Do you seek to create an engaged culture but you are worried about performance?
In the digital age, with more millennials joining the workforce, employees expect a productive, engaging, enjoyable work experience. Therefore, employee performance is increasingly dependent on the culture of a company.
Improving culture may not be the most obvious way to improve employee performance, but it may be one of the most overlooked.
The premise is simple…
Employees who love their job call in sick less frequently, perform better when they’re on the job and are more likely to collaborate with other team members or superiors. Whereas culture mismatch results in decreased job satisfaction and performance affecting both the company and the employee.
Employees develop loyalty to their companies when they know that their bosses and managers genuinely care about their personal happiness – and not just the company’s revenues.
This is because it helps the employee buy-in to the vision of the company. It encourages them to set more ambitious goals that are fueled by a wave of positive energy.
Culture or performance first?
A study published by the Journal of Organizational Behaviour explored the question:
Which comes first, organizational culture or performance?
During the study, 95 automobile dealerships were analysed over 6 years. To make sure the study was fair, the researchers only looked at dealerships that carried the same products. The dealerships also used the same performance metrics and all operated separately.
After analysing multiple aspects of culture and performance data, the results were stunning. They prove yet again that if culture comes first, employee performance levels will follow.
The researchers write, “Overall, department culture was found to consistently predict higher subsequent levels of customer satisfaction ratings and vehicle sales, with no evidence obtained for a reciprocal performance-to-culture feedback loop. In addition, the positive effect of culture on vehicle sales was mediated by customer satisfaction.”
So how do you improve company culture?
Building a positive company culture doesn’t simply happen overnight. Improving culture is a long-term strategy. It often means taking time away from focusing on sales and other short-term goals. However those who do, will reap the benefits of employee engagement for years to come. Here are a few quick wins that you can implement going forward to see an improvement.
1. Be open and transparent throughout the company
The true foundation of a great company culture is trust.
Modern communication and collaboration tools make it easier than ever to reduce the barriers between your employees. Here are some examples:
They can be used to recognise the success of teams and individuals within the company. This can provide a boost in motivation and also inspire others to achieve the same recognition. However, you should also share the challenges that the company is facing. This gives your employees the chance to offer solutions you may not have considered.
2. Encourage employee autonomy
You hired the best people, they deserve to be trusted.
Intuit suggests that companies should allow employee autonomy by letting go of the concept of the 40 hour work week. Allowing employees to manage their own time and creating opportunities to make decisions have been proven to improve culture.
CareerBuilder conducted a survey of nearly 4,000 workers and found that a flexible schedule was one of the biggest drivers of retention.
3. Give regular feedback and encourage feedback
In general, employees don’t receive enough feedback. Annual performance reviews are not regular enough and don’t provide the tools an employee needs to improve. If an employee is underperforming in certain areas of their job, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to them at the end of the year. They need timely feedback when it’s most important.
The best managers not only give regular feedback but listen to it too. It’s important to understand why an employee might be underperforming and how you can fix it.
These quick wins will help improve your company culture, but a long-term strategy is also needed. If you are looking to create a purpose-driven organisation, get in touch with Flock today.