A lot is discussed at length about what employers expect from their employees. However, at times companies ignore the need to pay heed to what workers anticipate. Companies are so driven by the virtues of revenues and performance that they snub their people often. What companies do not realize is that meeting employee expectations wherever possible is the key to high productivity. If firms continue to neglect their employees’ needs, the latter may disengage. This may be the reason why more than 50 percent of US workers are not engaged as reported by Gallup.
Talking about employees’ expectations, everyone has some basic ideas about an ideal work environment. A positive company culture attracts the highest motivation in employees. When employees feel that the company culture is sensitive to their needs, they commit to higher engagement. On the contrary, negative company culture can lead to high turnover rates. Besides, it is imperative to note that millennials are not keen on ignoring the culture of an organization. They are rather happier to let go of a job opportunity if they do not feel appealed by the culture of a company. You can further understand the vitality of positive company culture through the following stats.
Some crucial statistics pertaining to company culture
- 46 percent of job applicants prioritize company culture when applying for jobs. They evaluate the company culture of the potential recruiters and decide accordingly. (Builtin)
- According to some key hiring statistics, almost 70 percent of candidates refuse job offers from companies that have a negative employer reputation.
- Moreover, the proportion of millennials in the workforce is projected to increase to 75 percent of the global workforce in the next five years. A large segment of these millennials feels that the cultural fit of an organization is the most important factor. Their decision to join a new organization will depend on its company culture
- Positive workplace culture can lead to a 33 percent increase in revenues. Further, it can lead to the hiring of employees of the highest caliber. (Bonfyre App)
- Negative company culture is a reason why 47 percent of employees desire a job change. (Hays)
These critical insights prove that company culture is correlated with high employee engagement. Positive workplace culture will attract the best loyalty and dedication in employees. On the other hand, negativity in the workplace will make employees want to quit. Here it becomes significant to know about the costs of high employee turnover. An article by Forbes states that 33 percent of an employee’s salary is what companies lose for every replacement. So, to keep your business flourishing, it will be wise of you to care for your company’s culture. You should look to create a promising and positive workplace culture. Such a culture will bring out the best in your employees. Plus, you will also see your individual productivity gain from a conducive work environment. Moving further, let us explore the different ways in which you can create a favorable workplace culture within your organization.
Effective strategies to create an ideal company culture
- Promote a tradition of wellness in the workplace
If you were an employee, would you give your best to a workplace that ignores your wellness?
The most certain answer here is no for the simple reason that well-being comes before everything else. Given that, good company culture should be sensitive to the wellness of the employees. We must realize that work stress is for real and it can disengage employees in the longer run. As per the findings of the American Institute of Stress, 80 percent of workers feel stress at work. As we know, prolonged stress can lead to severe mental and physical health issues. So, you do not want overworked employees with diminished efficiency reeling with stress.
You ought to initiate some thoughtful wellness programs to help your employees. Such initiatives will create a positive impression among workers for the culture of the organization. The employees will love the fact that their organization cares for their well-being. Talking of remote workers, even they report high stress and burnout. Remote workers are often found to be frustrated and exhausted because of relentless work. For them, the wellness initiatives of the organization will come across as positive developments. You should help them to determine the best ways to work in COVID stress. Employees irrespective of whether they are in-house or remote workers will view the company culture as progressive and positive. This will further have positive impacts on engagement and retention. You would be amazed to know that Fitbit and Google have amazing employee wellness programs. Google even offers kickboxing and parenting classes to its employees. Now that is fancy, isn’t it?
- Be a mentor to your team
You do not always have to be a boss to your employees. There are times when you need to be a mentor or a motivational coach. There would be times when your employees will lack a sense of direction and feel stuck. They would then look up to you to direct them and mentor them. But imagine how they will feel if they figure out that no one is helping them to learn and grow. They will rather perceive it as a part of an unhealthy company culture where they can find little or no support. But to change that, you need to neglect a few errors your team members make and guide them with your experience to overcome hurdles.
When you do so, your team members will develop loyalty and greater respect for you. Besides, they will find motivation in your attention and support to develop the urge to keep getting better every day. To refine this process, you can also initiate mentorship programs within the organization. You may not have the time to deliver all the mentorship programs and hence you can appoint a few executives. Remember, these executives should be great teachers as well and should be sensitive to diverse learning requirements. This way, you can inspire in your employees the confidence that the company is keen to assist their development and growth. To cite an example, Fidelity Investments has one of the best mentorship programs. It invests with diligence in talent development and learning. The company has benefited in a hefty way from these mentorship programs.
