How to Effectively Transform Workplace Culture and Build a Thriving Employee Experience
Forming a positive workplace culture can be one of the most strategic and profitable investments a company can make. The advantages of positive company culture have been researched and proven with many companies seeing an increase in revenue growth and higher average annual returns. Yet even with the knowledge of all the benefits of workplace culture, there are challenges that can stand in the way. But with the right steps, any company can create a culture that inspires and motivates its employees.
What does positive workplace culture look like
A positive workplace culture can look different depending on the nature of the industry. HBR identified 8 separate company cultures that can be found in the workplace. For medical companies, there can be a culture of caring. For technology, it can be a culture of learning. And for others in the data field, it can be a culture of results characterized by achievement and winning. Regardless of the focus any company works to build on, there are several key factors that all positive company cultures share.
Sense of community
Teams work more effectively when they share a common vision, mission, and values. That’s because there is power in peer connections. When employees have a bond with those they work with according to the Harvard Business Review, they are 58% more likely to thrive at work, 55% more engaged, and 66% more likely to stay with their organization.
Culture of diversity and belonging
People are drawn to organizations that are diverse and share similar characteristics with them. When they have a sense of belonging, they feel valued and have a voice in the company. They become comfortable sharing ideas and speaking up on issues in the company, even if those issues are unpopular such as a safety concern or a policy that can be discriminatory.
The statistics show that diverse companies see 2.5 times higher cash flow per employee, see increased revenue by 19% with diverse management, and are 15% more likely to surpass industry median financial returns with gender diversity.
Access to safe spaces
Community and connection cannot be accomplished without a safe place to do it. In environments where there are a multitude of distractions or it is difficult for people to meet, as is the case with remote workers, there are fewer chances to develop the community and belonging that are the building blocks to a positive culture. Companies that have programs in place that encourage and bring employees together, see more connections with their people because they feel included and part of the team.
Steps to take to transform company culture
Since 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe, as reported by Deloitte, that distinct workplace culture is important to business success, taking the right steps to transform company culture is worth the time and effort.
There needs to be the understanding that creating company culture is an ongoing process, and deciding to transform it is only the beginning. Making the commitment to get started is the first real step. Because when business leaders display a commitment to doing something good for their employees, they show that they care about their workforce and are willing to do the hard stuff to get things right.
Depending on where the environment of the culture is currently and determining where business leaders want the company to be in the future will be where the investment starts. Transformation can take time and business leaders will want to clearly define what their ideal culture would look like. Once that is planned and everyone is on board, the transformation can begin.
Remember that company culture is fluid and affected by how it is perceived by the employees who are experiencing it. Even though leaders can say they have a great culture, if employees feel differently, they will continue to practice quiet quitting and actively quitting.
Leaders are the greatest influence on company culture. As much as they can be the reason people leave an organization, they can also be the motivator to keep people engaged and inspired. Some of the key elements leaders should understand when it comes to driving company culture are:
- Awareness of the multiple cultures within their organization
- Influences over company culture
- Indicators for when change is required
- Power to make changes in company culture
For leaders to do this, they benefit best with the right training that enables and enhances their skills with empathy and compassion. They need not only to understand what people are feeling, but to be able to utilize the tools to take action to alleviate the suffering. There are many ways to provide adequate training for leaders. Women in particular benefit from specialized training.
For the transformation to take hold, offering support opportunities for employees to form communities and feel a sense of belonging goes a long way. This can be done effectively by creating programs that encourage involvement. Shared learning opportunities can bring collaboration and shared memories that support employee bonding. Even virtual events can bring teams together and move company culture in the right direction.
Again, it is important to remember that company culture is an ongoing process and commitment is vital. When leaders begin to think after a year that they have it in the bag and slack off on monitoring culture is when they can begin to lose traction. Company culture is a continued effort that should be regularly monitored and adapted as the market changes.
What can kill workplace culture fast
Every effort put into place to create a culture that drives company goals and growth can be countered by just a few missteps. To make sure the culture stays on track with company vision, leaders need to keep an eye on those things that can disrupt the flow.
Poor leadership is the number one reason employees leave organizations. That’s largely because of the influence they have on culture, especially if they mishandle it. Poor leadership could:
- Ignore culture – allowing it to go unmanaged
- Leave it for HR – where it falls to the backburner
- Not get it off the ground – largely because they lack the knowledge or skills to make the changes
Poor work relationships
Many women can feel isolated in the workplace, especially as they rise up in the ranks. When there is no support for employees, a feeling of mistrust among employees or an environment of competitiveness and blame games can develop into a toxic work environment. This in turn can take the organization in the direction they are working hard to avoid.
What companies should do to make the transformation easier
A positive workplace culture is critical for both employee well-being and business success. Just talking about it is not enough. Companies that make the investment in programs that support company culture not only show they care about their employees but are committed to fostering positive workplace environments. Because when a company provides a place where there is a sense of community and belonging, employees can thrive and reach their full potential. To learn more please contact one of our specialists today and see how at reacHIRE we can help you transform your company culture.