Workplace laws and regulations in Australia are amongst the most extensive and intricate in the world. The maze of law and the subsequent requirements imposed on employers has a tendency to overwhelm and can result in management questioning almost every internal decision:
- What does the legislation say?
- Does our policy say we can do this?
- What about our contracts?
- What happens if we get it wrong?
However at times, employers overlook what is perhaps the most important tool in creating a compliant workplace and HR practices – workplace culture!
Establishing a workplace culture which shapes the way that a business will operate and drives decision making from the top-down, is often the most effective way to ensure consistent and compliant decisions are made in relation to tricky workplace issues.
What do we mean by workplace culture?
Culture encompasses everything and everyone within an organisation. It’s the who, what, when, where, how and why of a business. Culture dictates the values and philosophies an organisation upholds and the standards of behaviour it tolerates.
By establishing a culture which promotes fairness and acknowledges employee happiness and satisfaction without compromising the importance of productivity, businesses have a solid framework from which all internal workplace relations decisions can be made. When internal decisions are consistently made with reference to a clear and fair culture, they are significantly more likely to be to be sound, just and compliant.
So how is such a culture created?
Here are 5 tips to remember when establishing your workplace culture.
- Direction: Establishing clear a business mission statement and set of values for employees to continually revert to and be guided by is imperative.
- Leadership: Culture starts at the top. The leaders and management must embody the culture of a business and set the example for the rest of the organisation to follow.
- Staff: The people who make up an organisation define it. Hiring people whose personalities and values align with its culture is vital.
- Policies and procedures: Employment policies and procedures which reflect an organisation’s culture and set the parameters of behaviour are critical so that employers have a framework to fall back on when a difficult situation arises.
- Communication: The way in which messages are given and received and the how workers interact shape the workplace environment. Urging employees to be open, fair and transparent is fundamental to creating productive and dynamic workplace.
If you need help with creating a positive workplace culture in your business, get in touch with us today to find out how HR Assured can help.