Training is the best way to strengthen workplace culture, claims study

by L&D11 Mar 2016
When HR professionals and managers were asked what they do to preserve and strengthen workplace culture, the number one response was training and development, according to research by The Workforce Institute at Kronos.

Indeed, 72% of HR professionals and 61% of managers listed training and development as the key to strengthening workplace culture.
The second highest response was “getting feedback from employees and acting on it” which was chosen by 45% of HR professionals and 46% of managers.
Interestingly, when asked who at their organisation most defines the workplace culture, HR professionals, managers, and employees each felt they were most important.
  • About one-third of HR professionals said that the head of HR defines the culture, while only 10% of managers and 3% of employees agreed.
  • Twenty-six percent of managers said their executive team defines the culture, while only 11% of HR professionals and 9% of employees felt the same.
  • Finally, 29% of employees said it is the employees who define workplace culture, with only 9% of HR professionals and 13% of managers agreeing.
The study involved more than 1,800 adults in the United States, consisting of 601 HR professionals, 604 people managers and 603 non-managing employees.
When it comes to what kills workplace culture, there were also mixed responses.
  • HR professionals and people managers said that “a high-stress environment” and “company growth” were the two elements with the biggest negative impact on workplace culture.
  • Conversely, employees felt that “not having enough staff to support goals,” “unhappy/disengaged workers who poison the well,” and “poor employee/manager relationships” were the major obstacles to maintaining a positive workplace culture.
The report said that HR professioals and managers might be able to reduce the perceived stress their work environment causes by focusing on hiring the right people and ensuring managers have the proper management training to help their teams thrive.
Among all of this interesting data, what struck the founder of WorkplaceTrends Dan Schawbel the most was that 40% of Millennial employees believe that employees create the workplace culture, compared to 29% of employees overall. 
“Each generation changes the workplace as they rise up the ranks and Millennials are making it clear that they believe the power to impact workplace culture lies predominantly with the people who do the work,” he said.
“HR professionals and people managers should take note of this, look for ways to involve employees in the development of workplace culture, and be on the lookout for those disengaged workers who may be poisoning the well – they wield more power than you may think.”