We are all involved in shaping workplace culture

Workplace culture significantly impacts an organisation’s performance and employee satisfaction. It reflects the collective values, beliefs, attitudes and actions that characterise how people work together. It is easy to assume that shaping a workplace culture is the responsibility of HR departments or leaders, but really, it’s everyone’s responsibility.

In this blog, we’ll delve into why the shaping of workplace culture is everyone’s responsibility the methods to evolve it, and the shared advantages of understanding each member’s pivotal role in establishing and nurturing a positive working environment.

Workplace culture comes from a combination of past experiences, events, and emotions, that form a pattern that guides our behaviour and identity and defines our roles and responsibilities. Culture shapes individuals because they have played a part in shaping it. Importantly, culture is not just something that exists on the surface, and it cannot be easily changed through quick workshops and superficial measures.

To begin shifting a workplace culture, we need to have meaningful and ongoing conversations. These talks should be careful and patient, and demand an understanding of past events and having a shared belief in a better future. Transparent, inclusive discussions are crucial with the avoidance of closed-door meetings.

Why is it in everyone’s best interest to share responsibility for the workplace culture?


A Harvard Business Review study found that businesses championing collaborative cultures are five times more efficient than those that don’t. Viewing culture as a collective responsibility fosters collaboration and mutual learning. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” (Mead). By actively participating in shaping the culture, employees contribute to breaking down silos and fostering a collaborative work environment that leads to organisational success.

Customer Experience

A PwC survey discovered that 73% of consumers see positive customer experiences as pivotal for brand allegiance. Engaged workers invariably offer superior service, reinforcing the connection between workplace culture and customer rapport. Tony Hsieh, Zappos’ ex-CEO, stated “We believe that customer service shouldn’t be just a department; it should be the entire company.” By actively participating in shaping the culture, employees contribute to a positive customer experience that drives loyalty and business growth.

Ownership & Purpose

Being proactive in shaping company culture enhances a sense of purpose and ownership among employees. Gallup’s research indicates that motivated employees outperform the unmotivated by 21%. As Heskett states, “Engaged employees stay for what they give; disengaged employees stay for what they get.” By taking ownership of the culture, employees contribute to their own engagement and satisfaction, ultimately benefiting both themselves and the organisation.

Ethical Foundations

A study in the Journal of Business Ethics underscores the vital link between a positive work culture and ethical behaviour. With a vested interest in culture, employees commit to ethical principles and integrity. Benjamin Franklin observed, “It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.” Acknowledging culture as a shared objective promotes transparency, fairness, and ethical decision-making, thereby safeguarding the organisation’s reputation and trustworthiness.

Workplace culture, being multifaceted, is inherently collective. It is everyone’s business because culture is formed and maintained by everyone in the organisation.

The benefits of this collective ownership range from personal welfare to elevated productivity and the overarching success of the organisation. As the proverb states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” By recognising that workplace culture is everyone’s responsibility, we embark on a collective journey towards a thriving work environment.

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