A strong workplace culture increases business performance by engaging everyone in a united goal, values and vision. It is also essential for helping to attract and retain talent; a key element to achieving business growth. The culture of your workplace has a significant impact on your employer brand and influences the perception of working for you. It is also crucial for staff retention, as employees will look to escape a toxic culture. Furthermore, a good understanding of your current culture will enable you to hire with cultural fit in mind, helping you to find those who will thrive in your organisation and prevent costly recruitment mistakes. So how can you get an accurate picture of your workplace culture, and identify any potential areas for improvement?
I believe culture and engagement surveys provide employers with the insights needed to create a company culture which is attractive to current employees and to up-and-coming talent. When surveys are conducted by an external party, employers are also more likely to get honest answers and gain an authentic reflection. An effective survey will help you to understand and develop your organisation’s culture to deliver strategic and long term performance. Here’s just some of the valuable insights you can expect to receive:
1. Clarity of vision
Are your employees aware of the aims and objectives of your organisation? A recent report found that only 42% of employees knew their organisation’s vision, mission and cultural values. If employees are working without any real understanding of these elements, it is likely people will be pulling in different directions and not working together towards a collective vision.
2. Motivation levels
The more motivated your employees are, the more likely they are to go the extra mile. However, it’s important to recognise what motivates people as individuals, rather than trying to guess what would work for everyone. A culture and engagement survey can help employers gain the insights needed to assess this.
3. Organisational learning
New generations entering the workforce have created a shift in employee needs and motivations. Is your organisation successfully maintaining a culture which remains attractive to an evolving workforce? Are there any long-held misconceptions which need addressing? For example, is there a culture of long hours because people believe those who arrive early and stay late are seen to be the hardest workers?
4. Employee engagement
The importance of gaining an insight into your current levels of employee engagement, and identifying any areas of improvement, should never be underestimated. Evidence shows that businesses with an engaged workforce have 40 per cent less staff turnover. Engaged employees will also be stronger advocates and help protect against the reputational risks associated with poor service levels or product quality.
Is there an open and honest communication culture? Do senior managers trust employees and share information at the earliest opportunity? Providing transparent information and giving employees a voice are two key enablers of employee engagement. Effective internal communications are also essential in keeping staff engaged in the organisation’s developments.
6. Leadership style
Is your senior leadership team fostering a positive work environment or a negative one? A successful workplace culture needs to have a clear commitment from the top and should be led by example. Employers also need to make sure that managers are effectively equipped to provide ongoing performance management which will help each employee to thrive.
7. Team work
Does your organisation have a culture where people respect and support each other? In today’s multigenerational workforce it is becoming increasingly important to ensure each generational group respects each other’s unique talents. A successful culture will be based on employees sharing their knowledge across age groups and a sense of teamwork which spans the generations.
Innovation is essential if you want to stay ahead of the curve in your industry. Do your employees believe they are able to contribute ideas? They could provide creative solutions for new ways of working which will improve customer satisfaction and increase income.
9. Learning and development
Do employees have a clear understanding of their career and progression path? Offering development opportunities is an important element of employee engagement. It motivates existing employees and helps employers to create an effective progression pipeline. It also promotes the organisation as a place where new recruits will be supported to reach their full potential.
10. Employee well being
Happy, healthy staff are more engaged and productive and employers benefit from reduced absenteeism. How do your employees view their work-life balance? Are any employee wellbeing programmes working effectively? A healthy culture relies on helping employees to strike the delicate balance between work and home life so they can effectively manage their careers, stay healthy and continue to feel engaged.