“Culture” - it's a word that you’ve no doubt heard a lot more than usual over the past 12 months as it’s shot to prominence as one of the key employee engagement trends of 2022. It may sound like a fancy new buzzword. But in reality, a strong workplace culture is no longer just desirable, it’s essential to running a successful organization.
The truth is, that culture has always been key, but its importance has been supercharged during recent years as we’ve experienced seismic changes to the way we work. What started with COVID-19 and a rapid adoption of remote / hybrid working, was quickly followed by a global talent crisis that left organizations scrambling to attract and retain the very best employees. Originally dubbed the “Great Resignation” this movement has since evolved into a “Great Re-evaluation,” as employees’ expectations have shifted.
As a result, employers are locked in a battle to attract and retain today’s top talent. For employees, the choice is about more than who’s offering the biggest paycheck. Instead, people are gravitating towards employers who offer flexible working practices, a shared purpose, and most importantly, a strong workplace culture.
The reason why workplace culture has become so important for employers is that it offers a retention tool that’s proved far more effective than salary ranges, benefits packages and perks.
Built correctly, an engaged culture will help you attract and retain the best talent. It can also inspire loyalty, drive productivity and make your employees more engaged and motivated. And the statistics back up the anecdotal evidence. One study shows that the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with high company culture is a mere 14% whereas the probability of job turnover in low company cultures is a staggering 48%. Elsewhere another study, found that employees who were happy with their workplace culture were 12% more productive than the average worker.
Put simply building an engaged workplace culture isn't just good for your employees, it’s good for business. Which begs the million-dollar question: Just how do you build an engaging culture?
If you’re looking to transform your workplace here are a few tips to help you build an engaging company culture that will help to draw the best talent and increase your productivity.
What does your company stand for? What do you believe in? What kind of workplace culture do you want to create? The answer to these questions won’t happen by accident. Instead, you need to actively identify the kind of company culture you want to build, then take action to create it.
There’s a strong chance your company has already done this by setting out its core values or vision. All too often however these are words that are consigned to an employee handbook, or included documents that are filed away in the system never to see the light of day. But if you’re looking to build a strong culture of engagement then the opposite should be true. Indeed your core values are the building blocks on which your workplace culture will be built. So instead of tucking them away in a darkened drawer, make sure they’re front-of-mind - ingrained into every meeting, every strategy, and every decision (no matter how big or small) from now on.
When it comes to building a strong culture of engagement your most valuable resource are your employees. So make sure you listen to them. Whether you ask them what kind of workplace culture they want to be a part of, or where your organization might need a little more work to create a better culture, involving them in the process will make them feel invested in building it.
You don't just want to listen to your people however, you want to actively involve them. Transparency is key here. Take the time to not only tell people what you’re doing, but crucially, why you’re doing it.
When people understand the purpose behind your workplace culture and the role that they have to play in building it, they will become stakeholders in its success. This creates a virtuous circle where the more employees focus on building a great workplace culture, the better that culture will become and so ultimately, the more engaged they will feel in building it.
Workplace culture isn't something that can be changed overnight. It needs time and effort to cultivate. That cultivation starts at the top. Your leaders should prioritize building and reinforcing your company culture as a business imperative and not as a nice-to-have or an afterthought. And where they lead the rest of your people will follow.
One of the most powerful tools your organization can use to build a strong culture of recognition is to employ a company recognition program. Recognizing people isn’t just a basic human need, it’s a powerful tool that in the right hands can be used to increase motivation, boost engagement and send your productivity soaring.
Better still, by tying your rewards and recognition to your company’s core values you can actively incentivize the kind of behaviour that you want to form the core of your company’s culture. The good news is that thanks to platforms like Bucketlist, it’s now easier than ever to build an effective company recognition program. Our corporate recognition and rewards program has been proven to drive results, offering a cost-effective tool to help build stronger workplace cultures.
On your journey to building a strong culture of engagement, don't be afraid to share your success. When you get something right, shout loud and proud about it. If you win an award, tell people about it. If you build a great culture, make sure you talk about it. The more you communicate about your achievements the more talent will take notice.
If you’d like to find out more about building a culture of engagement, check out our recent webinar with Jean Lynn, Director of Human Resources for Meridian Clinical Research. In this wide-ranging discussion, we looked in depth at the tools and techniques that Meridian has used to build a strong culture and how they’ve utilized employee recognition software to boost engagement.