A great organisational culture is one that supports their business strategy and helps in building Employee Engagement
The culture of an organisation is not just about employee happiness, business perks or even an inclusive management style, it is also about helping the organisation do whatever it does best. A company’s cultural attributes should all be in service of their larger strategy. Building Employee Engagement elements includes hiring practices, rewards, behaviour and values. Organisations need to discover which leadership styles best support the products they produce or services they offer.
We can break culture down into 3 key dimensions that build Employee Engagement:
- Values – Such as innovation, teamwork, and integrity
- Passion – Employees buy-in to the culture and how they live the values
- Consensus – The degree to which employees share and agree about cultural norms
Building a positive organisational culture and Building Employee Engagement in a workplace takes a lot of effort, commitment and follow through but it is the core of the most successful organisations. Successful organisations have a solid set of values and traditions that create their foundation and help build a positive engaged work environment. This foundation also shapes the employee culture – who is hired and why.
Research suggests that workplaces with a solid organisational culture and positive work environment have a higher rate of employee satisfaction, Employee Engagement, productivity, employee retention as well as better financial results. How an organisation treats its employees impacts its culture, and the culture an organisation actively seeks to foster is dependent on how they treat their employees. When we take the time to celebrate achievements and reward and recognise our employee’s behaviour in line with our culture and values, we build a positive work environment.
So how do we do this?
- Define organisational Values, Vision and Mission. When developing an organisational culture it is important to clearly define what the company’s values, vision and mission are. What is it that you do, what do you want to achieve, how will this be achieved (and specifically how do you behave)? The mission, vision and values should guide employee actions and decision-making. It is therefore critical that these elements are in alignment with the organisation’s goals. Getting employee buy-in on the definition process will ensure that they are not only aware of the mission, vision and values, but also embrace them. If you have values like innovation, teamwork, or being a learning organisation be sure to include these values into the corporate culture by sharing, rewarding and living the values daily.
- “Over” Communicate. Research shows that for a message to stick it needs to be repeated at least 7 times, preferably using a variety of channels. This is due to the “noise” all around us. Unless repeated our message can get lost in all the clutter, adverts and noise that fills our day. The most effective communication is two-way and involves giving employees a voice and an opportunity to participate and innovate as a pruner in the organisation. Communicate regularly with employees about their roles and ask what their needs are. Go behind their positions and make time to get to know employees as human beings. Taking time to learn about what they enjoy doing at work and outside of work can yield fantastic Employee Engagement dividends. We want to know we matter and are seen. A key to success in any relationship is clear and human communication.
- Engage Employees though the bigger picture. We want to know that what we do matters, and a pivotal way to achieve this is to help employees understand how they fit into the bigger picture and how their contribution helps the organisation achieve their strategic goals. Involving employees in problem-solving and/or decision making can be a great way to increase engagement and gain innovative ideas. Those that deal directly with the product, process or customers often have greater insight into ways to streamline the process or increase customer satisfaction. This only happens when they are asked. Be open to employee feedback and make time for regular meetings to ensure that all levels of the organisation are aware of and engaged in changes, news, policies etc. Keeping employees in the dark leads to rumours and increases in politics.
- Celebrate achievement. Organisational successes is the result of the work of an entire team. Make time to recognise and celebrate individual as well as team accomplishments. This helps build a strong culture and sense of community in the workplace. Celebrations can be for a variety of achievements including strategic goals, successful projects, employee anniversaries (personal or service), birthdays or holidays. Recognition is an important step towards engaging and retaining employees.
A positive organisational culture has many benefits for the organisation, but also enhances the lives of the individuals who make up the organisation. Employee Engagement is built on a strong foundation that includes a clearly stated mission, vision and values, open communication, engaged employees and recognition of achievements. A strong organizational culture will help establish your organization as an employer of choice and result in many positive returns to the bottom line of the business.
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