A Holistic Look at Creating a Desirable Workplace Culture

Stop trying to tack on positive cultural elements that don’t stick because there’s nothing substantial to support them.
A Holistic Look at Creating a Desirable Workplace Culture
Adrian Johansen

There is no denying how important workplace culture is to the success of your business. Yet, it can still be an area companies struggle to get right. Often this is the result of an approach that is too superficial.

Leadership will attempt to tack on positive cultural elements that don’t stick because there is nothing substantial to support them.

A truly impactful workplace culture requires holistic implementation. If you think about it, the effect a strong culture can have is multifaceted. It boosts customer satisfaction, supplier relationships, worker retention, and your financial bottom line. Your approach to building your culture has to also be focused on all areas of your organization and activities.

There are some obvious aspects to look at here — communication and team bonding among them. However, we’re going to review a few under-explored areas you should take the time to assess.

Work-Life Balance

One of the most important elements of developing workplace culture is recognizing that work should not be the be-all and end-all of your employees’ lives. It’s not a stretch to consider happier workers who aren’t experiencing burnout will be a holistic benefit to the business. The responsibility to maintain a balance doesn’t lie solely with the employee. You need to examine how the culture of your company is contributing here.

The first element you need to assess is how management and staff talk about work-life balance. In many companies, this doesn’t really feature as part of the employee-employer relationship, which can present barriers to avoiding potential issues and finding solutions.

Examine whether an open dialogue is in place.

Do employees feel comfortable talking to their direct supervisors about the positive and negative elements of both work and home life? Does mental wellness feature as part of daily conversations and regular assessments? Getting to know employees on this personal level and demonstrating care for them are considered keys to a holistic corporate culture.

Another element of the balance is to assess flexibility. It is often the case that workers are expected to shift the challenges of their daily life around the rigid constraints of the company they work for.

This doesn’t represent a healthy balance.

Consider what room there is to set up hybrid and remote working frameworks to provide options for workers to operate from their preferred environment. Review the application of paid mental health days and parental leave rather than always forcing employees to decide between working and wellness.

The main issue here surrounds whether your company is putting as much effort into maintaining the balance as your workers are.

Diversity and Inclusivity

It is becoming increasingly important to pay attention to your company’s application of diversity and inclusivity (D&I) at a cultural level. A truly diverse and inclusive workforce learns and grows from interacting with each other; this often has a knock-on effect in other areas of communication in employees’ work and home lives.

When consumers can see your business is committed to supporting multiculturalism at all levels, this can boost your reputation and lead to more meaningful interactions with the community.

There is almost no aspect of your business culture that D&I doesn’t positively impact.

So, what do you need to examine here? Well, you have to establish whether your business truly offers an inclusive environment that is safe for workers from all backgrounds. Go through every element of your business activities. Confirm whether they simply feature people of diverse backgrounds, or whether they actively celebrate and support these diverse workers in ways that demonstrate inclusivity.

Is there an open approach to communication with leadership in which workers feel confident about discussing discrimination in the workplace without fear of reprisals or further microaggressions?

This assessment is likely to highlight gaps in your culture that need to be addressed. This may be through relevant leadership and employee education or just learning to celebrate and support traditionally marginalized workers.

Often the most effective way to understand how D&I impacts your culture is by soliciting insights. You may be approaching your assessment from a personal cultural perspective, and this can be subject to various unconscious biases.

Reach out to your employees and members of the community to understand whether they consider your business to have a diverse and inclusive culture. This not only provides you with valuable data, it also demonstrates your willingness to be accountable, which, in turn, reflects well on your company culture.

Talent Development

Few elements make such a positive holistic impact on your business as a solid talent development program. At the basic level, it ensures your business has workers who are empowered with relevant skills. But, by committing to collaborating with your employees in their ongoing education you also create a mutually beneficial environment of positive growth.

Workers who feel nurtured and secure in their positions tend to stay with the business and are keen to contribute in innovative ways.

Your assessments in this regard have to review what kind of journey you’re offering all staff. While it can be tempting to focus on developing staff with skills for their current positions, this doesn’t tend to be holistically beneficial. Progression is the key to empowering your workers to impact all aspects of the company as they move through the ranks.

All workers from entry-level on upward should have clear routes to management positions. This should include protocols to assess their current management skills level and to gain access to educational opportunities that help them grow.

These paths can include traditional qualifications and courses, but should also encompass practical experiences in team leadership, strategic decision-making, and communication. If your journey doesn’t both provide skills and give chances for workers to use them, your program won’t be as impactful on your culture as it could be.


Your workplace culture has a better ability to serve your staff, consumers, and your profits when you approach it from a holistic perspective. Assess each element of your business and take the time to consider where you can make alterations to ensure your protocols are meaningful rather than superficial. While this takes some consistent effort, you’ll find it makes your company stronger.

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