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Positive workplace culture

Collaboration of hands

A workplace culture is the personality and character of your organisation, it encompasses your company’s mission, values and beliefs. It’s essential that, as a care provider, your organisation carries a positive culture in order to deliver high quality care and support.

Skills for Care supports adult social care employers to deliver what the people they support need and what commissioners and regulators expect. They have recently produced a broad toolkit, outlining key elements that define workplace cultures. Skills for Care found that services with ‘outstanding’ and ‘good’ ratings had a culture that is fair, inclusive and transparent.

A positive workplace culture will see plenty of benefits for your organisation and is vital for the continuation of a well-led service. The various benefits, as outlined by Skills for Care, that come from adopting a positive workplace culture include:

  • Helping you to recruit and retain a stable workforce – if your current employees are advocates of your company, it’s likely the effects of having a positive culture will lead to your organisation attracting talented people who carry the right values.
  • Cost reduction – by improving employee retention, this will lead to a reduction in recruitment costs and turnover.
  • Improve the quality, consistency and personalisation of your business – a positive workplace culture helps to create a shared identity amongst your employees, where everyone understands the values and mission of the business and behaves in a way that aligns with these.
  • Improvements in health and wellbeing – by creating a positive workplace culture, your staff will feel engaged and their voice valued, leading to them feeling happier and healthier at work.
  • CQC compliance – a positive workplace culture is a fundamental aspect in several key lines of enquiry for the CQC.

We were intrigued by the five key elements that Skills for Care identified, so we want to help you to develop a more positive workplace culture, leading to higher quality care-giving and support.

A sense of identity

Establishing a sense of identity helps to make your organisation unique. It’s important to establish an identity in your organisation, because it creates a sense of belonging and unity amongst your employees, therefore it’s much more likely those who access care and support are loyal, and proud to be a part of your organisation. This will also encourage your staff members to work together as one and recognise one another.

How can I create a sense of identity? You need to make sure that everyone in your organisation is aware of your mission statement. A mission statement is a short summary comprising the values and aims of your organisation, and defines what your company strives toward. This will lead to everyone feeling the same sense of shared purpose, therefore aligning everyone with your business goals.

Shared values and assumptions

Most organisations will have a shared set of values that all employees will advocate for. These values encourage positive behaviour and the attitudes they should carry in order to achieve the mission of your organisation. This, in turn, should then align with your company values leading to higher quality care-giving and continuous support, ultimately achieving a positive workplace culture.

What happens if values and assumptions aren’t shared? If the above doesn’t happen, it can lead to bad practice. This may also see challenges in retention and recruitment which can damage your workplace culture. Remember – taking a values based approach can help to embed your workplace values. This involves identifying your set values and embedding these into your organisation, in particular in your recruitment and retention practices, or by adopting a reward and recognition processes in your organisation. This will help to support and reinforce your company aims and values.

Lines of communication

An open and transparent environment is key for a positive workplace culture. You, and your employees, should be clear and easy to understand. There may be individuals, whether a resident or a colleague, who have difficulty in communicating verbally. It’s important in these situations that you are approachable, remaining calm and patient, and listening to one another. By adopting these good standards of communication, you are setting the standard for everyone in your business. It’s so important to establish good communication techniques, as this helps to create a trusting relationship between your employees, thus reducing mistakes from miscommunication.

Complex subcultures

A subculture may exist in an organisation for different groups of your workforce. Whilst some workplace subcultures might be positive, these usually affect the achievement of your organisation’s aims and objectives. Many subcultures develop in response to the particular needs of groups, which may be damaging to your business outcomes, because this is likely to cause disruption. A positive workplace culture should try to discourage the formation of subcultures, instead adopting an all-inclusive approach within the workplace. It’s essential that your organisation has a strong leadership platform to enable this in your company. By addressing the negative subcultures and creating an inclusive feel, this will mean you can align your business aims and objectives with the positive culture.

Continuous change and development

One thing that the CQC always look for during inspections is the delivery of person-centred care. It’s important that your workplace culture encompasses this, and that person-centred care is flexible and tailored to the needs of each individual in your care. It could be that there are external influences that mean your organisation needs to adapt, therefore, by having a flexible workplace culture, your company will be able to do this. Another key line of enquiry for the CQC is whether your care facility is well-led. A well-led organisation should be responsive and resilient, absorbing change positively, leading to a more positive workplace culture.

A positive workplace culture is important to ensure your care is person-centred and offers full support to those using your care facility. By adopting the various methods to improve your workplace culture, you will find that your staff are happier and more willing to work together as a team. Here at eLearning For You, we would like to help you to give the best person-centred care possible, so if you would like to top up your skills in this area or boost your knowledge, take a look at how we can help you here. Ultimately, we are committed to creating a workplace culture where our employees are advocates for our company values, working our hardest each and everyday, setting an example for one another.

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