A positive work culture is the essence of every thriving business. According to the study done by the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, happy workers are 12% more productive than average workers. So, how do your employees perform at work?
Does your workforce feel encouraged to come up with new ideas, or better yet, does the work give them a sense of personal accomplishment? If not, then seriously consider developing good habits in the workplace, because unhappy workers cost U.S. businesses over $300 billion each year.
Positive vs. Negative Work Culture
There is a strong reason why corporate culture matters, starting with the fact that companies with satisfied employees outperform the competition by 20%. Meaning that contrary to competitors, organizations earn 1.2 to 1.7% more, solve tricky issues faster, and are 2.1% above industry benchmarks.
On the other hand, businesses with a negative corporate environment and low employee initiatives result in 33% annual decline in operating income and 11% decrease in earnings growth. Whereas high engagement enterprises experience a whole 19% increase and 28% growth in the areas in question.
Therefore, it is safe to conclude that keeping employee’s content equals to satisfying customers, since the results witnessed by an increase in revenue. So, transform your organization with a few easy steps that will assure overall satisfaction and lead to a productivity peak.
Ask for Some Feedback on Common Issues in the Office
There are three simple ways to measure employee satisfaction and they all include asking for feedback on common issues. The only thing that differs is which of the following approaches is selected:
- Anonymous Surveys
- Suggestion Box
- Employee Performance Evaluation
While a suggestion box is a great idea for encouraging employees to speak up, it might be hard to get a deeper insight into their thoughts and wishes. Some of the workers are often scared to share their real concerns due to a fear of retribution. Actually, multiple study reports, including the most recent, suggest that leaders frequently undermine their own efforts to get workers to speak up:
“One important obstacle to building speaking-up cultures is not necessarily the top of the organization, but the leadership at lower levels that has to deliver. They often are not open towards constructive challenges from their employees, are not able to deal with constructive criticism, and if not trained and informed well this may end up in a negative spiral in which supervisors do not even block out information but will also retaliate towards employees speaking up.”
That said, companies must promote open communication or at least give their employees an open channel for improving the conditions of the office environment. Of course, performing the employee performance evaluation will provide information about their levels of satisfaction, however, without a further investigation of their work-related problems there will be no positive changes, only increased pressure.
In order to avoid conflicts and the buildup of stress in the office, it’s recommended to conduct a one-on-one review and focus on the specific needs of each employee. For example, give them something new to learn via corporate training. This will give them a chance to develop their skills and motivate the workforce to accomplish their goals and get what they want from their jobs.
Then again, if you think you have a good training program in place, maybe it’s time to conduct anonymous surveys. By doing so, you can get a clear picture of what is going on in the workplace without employees feeling targeted or scared to reply.
And with a 100% response rate from the employees guaranteed, the only thing left to do is set a different set of questions and analyze what is causing your workers’ reduced productivity.
Inspire People to Improve
What are the constructive habits of highly successful people? They are the goal- people- and action-oriented or, simply put, they inspire people to improve. To be the leader employees can look upon and feel happy for working as a unit towards accomplishing business objectives, try to build relationships by sharing your personality, knowledge, and expertise at meetings.
It’s important to get people involved in the company’s projects and activities, so don’t forget to make employees feel important by acknowledging their efforts, respecting their opinions, and supporting peer-to-peer collaboration. Always be considerate of others and remain consistent. Don’t dwell on the small stuff and focus on positive qualities that each colleague possess.
Likewise, give employees the space to interact and bond in an informal setting. Social work events are the best way to promote the building of positive relationships, as people tend to let their guard down at holiday parties, retreats, conferences, or simply milestone parties.
Promote Open and Honest Communication
Rise above office gossip and communicate. By communicating with employees on a regular basis and in a friendly manner, you will encourage the workforce to do the same. Use formal events as another weapon of open and honest communication.
Don’t just ask for their feedback, but provide your own as well. Emphasize their qualities and share information to help them gain more confidence and self-assurance. Be open to what the workers are telling you and learn from it. Instead of criticizing and judging, think about the improvements that can be made.
Set Clear Limits, But Allow for Some Flexibility
Workplace flexibility is one of the most beneficial approaches for the employees who find themselves under a lot of pressure. The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College define workplace flexibility as:
“the employee and an employer making changes to when, where and how a person will work to better meet individual and business needs. Flexibility enables both individual and business needs to be met through making changes to the time (when), location (where) and manner (how) in which an employee works.”
So there are clear boundaries given the supervisor should approve the set of parameters based on the worker’s needs, but the work hours are flexible and suitable for both employees and managers. In addition, some organizations offer voluntary part-time work, where an employee decides if they will work for less than 35 hours a week, full-time, or even for only a certain number of months per year.
The reduced hour’s arrangement is a very motivating factor for employees leaving for maternity/paternity leave or facing some personal difficulties preventing them from giving their full attention to their work.
Giving your workforce the freedom to do their work whenever and wherever, as long as the job gets done, has proven to be the most efficient productivity tactic. Just take a look at the GOROWE, they have patented this approach since 2005 and their “as long as the work gets done motto” seems to work quite well.
Define Clear Goals and Milestones
If you want to see a dramatic increase in employee and business performance, then set individual worker’s goals and tie them to the overall business strategy. How? Inform the employees of exactly what they can expect, when, and how much. Give them well-designed tasks and provide milestones to track progress and inspire them to achieve their goals. Establish enough time for their completion and implement realistic deadlines to follow.
Specific goals and responsibilities related to them is what unites the company with its employees. So organize, assess, and manage your goals regularly. Whether they are small or large, goals require a plan of action supported by exciting milestones and new motivating tasks ahead.
Promote a positive work culture because your business depends on it. By investing in a happier environment, you will replenish your revenue via numerous satisfied and loyal customers. Not to mention that employee turnover will be a thing of the past, because all they want is a chance to learn and grow while feeling appreciated for their work. So ask them what they want and find a common ground on which the business can grow its strong roots.
OneMotion helps organizations choose and deploy software in a way that their teams will actually use it. Ever hear someone complain that ‘they’ve tried 10 different tools and none of them worked’? That’s usually a people problem, not a tool problem and we are all about fixing those people problems. Talk to us to find out more!