Small and Smart Wins
Fierce competition and rivalry between organizations often foster a take-no-prisoners, high pressured work environment to drive financial success. However, extensive research on organizational behavior suggests the complete opposite. It reveals that having a tough, cutthroat work culture may be a successful short term strategy for for boosting workforce productivity but these short term improvements soon evaporate and then a negative impact on productivity is experienced.
According to the American Psychological Association, high pressured firms incur 50% greater costs in terms of healthcare expenditure than other firms. What is even more concerning is that almost 60–80% of workplace accidents happen due to stress, fatigue and tension. It is no secret that workplace stress leads to cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndromes.
What HR professionals and members of top management should understand is that every employee is not an urgency addict. Meeting tight deadlines may increase the engagement rate for some employees, but it’s not normal and definitely not a great strategy to boost productivity of the work staff over a period of time especially over an extended period of time. Read more about this in the Harvard Business Review article: https://hbr.org/2015/12/proof-that-positive-work-cultures-are-more-productive
Another implicit cost a firm incurs due to stressful work atmosphere is lack of loyalty. A study conducted by Centre for American Progress states that these firms have excessively high turnover rate, often exceeding 50% or more. Employees reject promotions or resign to go back on the job market, thus leaving the company with additional costs and responsibilities to hire and train new candidates.
Creating the Shift
Building a positive work culture is not rocket science. It’s the small things that actually matter and you can start by taking baby steps towards fostering a culture that keeps your employees happy and content.
1) Start by Defining your Legacy
President of Human Resource Solutions and author of ‘Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around’ Roberta Chinsky Matuson suggests that you must make up your mind on what type of organization you want to have. Talented professionals often switch jobs and join a small business because they were treated poorly.
Consider what you want people to say about your firm when they leave the job and then go back to solve the problem.
2) Smart Hiring
According to Jim Collins in his book Good to Great, getting the right people on the bus is important. Simply laying out a vision is not enough. You must hire the right people who can take your company to greater heights. Most talented professionals already have great paying jobs, so find a differentiator in the new hire that will create a lot of new ideas and release their passion to benefit your organization.
Nothing can dampen an employee’s spirits more than feeling that they are not being heard. Start by listening to the concerns and problems your employees face in the workplace and try to make appropriate changes to increase their productivity. Don’t miss out on asking one question that most successful entrepreneurs ask their employees, ‘What would you do differently if this was your company?’
You can draw insights from their answers to make necessary changes in the workplace to get things done faster and increase profitability. Also, this step will make your work staff feel their opinions are valued.
Keep your employees in the loop about what’s happening; share your firm’s future goals, plans for expansion and financials. This may seem like divulging too much information, but it will open new lines of communication to create an open culture in the workplace.
Kirschner suggests transparency is the key to getting your employees more engaged by letting them know what’s going on rather than keeping them guessing.
Never underestimate the impact of a few kind words. A simple pat on the back or ‘Good job!’ can mean a lot to an employee, especially when it comes from the boss. It makes them feel appreciated and makes them feel their contribution in the team is given due importance.
6) Evolve and Change
Rome wasn’t built in a day and bringing a positive change in the organizational culture of your firm will take time, dedication and perseverance. Chinsky Matuson compares this to a diet. Shedding those extra pounds is not easy — you cannot just avoid a few cans of soda and chips. Significant and sustainable changes have to be made to realize the constructive changes you are looking for.
This change is the same for the case of company culture. Creating a culture aligned around the organizations business strategy starts at the top. Make sure key leaders across the organization understand their role in supporting the alignment and delivering an employee experience that is congruent with the outcomes you desire.
7) Institutionalize the Culture
At the initial stage, changing the culture will be difficult but once you’ve set the wheels in motion, you must put new systems or standard operating procedures to enforce permanence of the new culture. When hiring new candidates, encourage multiple people to provide feedback on whether or not a potential employee is the right fit for the firm.
The Benefits of a Positive Work Culture
A positive work atmosphere has great benefits to offer. It significantly increases the engagement rate of the workforce, decreases the turnover rate and improves work satisfaction levels of the employees.
When your employees are happy, it shows up in their work, attitudes and activities inside and outside of the workplace.
With these tips in mind, start taking baby steps to improve your company’s culture. The first part of any journey begins with a single step. Remember, change must penetrate at the most elemental level of your company’s hierarchy to stick and that’s why you must start at the bottom.
Change may not go your way in the beginning, but being persistent to help your employees ‘buy into’ the change deliver dividends for all.
You can find more Management and Leadership knowledge on our website www.MagnaLeadership.com. We are trusted advisors for executives of small to mid-sized organizations who realize an investment in emerging leaders solves their growth and engagement challenges.
I hope you found this article useful in learning about Ways To Create A Positive Organizational Work Culture. You can find more Management and Leadership knowledge on our website HTTPs://www.MagnaLeadership.com. We are trusted advisors for executives of small to mid-sized organizations who realize an investment in emerging leaders solves their growth and engagement challenges.
Dr. Kevin Gazzara — is a senior partner and founder of Magna Leadership Solutions, based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the author of “The Leader of OZ” www.leaderofoz.com. He is an international speaker and recognized as a Management & Leadership Expert and an Executive Coach. Kevin is a professor at 5 Universities developing and teaching programs to help others achieve their full potential. You can follow Kevin and Magna Leadership Solutions on our website: HTTPs://www.magnaleadership.com, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/doctorkevin or our Facebook Fan Page at: https://www.facebook.com/MagnaLeadership
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Dr. Kevin Gazzara