In today’s corporate society, a winning culture is everything. Company culture is the personality of the organization; it defines the environment in which employees work and establishes a standard for values, ethics, and expectations. In this guest blot post, Marie Johnson of Enlightened Digital shares a few tips on how you can create a positive company culture.
Guest Author: Marie Johnson, Enlightened Digital
As the modern workplace continues to evolve, company culture is becoming even more important. It has a substantial impact on employee retention, public image, and overall profitability. Think of some of today’s most well-known brands, such as Google or Zappos. Not only are they recognized for their products and services, but they’re even more well-known for their positive corporate cultures, which are the underlying driving force of their success. Businesses that have placed a greater focus on company culture have even been shown to outperform their competition by 30 percent.
With so much riding on culture, companies have to set a positive tone and proactively address threats to that culture. Here are four threats that can hinder employee engagement, performance, and overall growth at your organization.
- Lack of Effective Communication
Communication is the lifeblood of an effective organization. This is especially true in modern workplaces, where collaboration, technology, and remote work are increasingly common. However, when organizations fail to communicate properly, it can have detrimental effects on business performance. According to the The Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Communication Barriers in the Modern Workplace” study, failure to properly communicate with your team can lead to a delay or failure to complete projects, low morale, missed performance goals, and loss of sales. According to the study, “unclear instructions from superiors, pointless meetings and other stressors can snowball into larger issues with widespread impacts on the business.”
As a solution, try approaching your meeting styles in a new way. Although many members of the millennial workforce use instant messaging as a means for all communication in the workplace, it can often be an ineffective way to transfer important pieces of information. Because most people maintain different styles of communication, it’s better to communicate emotional or high-priority messages in person. When you do hold meetings, be sure to limit the amount of people in attendance and the duration. Studies show that the most productive meetings contain only 5 to 8 people and are 15 minutes long.
- Inefficient Workflows
A failure to have proper workflows in place can create an environment where employees are consistently suffering from stress and burnout. When work processes aren’t made to be as efficient as possible, employees might be doing more work than actually necessary or spending extra time on projects that could be accomplished more succinctly. Over time, this extra work can take a toll on physical and mental health. Burnout, a rising issue in the workplace, can create a greater risk of anxiety, depression, sleep issues, and problems with memory. It can also translate to low productivity, high turnover, and inefficient operations.
In order to create more efficient workflows and reduce unnecessary demand on employees, many organizations have begun to automate their processes where applicable. Whether it be sending emails or helpdesk support, there are many mundane tasks that can be simplified thanks to automation. For example, software company Oracle recently announced that its applications for sales teams have increased its levels of automation, freeing up time and energy for sales professionals. Automation tools create productive and efficient teams, while also fostering a culture conducive to employee health and well-being.
- Disengaged Employees
Disengaged employees are plaguing organizations everywhere; Gallup reports that more than 30 percent of workforce members today admit to feeling disengaged while at the office. These findings can be alarming for employers, as engagement is critically linked to business outcomes. The same report estimates that employee disengagement costs U.S. businesses between $450 billion and $550 billion a year due to poor productivity. Employees who aren’t engaged in their work may be easily distracted during work hours. They begin gossiping, complaining, or even playing video games during work hours. This can lead to negative feedback from clients, a decrease in active working hours, and an overall reduction in workplace performance.
To engage your employees, be sure to recognize them for a job well done. With deadlines to meet and numbers to hit, managers often don't call out employees for their good work, providing feedback only when there is a problem. A great way to create a positive culture is to let employees know how their contributions help the organization achieve its goals. Although many large corporations have extensive employee recognition programs, like Disney, who has over 180, letting your employees know you appreciate them might be as simple as a quick shoutout. Many people even admit that they’d put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often.
Although there’s no single way to approach creating an effective company culture, sustaining a workplace environment that’s positive in nature and encourages well-being across your workforce is vital to your organization’s success.
The opinions of our guest bloggers are their own and not those of 1871. To learn more about Enlightened Digital, head here.