The Work Culture Evolution

Work Culture

In 2014, Merriam Webster’s dictionary’s word of the year was “culture”. It was chosen for its large amount of online lookups and a noteworthy increase in lookups from 2013. Merriam-Webster defines culture as, “beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time.” The word was rallied by unbridled media coverage about “company culture,” “celebrity culture” et al dwarfing media and public conversations.

Workplace culture has become one of the most important words in the corporate board room, and for good reason. In a recent research, Deloitte noted that culture, employee retention, and engagement are now the top talent challenges facing leaders. More than half business leaders rate this issue “urgent,” up by 20% from last year.

As the economy is recovery, employees have more bargaining power than before. With sites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor, a company’s employment brand has become more transparent than ever before, transferring power into the hands of job-seeker. It has become faster than ever to find out if the company one is applying at is a great place to work.

It all makes sense. New Gallup research shows that a meagre 31% of employees are engaged at work, whereas 51% are disengaged and 17.5% are actively disengaged. Glassdoor’s latest research shows that the average employee gives their company a C+ rating (3.1 out of 5) when asked whether they would recommend their company to a friend.

We have arrived in a corporate era where DO’s and DON’Ts are dominating the “attraction and retention of talent” scene.

Below are some examples of it:


Instead of continuing with the traditional, tall hierarchical model, organizations are adopting a horizontal structure with looser boundaries where anyone can speak with and interact with anyone else. This means that there is a lot more transparency around how decisions are being made, people who were earlier in the lower down of the structure can understand the business model and think with a strategic mindset. There is no longer the need for justification for keeping people from interacting with each other, making it even easier for people to engage on collaborative platforms today.


Now that employees can connect to people and information anytime, anywhere, and on any device, there’s no longer the need to enforce a 9-5 work schedule anymore. Employers providing flexibility – especially when it comes to work schedule are becoming more appealing to new hires. Greater work flexibility is linked to increased productivity and greater job satisfaction, helping employees with work-life balance.


 Progressive companies understand that it’s imperative for employees to share their thoughts and ideas. Sharing information is what is now called a major driver of business. It also gives employees a unique opportunity to become leaders by sharing what they already know and what they care about. Innovative tools are making it much easier for employees to share the right information with the right people.


Leaders understand that the future management model, “following from the front” where their roles shift from delegating and managing people to empowering them to solve problems and make things happen is the way of leading. Abrasive management where employees are scared is now considered a failed approach.


Cloud technology is ubiquitous. It has made the whole computing world to follow you wherever you go. It’s making it much easier and cheaper to employ collaborative tools to connect and collaborate with people for certain project. It dominates global network, helping companies are not being slaughtered by competition, but thrive.


Thanks to cloud technology and a myriad of innovative tools, employees now simply need to connect to work. They can work from a home office, on their way to work in a cab, or in a coffee shop. With more and more companies today having satellite offices with employees working from a home office or a co-working space, work has become flexible than ever.


Email is no longer the most effective means of communication in an organization. Thanks to ubiquitous chat messaging programs, and similar other collaborative technology, it is now easier to collaborate, find, share, communicate, and engage with people.

HR managers are deploying practices that will drive and support workplace culture, where ultimately, everything is driven by leadership. If you want to improve your company culture, below are a few questions to ask yourself:

Do you value employee wellness?

Are people in your organization empowered to take charge?

Do you follow forced ranking?

No matter if you’re a CEO, HR manager, or team leader – company culture is what really matters. It could be one of the most powerful tools for organization success.

Priyansha Mistry
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry

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