The employee experience and engagement is a direct outcome of a high-performance, positive company culture. Why? Because high-performance cultures clearly outline behaviors and norms, which are healthy and supportive.
In this environment, employees clearly understand their culture and what’s expected of them. They feel connected, involved and supported. And, therefore, they feel engaged and living a good, if not great, experience.
Company culture and employee experience are closely tied. By improving your company culture, you will improve your employees’ experience and engagement with the organization.
Company Culture and Employee Experience
Culture is a broad concept without a generally accepted definition. Despite this, culture is the heart of the organization. It’s what makes each company unique, even at System Soft Technologies.
Simply put, culture is defined as the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors and attitudes. It can manifest itself in a variety of ways. That includes leadership behaviors, employee-employee and manager-employee relationships, and communication styles.
A workplace culture must consist of shared beliefs and core company values established by leaders and embraced by all members of your organization. As such, building a strong, positive workplace culture has become a priority for organizations. According to Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a well-defined company culture is important to business success.
Importance of Company Culture
Culture is just as important (maybe even more so) as your business strategy. The strength of your company’s culture can either boost or undermine the organization’s objectives. Many experts and industry leaders regard workplace culture as what separates the most successful companies from the average or not-so-successful ones.
A positive company culture serves to attract talent, bolster employee engagement, promote employee happiness and job satisfaction. And, ultimately, it impacts performance.
A positive company culture is critical. Here’s how it can impact your organization.
It plays a key role in talent attraction.
Job candidates evaluate not only the job description but also your organization and its environment. A strong, attractive, visible culture attracts talent that fits.
In a study from the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, culture and engagement were the highest priority on the corporate agenda. And companies with the strongest cultures were much more likely to attract talent.
It fosters a sense of pride and ownership.
When people feel proud to work for your organization, it creates a stronger sense of ownership. That means they put in a little extra effort to get the job done well. This provides many opportunities from which your organization can benefit.
It influences employee engagement and retention.
Company culture impacts how employees interact with their work and your organization. A strong culture leads to higher engagement and higher retention. Employees who don’t like their organization’s culture are 24% more likely to look for work elsewhere.
It fuels happiness and satisfaction.
Research shows employee happiness and satisfaction are linked to strong workplace culture (Deloitte).
Consider that happy employees perform better. Productivity and efficiency are increased. And when employees perform better, your organization’s business performance also increases. Multiple studies show organizations with strong cultures outperform their competitors financially and are overall more successful.
Moreover, 92% of leaders from successful companies give credence to how closely interrelated workplace culture and financial performance are.
Keep Company Culture Positive
Now that we’ve established why a strong company culture is important to your organization and employees’ experience, let’s talk about what makes your company culture a positive one.
Commonly shared values pulse through an organization’s culture. There are no right or wrong values. But it’s crucial for your organization to define which values you want emphasized and deem acceptable, and to encourage behaviors among employees.
It’s vital to clearly define your organizational core values. Then, effectively communicate them and make sure they are reinforced by all members of your management team. Also, be sure to discuss them with your employees, so they feel part of creating those core values.
It’s necessary leaders within your organization demonstrate these core values and lead by example. Deloitte reports that 62% of executives must clearly define and communicate core values and beliefs. Doing this is a primary factor that substantially contributes to an organization’s success.
Demonstrable actions must be taken regularly, so employees have personal accountability toward these values. Positive attitudes and positive actions in line with your organization’s core values make for a positive workplace culture.
Community and Family
A feeling of family and community is felt when your employees experience a sense of winning together when times are good and sticking together when times are tough.
A family-based workplace culture fosters commitment, productivity, innovation and adaptability. These result from the presence of cultures promoting your employees’ impression of family within your organization.
Those organizations that focus on developing a family culture must help their employees see and relate to the organization as a family. To do so, your organization must commit a serious effort into organizational processes and actions, enabling the family (organization) to succeed and achieving a competitive edge over your competitors.
Essentially, your organization must promote your employees’ welfare and well-being, just as much as organizational objectives.
Clear Strategy, Mission, Vision
According to recent research, 76% of employees think a well-defined business strategy helps cultivate a positive workplace culture. Your organization must establish clear goals and align employees with those goals. Such an alignment will help individuals and teams cultivate a sense of professional purpose.
