Culture Shift: Your Guide for a Vibrant, Engaging Workplace

The writing’s on the wall: 88% of employees believe workplace culture is the key to business success, yet only 22% feel connected to their organization’s culture. Adding fuel to the fire, 56% of employees rank culture as more important than salary (You read that correctly – more important than salary!).

So, what exactly does this mean for employers in 2024 and beyond? How can companies create environments where employees can thrive, feel productive, and drive results? The answer is three words: Strong company culture

Complete with a step-by-step rundown on ways to bring more energy and engagement into your workplace, we’re here to bring you the ultimate guide for a company culture shift. With insights from two of Celarity’s experts, Managing Partner John Arnold and Operations Manager Milena Holmen, this article will prepare you to hit the ground running with organizational culture greatness in no time!

What It Means to Create a Strong Workplace Culture

Simply put, your culture is the bread and butter of your organization’s internal operations. In most cases, a strong culture is a requirement for a robust, efficient, and successful team, and in its simplest form, Gallup defines workplace culture as “how we do things around here.”

It’s the environment of your workplace, the way that your team receives support and the procedures your leadership team has set to motivate, empower, and guide employees. As John adds, “Strong workplace cultures can be very diverse, but they all have a group of people with a shared commitment to a clear vision and purpose.” 

This vision and purpose will inherently vary for each company, and there’s certainly no “one size fits all” approach. However, a strong culture comes into play when all organization members work together toward a common goal and have the tools to succeed.

Why You Should Strive for a Strong Culture (Even if it Requires Heavy Lifting)

For Marketing, Creative, and Digital leaders, the following is likely true: the past few years have caused some rapidly changing and difficult-to-navigate team happenings. Whether it be the introduction of generative AI, the expected trends of 2024, or even events like The Great Reprioritization, leaders undoubtedly have a lot on their plates heading into the new year. 

This begs the question: Where does workplace culture fit into the list of priorities?

Regardless of industry or company type, creating a vibrant, engaging workplace should always be a top focus for teams and leaders because it sets the tone for all of your operations – from clients to potential hires. So, while this list is far from all-encompassing, we’ve gathered five reasons to bring this to fruition.

  1. It Keeps Your Workforce Happy: Satisfied teams create satisfied customers, and happy employees are statistically more likely to recommend your organization to others (5.2x, to be exact). This is word-of-mouth marketing at its finest! 
  2. It Creates A Sense of Belonging: When your team has a shared goal, each employee has a purpose and a set of tasks to achieve, creating a sense of inclusion for all involved. Don’t underestimate the power of this!
  3. It Helps Prevent Burnout: Employees who feel their workplace boasts a strong culture are 68% less likely to feel burned out at work. Yes, 68%! The facts are in the numbers: Culture-building activities are essential to maintaining an engaged team. 
  4. It Attracts Talent: In recent years, employees have painted a clear picture of the importance of workplace culture. So, by creating an environment where people love to be, you’ll be more likely to attract talent that can drive and promote your organization’s mission even further.
  5. It Fosters Trust and Accountability: Trust and accountability go hand-in-hand. When team members trust their coworkers, it provides a unique opportunity for constructive feedback and recognition, further contributing to the positive outlook of your work environment.

The case for culture is clear: To create an environment where employees feel compelled to drive and advocate for your organization’s end goals, they need a space where they can thrive, feel empowered, and contribute to daily operations in a meaningful way.

How to Revamp Your Workplace Culture in 3 Steps

Depending on your workplace culture’s current and future state, a revamp can take place in many different ways – but it commonly requires three key steps. As John and Milena suggest, reflecting on your brand at its core, discovering insights in the writing of those supporting your mission, and planning based on a shared mission are the three vital steps a leader can take to create a culture shift.

1. Reflect On The Values

Company cultures aren’t formed overnight, and your organization’s brand is no exception. To begin a workplace culture revamp, you may need to start by looking within and reflecting on the brand, values, and mission set forth for your organization at its core. 

Ask yourself: How does our mission impact our employees? Have we been accomplishing the goals that we’ve set for our teams? Do our values represent the work that we are doing daily? What steps can we take to remain on track?

Not only will these questions center your team, but they’ll also help you set the stage for a culture revamp by leading by example. Milena adds: “Leaders play an essential role in shaping culture and can lead by example, fostering an environment of trust, respect, and open communication.” 

The bottom line is this: To create an environment where your team can do their best, begin by showing them that you’ve done the foundational work and have a clear vision in mind.

2. Survey The Team

We know, we know – another team survey. While a seemingly daunting task, a personable survey is a highly effective tool to uncover the opportunities and improvements available to your organization – straight from the mouths of those living in your company culture each day. It’s an essential part of revamping your culture to become a place where employees can thrive. 

As you move through the survey portion of this guide, your ultimate goal will likely be to get to the bottom of what motivates your employees to do their best work, discover how they view your culture in its current stance, and identify the strengths and weaknesses that are on the table for your workplace. 

Ask your employees: How do you view our company culture? When do you feel the most appreciated at work, and how can we best recognize your hard work? What steps can we take to improve your experience? What makes you proud to be a part of this team?

Getting down to the nitty-gritty won’t always be easy, but it will always be a helpful tool to take your organization to the next level. Your employees are, in many cases, on the front lines of your organization’s work, so considering their opinions can help you address opportunities for improvement head-on.

3. Find The Why

Now that you’ve looked into your company values and have paved a path to connect with your employees, it’s time to use those insights to find a shared why. 

As John explains, “By far the most effective step toward creating a strong workplace culture is to rally people around a shared why that has a clear vision, purpose, and goal.” The reason behind this? It allows your entire team to work together to accomplish something outstanding and creates an environment where all can contribute to a larger mission – not only those running operations. Finding a shared why can also give company leaders a unique chance to learn about what matters most to employees.

Ask your leadership team: How can the insights gathered during steps 1 and 2 fuel our company why? What steps will we take to work towards those goals as a team? Are there any additional resources we’ll need to be successful?

As John adds, it’ll require listening, respect, and holding everyone accountable – even at the top of the company. But ultimately, it provides a strong sense of direction, which can boost loyalty, identity, and productivity in the workplace – a win for all!

Signs Your Workplace Culture is an Exceptional One

We’ve covered the ins and outs, looked at how company culture differs for organizations, and outlined core steps for a culture revamp. To end on a high note, let’s dive into a few signs indicating that your hard work has paid off!

There are many, many more signs pointing towards a strong culture, but if your team…

  • Takes pride in working for your organization
  • Promotes the diverse thoughts and inclusion of all team members and procedures
  • Has a shared mission to work toward
  • Displays empowerment and energy 
  • Is productive and efficient 
  • Trusts one another

We have great news: You may be on your way toward a sustainable, effective workplace culture (YAY).

Company Culture at Celarity

Celarity is proud to be an award-winning staffing & recruiting agency for marketing, creative, and digital industries – and we’ve learned a lot about building sustainable workplace cultures along the way. For 31 years and counting, we’ve put culture-centered initiatives at the forefront of our operations to develop our team with a shared mission: Creating Happy Careers.

With a passion for helping organizations nationwide build strong, successful teams, we’re eager to continue the conversation on company culture. Whether you’re a new or experienced leader, we’re here and ready to help!

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Celarity is an award-winning Staffing & Recruiting agency for Marketing, Creative & Digital talent with a mission: Creating happy careers with meaningful connections. For 30 years we have proudly connected 600+ companies with over 5,000 candidates.

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