5 tips for an engaged work culture
Go to the internet and do a search for “workplace culture” and you’ll come back with thousands of resources on why it is important, how to create a better one, and its profound impact on ROI. Then, do a search for companies that have a great company workplaces and the list is much shorter. The ones that don’t have great workplaces cultures are the prolific case examples behind this glaring statistic: only 34% of North American workers are actually happy at their jobs.
Thirty four percent! That is a terrible statistic. That means that a full 2/3 of every employee out there is unhappy with their jobs.
This number should upset business leaders. Ideally, because of the simple humanity of knowing that 66% of their employees don’t actually like being at their jobs. But if not for that, for the severe consequence this disengagement has on the three most biggest pain point of any organization — its time, teams, and profits.
At Six and a Half Consulting, we work with organizations so that they can become places that their employees are inspired to work for.
And it all starts with upper management and company owners (please see my blog “Stop Calling Yourself a Leader” to understand how I distinguish between a manager and a leader) believing that culture either fuels or kills their business.
Having established that culture does in fact dictate success, there are 5 things these executives can do to ensure that their culture is healthy and their employees are happy. And thus, maximize their time, team, and profits.
Hire for culture fit first, skill set second
The best thing a company can do to make for a great company culture is — wait for it — hire people who fit that culture. As simple as this sounds, it is surprising how many companies don’t actually do this. Instead, they hire for skill set only. And while skills are imperative to a job’s success, cultural fit is imperative to the organization’s.
The challenge with hiring for cultural fit and skill set is that while most professionals know what questions to ask during the interview process for the later, few ask questions that address the former.
Make the on-boarding process paramount
People make culture. And culture is learned the minute an employee comes on board. Oftentimes, however, companies squander the opportunity to engrain the core elements that make their company culture unique by barraging the newly hired employee with haphazard introductions, irrelevant trainings, and department meet and greets.
Unless this is the culture you want to promote, make on-boarding about showcasing the ways that your company communicates, how it lives its values, and the ways that it celebrates successes.
We’ve found the best way to do this is by pairing new hires with mentors and having C-suites spend lots of time early on getting to know new members of their teams.
Take interest in your employees personal wellbeing
Employees spend more than a third of their time on the job. But if yours is like most organizations, C-suites know personally very little about those that work for them.
If you want employees to care about your business, a pay check isn’t enough. You must seek ways to connect with your employees and make what is important to them, important to you.
Be transparent in everything you do
Communication is what engenders trust in an organization. Sadly, few organizations have transparent communication, which is one of the major reason’s employees feel disenfranchised from their jobs.
This makes perfect sense: when employees feel like their organization doesn’t think enough of them to share openly and honestly (and with enough frequency) important information, employees will check out. Unless you are dealing with private, personal information, there is no room for secrecy in an organization. Outside of this, being a transparent organization is as simple as choosing to be one.
Trust your employees to be capable, responsible adults
Guess what happens when employees know that they can’t be creative and think outside of the box? Their companies don’t advance.
Guess what happens when instead, employees are encouraged to take risks, develop their skills, and search for innovative solutions without fear of retribution if they make a mistake? Look no further than Google, who mandate that all employees spend 20% of their time doing things outside of their hired job function.
In order for employees to come to work happy and inspired, they must know that they can perform their work in an environment that trusts them. In exchange, they will reward their companies with increased levels of productivity, drive, and ambition.