So, you’ve recognized that your workplace culture needs an overhaul. Where do you begin? What usable skills can you pass on to your employees to improve something as nebulous and hard to define as “culture”?
One thing that many business leaders struggle with when looking to achieve this goal is identifying the building blocks of what makes a great workplace culture. After researching over 10,000 companies, the O.C. Tanner institute identified six essential aspects of workplace culture: purpose, opportunity, success, appreciation, well-being and leadership.
There’s one thing that all of these building blocks have in common: They’re impossible to achieve without a high level of employee engagement. Here’s how high employee engagement enhances each one of these characteristics and some strategies you can use to improve each one.
1. Working toward a worthwhile common purpose motivates employees to stay engaged.
When team members feel that the organization exists to make the world a better place, they’re far more likely to align their work habits with that goal. You can increase this sense of purpose by defining strong mission and vision statements and drawing parallels between everyday activities and the company’s ultimate reasons for being.
2. Presenting specific opportunities for growth can help keep employees engaged and thinking about the future.
If team members feel that there aren’t advancement opportunities on the horizon or that their personal contribution to the company isn’t helping them grow as a person, there’s little to no chance they’ll stay engaged at work. Make sure that your employees know exactly what their growth opportunities are and what it will take to achieve them. Set clear expectations, give employees personal development opportunities and make criteria for advancement clear to all team members.
3. Not every project will be successful, but with a complete lack of success, engagement will be hard to come by.
Business leaders should do everything in their power to help their employees see success in the workplace by giving team members the tools they need to achieve their “SMART” goals. By setting clear and achievable expectations and providing recognition for results, you can help increase engagement and improve the culture of your workplace.
4. Show appreciation for team members’ effort and success.
More than 70 percent of employees say that when leaders express appreciation for their work, they are more motivated. Showing appreciation for team members can go a long way toward increasing engagement. Motivation is a huge driver of engagement, so keeping it at the forefront of your culture can pay large dividends.
5. Keep team members’ well-being in mind when making decisions and setting goals.
No one likes to work in an environment or state of mind that isn’t conducive to his or her well-being. If employees feel uncomfortable in the workplace, there’s a high likelihood that engagement will suffer. Do leaders go above and beyond to make sure their team members’ voices are being heard and that they are receiving what they need to be comfortable, healthy and happy at work? If so, you’re on track to improving your company culture and increasing employee engagement across the board.
6. Strong leadership and well-trained managers make for more engaged employees and a better company culture.
The top reason people quit their job is their manager. Conversely, the top reason people stay at their job is their manager. If the leaders at your organization aren’t treating your people right or aren’t trained to properly deal with the situations they face with team members, your culture can suffer. High turnover and low engagement are often a result of poor managers, and you can easily avoid them with programs like solid succession planning and effective managerial training.