- Foster a culture of empathy and gratitude
2020 has been a terrible year for all of us. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic exposed everyone’s emotional vulnerabilities, insecurities, and anxieties. It made the world understand the importance of empathy more than ever before. In a similar way, the pandemic taught us to invest our faith in the idea of gratitude. Today, these virtues are seen as positive trends in the workplace. Their realistic inclusion in the workplace culture enables the employees to view it as positive company culture. When employees get the impression that their colleagues care for their emotions and are grateful for their efforts, it builds healthy workplace relationships.
In fact, empathy is a basic anticipation that people have. At times all they want is that someone understands their feelings and emotions. The State of Workplace Empathy study reveals that 96 percent of workers expect their bosses to be empathetic. This shows they consider empathy a fundamental requirement of positive company culture. But remember, inculcating any new value in the workplace starts with you. You have to model empathy and gratitude for your employees and inspire them to follow the same. Little changes can spark great revolutions. Start being thankful to your employees and try to understand their feelings better. Be a friend to them at times, as stated above, you need not act like a boss always.
- Bring the core values to practice
Every business has a set of core values it is founded on. But in most cases, these core values remain limited to the frames on the wall or the ‘About Us’ section on the company’s website. Core values form a salient part of a company’s culture and its reputation as well. To create a prosperous company culture, you need to reinforce these core values every day. The values need to be incorporated into the everyday practices in the workplace. Even if your team is working from home these days, there is no reason why you cannot exhibit them in virtual meetings. Remote working opportunities are on the rise and it is a positive development for everyone. That however means that you also need to include the remote working scenario in your efforts to create a positive work culture.
You can bring the core values of your business to life in various ways. You can include them in your orientation sessions, training modules, or mentorship programs. Besides, you can think of team-building activities or discussions themed on the different core values of the company. At last, releasing a newsletter every month can be another way to promote core values. Even during performance reviews, you should evaluate employees on the basis of their compliance with these virtues.
- Invest in the skill development of your employees
A lot of employees view working cultures in terms of learning opportunities on offer. They are aware of the befitting competition out there and they want to be better every day. Besides, the proficiency of employees in critical professional skills is also essential for a company’s success. Thus, you can work towards building a culture that aligns the interests of employees with those of the organization. When it comes to skills in today’s world, it is more the merrier. There are so many skills including creativity, soft skills, interpersonal skills, and other traits that successful professionals should have.
Having said that, you should invest in the skill development of your employees. In addition to that, you should create a handsome number of career advancement prospects for your employees. To employees, positive company culture is where they see themselves growing and upscaling their professional skills. In the lack of advancement opportunities, employees tend to switch. So, the work environment should be such that they get enough chances to grow internally.
- Celebrate your employees
An amazing and natural way to build a positive workplace culture is to begin a tradition of celebrating your people. Employees will feel happy and content when their birthdays are celebrated, their faith is celebrated, their progress is celebrated and their hard work is celebrated. Besides, workplaces are now going diverse and you should celebrate diversity with zest. Why limit celebrations and recognition to achievements and accomplishments? Sometimes we need to value journeys and honor them. Talking of recognition in the workplace, as per some significant employee engagement statistics, 37 percent of employees view recognition as the most significant factor. Besides, 70 percent of them agree that they will work with greater dedication if they receive better appreciation.
Having said that, you need to work on creating a system for recognizing your top performers. This recognition will be critical to their motivation and retention. Also, as stated above, you should look at the larger picture. You should recognize and celebrate improvements and hard work as well. Yes, outcomes are the most significant but it is not about the outcomes every time.
- Be transparent
The last master technique to create a great workplace culture is to maintain transparency. It will not be possible every time as there are some decisions or verticals that are better kept confidential. But when possible, you should create transparency around the functioning of the organization and the trivial details. As cited by Forbes, 50 percent of the global workforce believes that their organizations are not transparent enough. This perception further inspires the thought among them that their company’s culture lacks positivity and inclusion.
In a transparent workplace, employees feel empowered to share their opinions. Also, they feel valued and are eager to contribute with their creativity and commitment. It will not be incorrect to say that no company can have a positive culture as long as things are opaque. Transparency promotes better trust between employees and mitigates the possibility of office politics. If required, you should review your company’s policies to be a little more transparent.
To sum up, creating a progressive company culture is desirable for organizational success. A good culture drives high productivity, high engagement and makes workers enthusiastic about going to work each day. Furthermore, good company culture can bring down absenteeism in employees and turnover rates. Even to suit the idea of profits and revenues, employers should invest in the company culture. As mentioned above, a good workplace culture can multiply profits and revenue. Also, a happy workplace environment built with tenderness will produce leaders of tomorrow.