Collaboration and Compelling Relationships
Employees who are given opportunities to develop significant relationships can lead to increasing effective communication. And that’s an imperative force behind building and maintaining a positive workplace culture.
Salesforce recently wrote that 86% of employees and executives cite a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication as a driver for workplace failures. It’s not enough to promote strong communication and collaboration within departments. Effective communication and collaboration must also take place among different departments and teams, and across all levels of your organization.
A strong workplace culture is one allowing employees to openly ask questions, make recommendations, provide feedback and discover influential information.
Strong, Approachable Leadership
It comes as no surprise that studies continuously show leadership is among paramount aspects of every workplace culture.
Employee engagement, satisfaction and morale are largely shaped by relationships with managers. Building and maintaining a positive workplace culture requires leaders to continuously promote your organization’s values. In other words, walk the talk.
Your organization must have leaders who are approachable, able to build trust with their teams, motivate them and inspire passion and commitment. Ineffective, unapproachable managers will only generate an off-putting company culture, pushing your employees to look elsewhere for engagement and loyalty.
Opportunities for Fun!
Having fun at work helps to establish and cultivate a positive workplace culture. We’ve all heard and likely said the famous Mark Twain quote: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Research finds that permitting employees to have fun at work makes them likely to perform better at their jobs, promote a culture of continuous learning, and encourage other employees to innovate without being stressed over potential mistakes.
Fun also brings co-workers together. This initiates group cohesion, which then promotes effective collaboration, teamwork and communication. By actively and regularly considering fun activities in your workplace, leaders can improve morale and install a foundational part of your company culture.
An organization with a distinct culture of recognition helps its employees see their value through their efforts and contributions to the success of their team and the business.
While competitive pay, benefits and flexibility do influence employee morale and productivity, recent studies show employee recognition is potentially pivotal.
Regularly recognizing your employees for their hard work and accomplishments helps forge security in their value at your organization. It elevates employee engagement. In turn, they are motivated to continue great work and stick around.
When asked why employees decided to switch careers, many of them in a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics report indicated they felt either a lack of respect or a lack of autonomy. It doesn’t hurt that saying “thank you” to deserving employees is quick and free!
One More Thing . . . Inclusivity
Let’s not forget about creating a positive and inclusive workplace culture by welcoming individuals from all backgrounds and celebrating their differences.
According to the Hays Asia Diversity and Inclusion report, improved company culture was among the top three benefits of diversity in the workplace. Another survey shows 47% of millennials are actively looking for diversity and inclusion when sizing up potential employers.
However, for your organization’s overall positive company culture strategy to be successful, you must have a proper employee communication strategy in place.
Yes, creating a strong, positive culture is a lot of pressure. It’s not a one-and-done objective to achieve.
Instead, your culture needs to be regularly cultivated for long-term value. Employee experiences and engagement are the same way. Both will ebb and flow.
Your organization needs to frequently invest in a positive company culture to routinely see the resulting engaged employee base. By providing training opportunities, the latest in technological advancements, managerial support, and an open mind about what makes a great workplace environment, your organization can evolve to keep pace with employees’ expectations to really drive business success.
The key is it’s an ongoing process. Positive company culture leading to superior employee experiences don’t just happen. You must focus on your employees needs over time. Use that to help drive a healthy and productive culture.
You can start by reaching out to a trusted technology partner like System Soft Technologies (SSTech). We understand that good company culture and outstanding employee experiences lead to business success. Our digital workplace solutions help your organization cover the spectrum of how your employees interact with leadership and each other, with a great amount of personalization.
That incubates a company culture rich with maximum employee productivity, engagement and satisfaction, boosting both the top line and bottom line of your organization.
Learn more here.
About the Author: Sabreen Dimero
Sabreen Dimero serves as the HR Manager at System Soft Technologies. When Sabreen isn’t traveling, frolicking in the mountains, snuggling up to a good book or hunting for the best donuts in town, she often shares her knowledge about HR Administration, Diversity and Inclusion, Benefits Management and Employee Relations, among other people-in-the-workplace topics. Her dog, Finn, approves.