Milestones Is A Waste Of Time And Money

The simple act of recognizing and showing appreciation to your workers goes a long way. When employees are appreciated, their happiness at work increases and they’re much more likely to go above and beyond for their employer.

Employers often shy away from celebrating employee wins and milestones because they feel it’s useless. However, doing so empowers workers to be more productive, innovative and inspires them to produce great work. 

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Myth 6: Culture Forms On Its Own From The People Hired

Myth 6: Culture Forms On Its Own From The People Hired

Many companies overlook the importance of hiring until it’s too late and they’re not happy with the culture that transpired. Each individual plays a monumental role in shaping the culture. One wrong hire can poison an entire workplace. Without a strategy, companies risk making unethical, discriminatory and poor hiring decisions.

Putting the responsibility on employees to build a culture is unfair and promotes division. It’s up to HR and the hiring team to ask the right questions to make sure the individual will add to the culture.

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I get my inspiration from nature and objects around me.

Repairing Company Culture

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