Culture's Effect On Workplace Psychology

David Mendlewicz
February 14, 2018
Culture's Effect On Workplace Psychology

In 2011, the Financial Times released an important article that had helped reveal an interesting fact. Hedge funds and private equity firms weren't just looking for new innovative companies — for research, they began looking at something more interesting: a company's Glassdoor rating.That's right, Glassdoor is not just job seekers, analysts are looking at it as a way to find trends in hiring, growth, management stability, executive leadership, and company culture.To put it frankly, having a good culture isn't just a great way to get the best job-seekers, but it could add value to your business.Improving the culture and shifting the psychology, or the dynamic, of your work environment isn't an overnight thing, and it requires a deeper understanding of workplace psychology. Which is why we went in and did a bit research to help you manage your office a bit better. Here are some takeaways:

How Does Organizational Culture Play a Role in Workplace Psychology?

It is undeniable that the culture at the office influences the work environment, and it's up to leadership to set the tone for how employees are going to be treated and how transparent they'll be with them.That's right, managers have to be the ones that set a precedent and lead their office to have an engaging and positive atmosphere. More times than not, employees are just going to be riding the wave — which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but, as having a good culture and engaging environment is good for business; it's important to train managers to have a good management style that will create a good atmosphere.

Influences The Atmosphere

A great culture influences the atmosphere and is a driver for productivity and employee engagement.Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound bond with their company, not just that, but they help drive innovation forward.A couple of tips to help managers improve the atmosphere:

  • Have managers focus on individuals over rules, policies, and procedures
  • Recognize employees for wins, big or small.
  • Remind employees that the work that they do is vital for the company/team's growth
  • Start practicing more positive psychology

All these small steps will help you become a better manager, and start shifting the culture at your workplace.

Makes it Easier To Hire and Retain Talent

A positive atmosphere, a workplace that prides itself on getting things done,  and good leaders; will keep employees engaged, motivated, and it'll retain employees. People leave managers, not companies. When managers aren't doing a great job of motivating their employees, they will leave.An ideal organization will make sure to focus on having good manager-employee relations, which is why they'll invest in pulse survey tools in order to get constant feedback from their employees.Retaining employees and keeping them engaged is important, but just as important is showcasing the atmosphere to potential new hires and job-seekers.When hiring, go into an interview knowing that the person has already vetted your organization, and like most, they've probably read all the reviews about your company online.For better or for worse, it's your job to not only make sure that you pitch what it's like to work for your company but what it takes to work there. The psychology, the motivation, the core values and mission of your organization should be an integral part of an interview.To sum it up: the culture of your company is going to influence the psychology of your workplace; it'll directly affect the atmosphere, the productivity, the retention, and the hiring of talented new employees. It's up to you as a manager to start being proactive and do a lot of reflection on what can be done in order to make you and the people around you better.

Ways To Bring Positive Psychology To Your Workplace

There is a "trickle-down" effect when it comes to leadership, managers have to set the precedent and set a theme, or affirmation around what they want to push toward their employee.

A perfect example of trickle-down leadership is the story of Alcoa.

Before he was Secretary of the Treasury for the United States, Paul H. O'Neill was the CEO of Alcoa. During his first meeting, he didn't talk about profit margins, no fancy presentations, his mission was to change the culture of the company by having one goal, making the company, an aluminum company, the safest place to work.This affirmation — what would later become known as a "keystone habit" — became the internal mantra of the company. Everything that the company did; meetings, calls, having employee suggestion boxes, surveys, everything was done with the goal of creating the safest places to work. This one mission became so ingrained in the culture that employees and managers did whatever they could to look out for one another improved productivity and employee happiness.As for Alcoa's bottom-line? Within 5 years, the company's profits hit record highs, and when O'Neill stepped down to retire, Alcoa's annual net income was five times higher than when he started.So what can you do to create this kind of similar change within your organization?

Have An Affirmation

Have one affirmation, or mantra, to tie your leadership goal with.Like O'Neill's safety affirmation, use something that people can get behind and strive toward. It doesn't have to be too concrete, and it doesn't even have to be a quantifiable metric. Just one goal that everyone in your department can get behind.

Ego Is The Enemy

Never claim employees' success as your success. Give people all the praise and credit for their hard work and don't make it about you.True leaders should view organizational success as the main goal and be servants, as opposed to bosses.And whether it is at work, or in your personal life, just remember that ego is the enemy:

Be A Courteous Leader

The average workplace of the information era is a bit destructive and has a lot of people wanting to prove that they know the best. This causes rifts between employees, managers, and leads to disengagement.The best way to avoid having a "destructive" work environment is to make sure that you are leading by example and being courteous. Give credit to those that are doing outstanding work. Praise people for the jobs that they do. Be proactive and try to approach people about promotions or career advancement opportunities.Managers have the opportunity to change the psychology of an office and get people invested in their businesses' goals. Implementing these small changes to a work environment influences the company's bottom line; so why not start working on improving your office today?

How Are You Improving The Culture At Your Office?

What are some things that you are doing to create a better environment and have more positive psychology within your workplace? Do you have any tips to give to other managers? Let us know in the comments below.

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