Five small business benefits of stellar workplace culture and four next steps.
Our workplace is the setting in which we spend most of our days and time.
Work is home away from home for most and involves a large portion of our ongoing growth, cultural setting and contributes to our balance (or for some) imbalance. Workplace culture is the environment in which employees operate and spend the majority of their time.
It is a compilation of an organization’s leadership, values, traditions, behaviors and attitudes that create and contribute to the environment of your workplace and hence your employees.
Workplace culture plays an important role in shaping employees’ work satisfaction, advocacy for the organization, interpersonal relationships within the workplace and in business, their progression and ultimately affects retention and recruiting.
Workplace culture is important for many reasons:
- Attract and retain high caliber talent.
- Fosters engagement, advocacy, loyalty and retention.
- Stimulates professional development and progression.
- Creates satisfaction, vestment and productivity.
- Drives financial performance and successes.
Genuine diversity and inclusion and work life balance support and nurture your talent and build culture.
Postering and using public relations tactics that are ingenuine and not actually in practice will end up festering into losses, result in ongoing reputational issues, and often times law suits. People leave bosses and poor management and leadership, not companies per se.
Empowerment and transparency for vestment and loyalty from the top down and from the bottom up are essential. Everyone should feel part of the process alongside their leadership.
In a prior role, I received many accolades and awards and never once did the leadership of the firm attend to support me or acknowledge the accolades or even send a congratulations even though it was mutually beneficial for them for me to raise the profile of their company alongside my own.
In turn, I attended most, if not all of the events in which my colleagues in leadership were honored and applauded. Your employees and talent has to fostered and supported because it goes both ways. High caliber talent has options and others will come to the table and court them when there is an opportunity.
The worst thing a company can do is take its employees for granted.
Underappreciation is a real problem.
According to a blog post by Sodexo, “Are you Taking Your Staff for Granted?,” please consider this excerpt from a piece written by Iain Thompson.
The biggest mistake organizations make:
The biggest mistake organizations make is letting their workplace culture form naturally without defining and shaping what they want it to be and being part of the ongoing process and activities.
Companies claim that things happen “organically” but the reality is that most things have to be intentional and with purpose. If you want true growth and integration and long-term success, you need to have the right team in place internally, allow those key business advisors to do their work and lead efforts, and go outside of your backyard and comfort zone.
Companies regularly stumble and eventually fail when leaders presume to be experts in all areas.
I strongly feel that “Jack of All Trades and Master of None” is a very poor strategy and that has been proven time after time. Surround yourself with the best in class in talent and watch your company blossom.
People need to know when to get out of their own way.
Talent also needs to know when their trajectory in a company has come to an end because it no longer meets your professional goals and diverges from your personal beliefs on various levels and no longer bring you value.
Key points to consider going back to the core of culture:
- Cultivate employee relationships both in and out of the office. Connections are key to communication.
- Build, maintain and foster a comfortable workplace. No one wants to work in a toxic environment. It’ll make you feel uncomfortable, unappreciated and undervalued.
- Professional development and training should be required and not optional for all. It helps people grow into better employees, colleagues, managers, leaders and individuals. This breeds healthy appreciation for their contributions, which in turn helps to enhance productivity and performance.
- Be careful and mindful of burnout. Most top companies provide unlimited PTO which foster responsible and happy employees. Rest and balance is an important contributor to performance. If your company and teams are understaffed, overworked and stressed, this can be a key red flag and indicator that your culture is unhealthy.
In the end, there are many elements that make a business and a home, even if “away from home” as well.
Dig in to the types of organizational culture types and consult experts in the field. Check out the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI), developed by © Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn at the University of Michigan, a validated research method to assess organizational culture.
The OCAI (© Kim Cameron) was carefully designed, tested, and validated. Respondents are asked to score six aspects of culture: dominant characteristics, organizational leadership, management of employees, organization glue, strategic emphases, and criteria of success.