What, exactly, is workplace culture? People seem to use culture to describe a whole host of things – from the company mission to leadership style to fun co-workers to flexibility and benefits… to the overall employee experience. It’s a broad term that people often use interchangeably to mean their employee experience.
But what if we were more specific? What if we unpacked “workplace culture” to its core components? If we identify the core components of workplace culture, we could start to improve those components.
Let’s first start by differentiating workplace culture from employee experience. Your employee experience is a result of the workplace culture plus the health of the business, whether you have friends at work, whether your work is interesting, and many other variables.
Workplace culture is a subset of the employee experience. So then, what is workplace culture? Workplace culture is how people interact with each other at work. There’s the work itself and then there’s how people get the work done; how they collaborate, direct work, communicate, listen, solve problems, resolve conflict, etc. These are all social skills. Given our multi-generational, multi-racial, and multi-cultural workforce, being specific about the needed social skills is important to ensure everyone is on the same page regardless of our different life experiences and expectations.
At Emtrain, we’ve identified ethics, respect and inclusion as the foundational skills of workplace culture. Each competency has four skills that correlate to the individual; co-workers; people leader and the organization, as shown below:
By deliberately calling out and developing specific skills, we can start to proactively manage our interactions with co-workers and on our teams and throughout our organizations.
In our fast changing world, identifying and developing our modern day culture skills is perhaps the low hanging fruit that yields almost immediate benefits and provides a strong foundation for a great employee experience.