Culture is the epicenter of every organization — your company’s values act as a road map for its success. However, some organizations leave their culture up to chance, and a “go with the flow” mentality isn’t what’s going to drive your engagement to soar through the roof.
Like a bad virus, a sick organizational culture can be the pitfall of your workforce. Everything from productivity, camaraderie, and retention will all suffer a huge hit when employees become disengaged. TINYpulse’s Employee Engagement and Organizational Culture Report revealed this unfortunate news:
A whole 64% of employees don’t feel like they have a strong work culture. You might think it’s not possible to fix a culture ailing with disengagement, but here are three easy ways to cure a sick organizational culture:
Foster a Community, Not Competition
Do your employees work together or against each other? If it’s the latter, then there’s a good chance you’ve got a toxic culture on your hands. When people are constantly butting heads or trying to sabotage their colleagues, there’s no way a business can succeed.
When it comes to keeping employees engaged, SHRM uncovered that the relationship with coworkers is a more important factor than the relationship with direct supervisors. To facilitate a culture of camaraderie, you’ll need to consider culture fit during the hiring process.
During the interview, ask the candidate questions based off your core values. If one of your values is to “Embrace change,” then consider asking the person to provide an example of how a change they faced and how they adapted to it. If this person isn’t able to live out your values now, there’s a good chance they won’t be able to do so while on the job.
Start By Building a Transparent Culture
A meeting behind closed door tends to evoke assumptions among employees. Now, we’re not saying that you need to have all of your meetings out in the open. Closed doors have their time and place, and that’s not the case when it comes to providing employees with access to information. In the same Employee Engagement Report, we found that transparency is the number one factor that contributes to employee happiness. No surprise there. Who likes to be left out of the loop?
Whether it’s good, bad, or ugly, let your employees know what’s happening with the organization. Is the sales team trying to close a deal with a high-profile client? Or perhaps the business isn’t doing so well financially. Even if your employees aren’t working on that specific project or they’re not in the same department as the changes, everyone deserves to know what’s going on.
To maintain transparency, hold bi-weekly company meetings. Whether you have 10 or 1000 employees, gathering everyone into one room trumps sending out a company-wide email that has the potential of getting lost in inboxes. Bringing people together creates an interactive environment where anyone can spontaneously ask questions and leaders can answer them right on the spot.
Don’t Forget to Listen to Employees
When leaders put a damper on their employees’ voices, they’re setting up the business for failure. On the other hand, when they make an effort to solicit employee feedback and do nothing about it, they’re putting themselves in the same situation. There are three critical steps when it comes to leveraging employee feedback:
Get rid of the open-door policy: Opt for an anonymous pulsing survey (the keyword is anonymous). These are sent out weekly and typically feature only one question so managers can keep up to date on employee sentiment.
Share the feedback: Maintain transparency by letting your employees read through the survey results so they can get a gauge on how their colleagues are feeling.
Find a solution: Set aside some time during the company meeting to discuss the results. Get your employees involved in finding solutions to these issues so they understand that this improvement is for them, not for you.
We get it — being a leader and managing people is tough. But change doesn’t happen overnight. Follow these steps, and you’ll create a positive culture where employees will thrive.
About the Author: Sabrina Son is a Content Marketing Specialist at TINYpulse, writing about and researching new ways to make employees happier. A Seattle native, she loves her morning (or anytime) coffee, spending her weekends on the mountains, and of course, the famous rain.