COMPANY CULTURE : the hottest topic in the business world

company-cultureLatest research by Deloitte shows us that some of the biggest challenges facing leaders in the business world of today are related to company culture, employee engagement and retention. Not only that, over 50% of business leaders rated these matters as urgent to focus on.

What are the reasons behind these challenges? The answer is directly linked to the “ECONOMY” when the economy picks up the bargaining power of employees also rises. Not only that we need to thanks the social websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor as well. There is so much public information available related to a company’s employment brand on the internet.

A Company’s employment brand is now public information so if it is not a great place to work everyone finds out pretty fast. So, company’s may have a lot of work to do if they wish to attract and hold the right employees.

Further, some latest and most interesting research by Gallup highlights that only 31% of employees are engaged at work while 51% are disengaged and 17.5% actively disengaged. Keeping in view these findings it is obvious why companies are facing a retention crisis.

Most business owners focus on building their client base, pursuing sales and other directly related business generating activities. They tend to ignore the more abstract matters like building company culture, improving employee morale or creating a great and supportive work environment. Without realizing that these should infact be a priority as by creating such a culture, it would help them to attract and retain top talent which in turn would support them in achieving the objectives of the business.

When an employer creates an environment that takes into consideration the wants and needs of their employees through the policies created and work environment fostered, it communicates a clear signal to all employees – THAT THEY ARE VALUED. When employees feel valued they are more loyal, productivity increases and so does retention. It also contributes to creating a happy and productive workplace.

There are some pretty simple ways that business leaders of today can use to build and enhance their company’s culture :

OPEN DOORS : An open door policy helps to promote a culture of openness and transparency among employees. It encourages open communication at all times, the opportunity to give feedback and discussion on any matter by an employee. Barriers are broken down and employees are free to talk to managers at any time.

FLATTER ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES : Such structures with few or no levels of management between management and staff level employees promotes the increased involvement of employees in the decision-making process. It also elevates the employees’ level of responsibility in the organization. Further by removing the excess layers of management tiers,  it helps to improve the coordination and speed of communication between employees.

EMPOWERMENT : Trust and empower your employees to be responsible and make the right decisions. By sharing information and providing the necessary authority employees are enabled to take initiatives and make the required changes and decisions to solve problems and improve their level of service contributing to improved customer service and performance levels. This also contributes to developing a higher level of competence and job satisfaction.

FLEXIBILITY : Offering flexible arrangements at work is another indication of a strong work environment. Employees with the flexibility to make reasonable arrangements related to their jobs and working conditions that suit them are able to improve work/life balance as well as improve productivity and efficiency. These could include things like flexitime, paid leave, compressed work weeks etc.

LISTEN & OBTAIN FEEDBACK : Fostering a listening and feedback culture helps to create a comfortable environment in which employees reach out and give their opinion no matter at which level or position they may be. Management receives valuable information which can provide the company benefit in terms of increased productivity, customer satisfaction, achievement of objectives and better work relations with and between employees.

Those companies that focus on culture are most sought by job seekers. Why ? The reason being, that culture-driven companies explicitly put their people first. Fortunes’ Best Companies to work for happen to be many of the same companies that are listed in Glassdoor’s  Best Places to Work for and are also listed in LinkedIn’s Most in-Demand Employers. What does all that show us? It clearly highlights that companies with strong positive cultures are those which are most in demand. Even new and younger companies that are focusing on culture are attracting and retaining the best talent.

REMEMBER : “Take care of your people and they will take care of your customers,” as the saying goes.

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