The modern workplace is more than just a wage generator. The best companies define, build, and nurture a unique employment culture that benefits employees and customers.
Workplace culture is a crucial component of fostering a satisfying environment for employees while engaging customers.
A strong company culture provides many benefits for businesses, including higher employee retention rates, attracting top talent, more engagement from employees and customers, and increased productivity, to name a few. According to a Global Culture Report from O.C. Tanner, when companies put effort into building a robust culture, engagement increases by 6 percent.
Cultivating a positive work culture takes time. But it starts with defining company values, focusing on people, and leaders setting the example.
What comprises work culture?
Workplace culture has many elements and moving parts. It is often defined by how employees interact with one another, how they feel about the work they’re doing, how they feel about the company, and how effective they are. Workplace culture is generally centered around the mission and vision of the organization, which should be clearly communicated to the team, and often.
Essential aspects of the company’s values should be repeatedly touched upon in meetings and company-wide communications. For a positive work culture to become a reality, everyone has to be on the same page.
Company culture also impacts the business’s clients and customers. If negative attitudes are widespread and apparent in the office, it’s not the type of environment where people want to work.
As the Society of Human Resource Management indicates, factors that shape company culture include:
- The company’s values
- The hierarchical structure
- The degree of urgency with which the organization approaches decision-making and innovation
- Being people- or task-oriented
- Functional orientation
- Subcultures within the company
The benefits offered to employees, including health, wellness, and work-life balance benefits, also can shape company culture and underlying attitudes about work.
It starts with leadership
Unfortunately, many company leaders may forget that it’s the responsibility of executives to create and nurture a good company culture. They may become frustrated when employees aren’t motivated, not recognizing their role in the process.
As the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) emphasizes, leaders must own company culture, communicate it regularly, expect it from everyone in the company, and live the message by example. Actions and decisions must be deliberate, and leaders need to remember that what they do and say sets the tone for the entire workplace.
The importance of accountability
Staff members need to know what their roles and responsibilities are to be able to do their job well. One tool that helps clear things up is an accountability chart, which provides clear expectations and functions for everyone on the team. While you may think that employees should know where they stand in the hierarchy, it may not be as apparent as you think.
Being clear and holding employees accountable are musts when building and nurturing a productive, effective environment at work. Accountability shows employees that their roles and responsibilities matter to the company, and it’s never uncertain where they fit into the bigger picture.
Focus on your people
Finally, you’ll never truly know how your employees and customers view the company’s culture unless you ask them. Surveys are useful tools to gauge how satisfied employees are with their work responsibilities, executive leadership, or the company culture as a whole. Asking for feedback can help you find inconsistencies or gaps in the workplace culture to work on.
Additionally, involve employees in decision-making and ask for their opinions in meetings. People who are given a voice are generally more satisfied at work. They feel like they matter to the company, and they’re aware of their role in the organization’s mission. A survey from the American Psychological Association showed that workers who feel valued by their employers were more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and motivated to do their best at work.
Once a positive, productive workplace culture is in place, it can always change. That’s why it’s an aspect of your business that must be continuously revisited and cultivated. New technologies and work arrangements can change workplace culture, so be adaptable to what employees want and what customers expect.
At Provident CPA & Business Advisors, we help businesses clarify and achieve their vision. We use the Entrepreneurial Operating System model, which focuses on the six key components of business: vision, people, data, issues, processes, and traction. Contact Provident today to learn more about our growth and profit management services.