Your company culture affects your organisation. A 2017 survey by Deloitte found, “94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is vital to business successes.”
Negative workplace culture can affect your retention rates and attendance, as well as the productivity and morale of your employees. A positive one can affect everything from recruitment, to engagement, and the satisfaction levels of your workforce, which of course impacts your customers and bottom line.
In this article, we explore the link between a positive culture and the morale, productivity and engagement of your workforce.
The importance of company culture
How do we define company culture? It’s the social order within an organisation. It dictates behaviour, practices, and interactions between employees and management.
An ideal company culture would be inclusive and one based on honesty. In addition, it should be enjoyable for employees, encourage their best work, and identify structural issues and offer resolutions.
Company culture relates to how your employees view your business. Do they understand the company’s mission? Do their goals individually align with those of your organisation? Businesses that invest in promoting a positive culture reported increases in job satisfaction and retention for their employees and overall growth for their organisation.
A positive company culture can provide the following benefits for your organisation:
- Improved reputation.
- Improved employee health.
- Business growth and longevity.
- Reduced presenteeism and absenteeism.
A damaged culture will see increases in absences, presenteeism, turnover and toxic relationships. Theses can all have detrimental effects on the overall business objective and goals.
You should look out for signs of negativity in the workplace. Examples are:
- Lack of empathy.
- Little to no flexibility.
- Unmotivated and unengaged employees.
- Lack of processes, management and leadership.
- Lack of (or poor) communication.
The same Deloitte survey also found a direct correlation between employee wellbeing and a company with a positive culture.
The company claims a culture of wellbeing is essential for performance in the workplace. On a basic level, wellbeing is about the happiness of your employees as it relates to their physical and mental health, job security, and emotional behaviour.
There are many benefits of investing in wellbeing programmes for your employees. These include:
- Improved health & safety of your workforce.
- Increase in employee productivity.
- A decline in stress and anxiety levels as well as other health risks.
- Reduced costs associated with ill health and absences.
- Improved productivity.
- Decreased absenteeism.
- Improved retention and recruitment.
- Improved brand advocacy and reputation.
Tips for investing in wellbeing
With the business benefits abundantly clear, employers are starting to realise the value of investing in the wellbeing of their employees.
While most have already joined the cause by providing various employee assistance programmes, others may still be hesitant, as they believe it to be an expensive investment.
However, improving or raising awareness for wellbeing in the workplace does not have to break the bank. The steps below will ensure a positive attitude towards wellbeing. These include:
- Values and objectives: It’s important to ensure the values of your organisation align with those of your employees. When they do, you’re ensuring everyone is on the same page from the start.
- Engagement: Your employees are in the best position to identify what’s working for them and what isn’t. The best way to cater to them is by listening to what they have to say. By engaging with them, you’re creating an environment where each member of staff feels heard and valued.
- Fitness incentives: A good way to inspire a company culture that values wellbeing is by offering fitness incentives. A study by the British Council for Offices found that 45% of workers believe they have a stressful journey to work. In response to this, the government introduced the cycle to work scheme. It allows employees to spend on bikes and biking equipment at discounted prices.
- Communication: Effective communication is key to improving the employee experience and creating a positive workplace culture. By effectively communicating your goals, objectives and values, employees feel less like a cog in the machine and more like a valued member of your team.When it comes to communicating your employee wellbeing strategy, it is vital that you factor in your deskless workforce. Your non office-based employees may be feeling isolated or out of the loop, especially if they are missing out on important news and corporate wellbeing benefits because they are not physically in the office.
- Flexibility: The way we do business is changing and so are the types of employees we hire. Offering options for flexible working opens your company up to a new calibre of workers. Consider introducing flexible working options to give employees more independence. With the increase in flexible working and rise of gig workers and remote workers it is vital that your communications strategy reaches your entire workforce.
- Healthy work-life balance: By encouraging a healthy balance between employee’s work and personal lives, you’re investing in one of the biggest predictors of employee happiness. Encourage regular breaks, invest in a game console for the rest area, consider allowing an office pet etc.
- Incentives: Perks such as free fruits, subsidised gym memberships or simply recognition for a job well done all play a big part in creating a positive company culture where your staff feel valued and appreciated.
Build a company culture your employees are proud to be a part of
Effective and honest two-way communication is vital when it comes to creating a positive, healthy working culture. Your company culture has the power to make or break your business. It determines how your employees engage with you, each other, and your customers.
Remember to be transparent in your policies and practices, as it’s the foundation of any wellbeing efforts.
While this is in no way an extensive list, it’ll serve as a good starting point when considering investing in the wellbeing of your employees.