When it comes to your workplace, you probably aren’t thinking about the culture that was created by the managers, employees, and even the CEO. Over the past 40 years, workplace culture has become a key term in the business world. In the 1970s, women entered the workforce and began climbing the corporate ladder. This posed a new dynamic for businesses; cases of sexual harassment and hostile work environment began to rise. As more minorities began entering corporate workplaces, measures were implemented to prevent these issues and to promote a positive workplace culture. But what exactly is workplace culture? Is it just a group of people who work for the same company? Is it a group of people who share similar interests and beliefs within an organization? Or, is it the personalities and talents of employees that set the “vibe” for a workplace? The answer is a combination of the last two. According to TINYpulse, workplace culture is “made up of the values and beliefs that a company expects its employees to share and be motivated by.”
Workplace culture has changed a great deal over the past ten years due to the increase in startups. The founders and/or CEOs initially set up the environment for his or her employees. It was then the HR department’s responsibility to promote and maintain the workplace environment. If the founder is young, the workplace culture will have a “young” vibe, which is in no way a bad thing. With millennials entering the workforce, they do not have to contend with the issues minorities faced in the 1970s and 1980s. However, since this is such a large demographic, they do have to contend with greater competition within their age group. In today’s workforce, the next biggest demographic is Generation X. For many businesses, there is a mix of primarily these two demographics. To create a positive workplace culture, there must be a blend of what these two groups look for in a workplace culture:
Millennials — They want a work environment that values them and allows flexibility. Millennials want to be able to create their work schedules or work remotely. When it comes to feeling valued, they strive to contribute to their workplace and expect to be appreciated. By offering solutions and giving back, they feel that they contribute to the overall health of the company. Professional development is another key component. Millennials want to improve their skills not only to make them more valuable to the company but to the industry.
Generation X — They want an environment that is open to their ideas. Gen X’ers also enjoy flexibility like millennials, since it would help balance their need for a work/life balance. Although they did not grow up with the technology millennials had, this age group does enjoy technology and easily adapts to it. When it comes to company expectations, generation X wants to know them upfront before taking a job. They want more information to gauge whether they are right for the position and for the company. Finally, they want to be recognized for their contributions, which means promotions rather than group rewards.