Posted By Amal

What is the work culture in Saudi Arabia?

What is the work culture in Saudi Arabia?

The understanding of the concept of work culture in Saudi companies is ambiguous and sometimes used in different contexts and it is mixed with the work environment, work policies, etc. Although this is familiar with most human resources concepts, understanding and practicing the work culture correctly presents a double challenge. This is due to the complexity of the concept of “culture” in general.

In this article, we will introduce you to the definition of work culture, clarify its importance, features, and components, as well as clarify the differences between it and other concepts such as the work environment.

What is work culture?

Work culture is the set of ideas, emotions, rules, and expectations according to which employees in an organization act. Work culture is formed and influenced by many factors, including the organization’s power structure, policies, management mindset, product, industry, and company competitive strategy.

Work culture is considered one of the most important ingredients for the success of any Saudi company or facility because of its direct impact on the company’s reputation and its ability to retain talent and quality of performance and productivity.

It even affects profit indicators and customer or consumer loyalty. The work culture is in all companies, even if it is not announced or intended. Therefore, your company will develop a culture over time, and you should take a role in creating a positive culture that increases the company’s efficiency and profitability by 20-30% according to HBR.

The work culture of the company is like the nature and habits of the individual. The individual needs to constantly improve his habits and character to improve the quality of his life. This is reflected in the improvement of its performance and chances of success in all aspects of life. Also, Saudi companies need a positive set of values, temperaments, and habits that raise the indicators of happiness, satisfaction, and performance of employees and the facility.

What is the difference between work culture and work environment?

Sometimes the terms work culture and work environment are used to express the same thing. But in fact, they differ in definition. Where the work environment usually expresses the physical “environment” of the work, such as the office or facility headquarters, quality of furniture, green spaces, cleanliness, and appropriate places for rest or entertainment.

Work culture affects the work environment. A company that values relationships and cooperation between employees usually designs its offices in a way that facilitates collaboration and acquaintance.

Work environments also influence culture. Allocating space in the company to rest, encourages employees to socialize and unwind when needed.

Sometimes talking about the work environment includes culture as well, where the work environment is a comprehensive expression of the three environments: the physical work environment (physical space), the technical work environment (tools and infrastructure), and the cultural work environment (work culture).

What is the importance of work culture in Saudi companies?

The most promising companies in the Saudi market today are striving to raise the efficiency of their work culture. Hiring employees consistent with their values ​​as well as the continuous strengthening of the culture by the management, policies, and daily practices of the company.

That is because work culture will improve the company’s well-being and profitability in the market as well as improve its reputation to attract talent and keep pace with the rapid changes due to the Corona crisis.

The most important influences of culture in Saudi facilities today are:

Improving hiring decisions and the company‘s ability to attract talent

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” Simon Sinek.

Work culture is the most important selling factor for attracting talent and competencies. Employees want to work in healthy and stimulating work environments.

Without a healthy work culture, your recruiting team will have a very difficult job as they seek talent for your company.

Employee happiness and job satisfaction

Employee happiness directly affects the output of your company and thus the satisfaction of your customers in the market. You can delight employees by guaranteeing rewarding salaries, perhaps adding some incentives to performance indicators, and focusing on some techniques to increase engagement.

Retaining talents and competencies

Retaining talents and competencies within the company for as long as possible represents one of the most difficult human resources challenges. The right work culture for your employees greatly influences their desire to stay in your company.

Increase business profitability

All indicators of employee happiness, their interaction, job satisfaction, and their positive learning on the company’s success indicators, improve its commercial position in front of competitors in the market.

What does a healthy or positive work culture look like in Saudi companies?

Apart from the institutional and individual differences and preferences between different types of work cultures.

work cultures differ according to the size of the company, its objectives and its field.

Nevertheless, all good and healthy cultures agree on these principles:


It depends on employees’ ability to recognize their accomplishments and mistakes, clearly define their responsibilities, and hold themselves and others to account fairly. As well as the ability of the administration to identify this and effectively hold the negligent accountable. The culture of accountability enables employees to learn from their mistakes rather than disavow them and also promotes trust, open communication and transparency in the organization’s culture.


Working to achieve “fairness” and equality in the workplace is not only an ethical act, previous research has shown that it also leads to increased job satisfaction among employees and an increase in their commitment to the company they work for.


The ability to express oneself and opinions more freely makes employees happier, increases loyalty to the company and motivates them to be productive.

For example: giving employees space to arrange their offices in their way and encouraging them to be themselves in the work environment.


All businesses and workplaces face some problems that need to be addressed clearly. The inability to express problems transparently and accurately, the inability to communicate, and the lack of understanding of the problem threaten the productivity indicators of any company and poison the work environment.

Recognizing and Rewarding

Appreciating the efforts of employees, recognizing their achievements and rewarding them, is one of the most important features of positive work culture in Saudi Arabia.

In the end, building a positive and healthy culture that fits the company and the market is a very difficult and complex matter, but achieving it improves the performance of the company and its employees at all levels. Shortly, we will witness the spread of new job titles specialized in building and managing culture in establishments, along with other trends in the immediate future; Such as telecommuting, increasing flexibility and automating HR tasks.