How would you respond to your top managerial priorities? Given that most organizations have similar objectives, boosting productivity with a consistent business expansion would undoubtedly be at the top of your list, with minimal staff turnover, healthy employee experience, and effective teamwork.
Nevertheless, although fostering a healthy company culture is the cornerstone of all your significant business objectives, you might not have included it among your top priorities. When you focus on creating an excellent organizational culture, you'll discover that other elements of business success will come into play naturally.
What Underlies Company Culture?
A vital element of healthy company culture is employee alignment with the organization's vision and values. Aligned goals cast the mold for shared values that underlie group standards of conduct that underpin behavioral norms. Whether total or partial, a staff with no personal interest or involvement in the broader objective of their firm is a strong sign of weak company culture.
Why Is Positive Company Culture Important?
A global culture survey of 9,464 workers from 12 different countries, including India, was conducted in 2022 by SHRM and found unequivocally that "workplace culture will spell the difference between success and failure in a post-pandemic world." More than ever, there is a need to focus on the elements of a healthy work environment that prioritizes employees.
Furthermore, the SHRM report shows that globally 45% of workers have thought about leaving their current organization due to poor work cultures.
90% of workers who rate their work culture poor have thought about quitting.
72% of workers who rate their work culture average have thought about quitting.
32% of workers who rate their work culture good have thought about quitting.
The results are similar for workers actively looking for a new job. 22% of employees who rate their culture 'good' actively look for a new job, and the number grows to 43% of workers who place their culture 'average' and almost 64% who rate their workplace culture as poor. (Refer to the infographic below)
The given statistics support that the 'average' workplace culture isn't good enough. A 'good' culture isn't even good enough. It leads to the question: What is driving employees to leave?
One reason employees are leaving organizations with good workplace culture is that workers may be experiencing "COVID clarity." Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, chief knowledge officer for SHRM, explains that as a result of the pandemic, many employees are becoming more aware of what they want out of a job and their lives. Nearly 30% of workers actively searching for a new job say they don't have a meaningful career. According to the SHRM survey, workers increasingly expect more from their jobs than just a salary. They want to have a sense of purpose in their work.
Lousy people management also contributes to poor workplace cultures. Other factors, such as lack of a healthy work-life balance, can also lead employees to feel stress on the job, forcing them to search for greener pastures that prioritize increased flexibility.
Experiences with a toxic corporate culture will make top performers seek employment elsewhere. SHRM research suggests that even the workers who said their company culture was good are not immune from negative experiences at work. Between incompetent supervisors and insensitive co-workers, negative experiences contribute to employees dreading work and looking elsewhere.
The Best Ways to Promote Positive Work Culture
1. Permit autonomy
Employee independence and autonomy in thought, action, and being are essential. The happiness quotient of the workplace is enhanced when employees feel involved in making decisions about their career growth and have the freedom to develop targets and timelines to meet their goals.
HR experts are becoming aware that flexible work schedules are high on most candidates' lists of desired benefits. Instead of micromanaging every element of their workday, make your employees feel they have control over their schedules and methods of approaching tasks while cultivating an unrivaled workplace culture.
2. Foster an atmosphere that respects diversity
Each person has unique features and fingerprints, so why would you want to clone your team members to be precisely like you or your favorite teammate? Your team members will feel undermined and counterproductive due to this kind of conduct. Instead, leaders must encourage different perspectives and value each team member's uniqueness. Each person's uniqueness is special that cannot be replicated and thus should be treasured and respected.
3. Discipline the disrupters
When your managers fail to act even after they learn that their team member has been the victim of bullying or harassment and permit these negative actions to persist, this fosters a toxic work environment. Indifferent and unresponsive behavior compels teams to lose faith and eventually quit.
Providing a hostile-free work environment for your employees must be the top priority for your organization. Train the leaders to be inspirational in building trust, eradicating lousy behavior, and showing empathy.
The SHRM culture report 2022 shows that more than 42% of workers have witnessed a manager's inconsiderate treatment of a co-worker. It's essential that supervisors apply rules fairly across all employees and don't play favorites. They should resolve disputes based on facts rather than feelings. Nearly 87% of workers indicated that their manager contributes to setting their work team environment, and 94% agreed that empathy is an essential quality of a healthy workplace. Yet only half of the workers said their organization offers empathy training for people managers.
Coach, counsel, if required give a final warning, and dismiss the toxic people irrespective of their functional level. A tactful mix of these tactics is effective in dealing with antagonists in the workplace. If done correctly, people management can be the difference between employee empowerment and talent drain.
4. Encourage employees to communicate freely
People and culture strategists must promote open lines of communication with employees. Each employee has a unique voice, and when given the opportunity, they have the potential to uncover a wealth of knowledge. The ideas derived from different perspectives of employees will eventually reduce the need to rely on external intervention for culture analysis.
Your employees will take ownership of their actions when they believe they have a stake in the business. Empowered employees offer excellent answers to existing problems. Get their ideas and feedback through an open-door policy, monthly gatherings, roundtable discussions, town halls, or regular polls. This process of communicating with employees must be natural and persistent, not occasional.
5. Promote and prosper talent internally
Employee loyalty will rise, more prospects for employee recommendations, and retention will increase if employees are coached, mentored, and prepared to get promoted to their subsequent management or supervisory position. Allow to advance and prosper talent internally before looking for talent outside.
Launch programs to skills and reskill employees and establish learning goals to achieve performance objectives. The opportunity to develop their skills is one of the most powerful incentives for employees. A concrete sign of employee appreciation is demonstrating concern for their professional development. Increased competence will provide employees with a deep sense of satisfaction unmatched by any other compensation.
6. Offer relevant perks
Employees love to receive incentives not only in money but in diverse ways. Hence benefits must be creative and practical. Other than the monetary benefit, gift your employees' a free subscription for e-books/audiobooks for skill upgrades, a holistic wellness program's monthly subscription for leading a healthy lifestyle, introduce family days, and paid family-care leaves. These rewards can dramatically increase employee satisfaction and retention.
While opportunities to contribute to community welfare initiatives such as planting trees and providing education to underprivileged children, spreading health awareness will give employees a sense of satisfaction; other benefits such as employee assistance program for mental wellbeing, financial literacy sessions, emergency services, guided yoga, and meditation sessions will make employees feel cared.
7. Foster employee relatedness
The word 'relatedness' emphasizes the innate need of people to be a part of significant something and be appreciated and valued by others. This essential aspect of human psychology is the foundation of employee recognition practices. Create an ecosystem where employees feel their job contributes to a worthwhile cause and their daily activities reflect their beliefs. Make recognition and gratitude a way of life in your organization. Provide employees with opportunities to recognize co-workers for their efforts and show gratitude towards colleagues.
In the digital age where text messages can get misinterpreted, prepare your leaders to instill and inspire more trust and forge deeper connections with their teams. Even while team members do not work hard just to get rewarded, they will flourish in the atmosphere of camaraderie and togetherness.
While all the aforementioned seven components are the ideal mix for the healthy potion of healthy workplace culture, a good place to start would be with a tiny portion of each constituent and progressively increase it.