17 November 2015

5 tips on creating a harmonious working culture

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What is your biggest motivation for working hard?

For me, it is definitely working with the right people. Being able to work in a happy and supportive environment keeps me motivated. When I choose to apply for a new job at a company, I will always check out their website to take a hint on what the working environment may be like.

Going to the interview is a great opportunity for me to observe the real life surroundings and have a feel for the atmosphere in the company. Do the people look happy? Does the atmosphere feel tense? Can you see people having discussions?

A Columbia University study has shown that a company with a rich culture has a probability of 13.9 percent turnover rate, whereas a company with a poor company culture has a turnover rate of 48.4 percent.

If you want to keep your employees happy, it is crucial that the culture is set correctly for your company.

Here are my top 5 tips on how to set your culture correctly:

Set your company’s vision

The company’s vision should reflect both the current and future aims of the organisation,  and it should provide a guide on the company’s decisions and actions as well as what is expected from the employees.

Start from the top

To ensure the company’s culture runs throughout the whole company, senior management should set the standard and tone of the internal environment in reflection of the company’s vision. They should also ensure that the culture is followed by all staff, regardless of the position they hold within the company.  

Account for everyone

When setting the culture for the company, make sure that everyone has been accounted for. Regardless if you are the Chief Executive or office administrator, you are all part of the same company and take on an important role within the company. For everyone to work together harmoniously, everyone must feel they are all part of the same team.  

Remove people who do not fit

Setting the culture is important for employees to work together amicably to reach the same goal, however just like personalities, not everyone is the same. Whilst some people have the same values, there are others who view the situations differently. If someone does not fit into the company’s culture, it will disrupt the working environment. In this instance, you will need to address the issue with them, however, if their behaviour still doesn’t change, it may be better to terminate their employment.

Start from the beginning

Rather than causing pain to your company and employees, it is better to get it right from the start. Before you begin to hire someone, you should advertise the position as well as provide a company description that is in reflection of the company’s value. This will give your potential candidates an idea of the environment they could be working in and see if it will fit into their values.

During the interview process, you should ask behavioural questions about the candidate’s past experience to get an idea of how they will act in different situations. This will help you determine if the candidate will fit into the company’s working environment. Once you have shortlisted your candidates, you should choose the person who can fit into the company’s culture over someone who has a higher level of skills but doesn’t fit into the culture.

You can always teach skills to someone, but it is harder to change someone’s personality.

 Being brought up in a typical Chinese family in Australia, Vivian takes pride as an ABC (Australia-born Chinese) where she happily embraces both the Chinese and Australian cultures. 

In high school, Vivian wanted to become a fashion designer, however she has developed a passion for running events after working backstage for multiple live shows. Prior to starting at Akolade, Vivian worked 4 years in the wine industry and she misses the wine tasting sessions and openly drinking on the job. As the Marketing Coordinator, Vivian enjoys using her creativity to design unique and fun campaigns for each event. In her spare time, Vivian loves to spend time with her two adorable cat and dog. 

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