Too often, companies assume that a fast-paced, high-pressure work environment will drive productivity, and therefore employee success. However, this type of environment commonly has the opposite effect, causing unnecessary stress, diminishing productivity and ultimately higher turnover. To have truly successful employees, companies must instead foster a culture that promotes inclusivity, interpersonal connections, forgiveness, integrity, and respect. However, this type of healthy environment won’t be possible if all of your employees aren’t firing on all cylinders — from executives to entry-level. The following will further illustrate why a healthy workplace culture is vital to employee success. Let’s begin by discussing the direct ways your company’s culture influences productivity and success.
Companies are not just made up of the products they sell or the services they provide — they are differentiated by the people who interface with their customers to design and deliver the products and services that meet and exceed their needs. Because the employees are the driving force behind the accomplishments of a company, it is important that you create an environment that will breed success — and that starts with establishing a positive company culture.
There are many reasons why a company’s culture is so crucial to its success, the first being that a favorable, productive environment will increase retention rates among the staff. No amount of pay, benefits, or perquisites would make a good employee stay if they were operating in a toxic work space, but a positive culture would give people a reason to stay. How does this drive success? Retaining employees is the most cost-effective and dynamic way to conduct business; several studies show that the cost of replacing an employee is two to three times the annual compensation. This includes hard costs such as recruiting, training, and on-boarding, as well as soft costs including time spent managing, the impact on morale, the impact on customer relationships, missed opportunities, disruptions, and lost knowledge. With happier people comes less turnover, meaning less company resources spent on recruiting, interviewing, and training new employees and more time spent focusing on producing results.
In addition to increasing retention rates, a positive culture also attracts great employees — in more ways than one. When employees enjoy their culture, they’re more likely to tell their friends and neighbors, highlight it on social media or through trusted websites like Glassdoor. This enhances your company’s reputation and can help you to attract top talent. Finally, when employees work in a positive culture, there is also a boost in productivity throughout the company. Economists at the University of Warwick conducted a study that consisted of several experiments testing a hypothesis that engaged employees worked harder than those who felt disenfranchised at work. They concluded that people who were pleased with their company’s culture are more willing to work harder and produce higher-quality results, driving your business toward success.
Read More: 9 Ways To Cultivate A Positive Workplace Culture
There are several factors that are indicative of a positive company culture: employee-centric values, clear and regular communications, and work-life balance.
Employee-centric values should be present throughout your business — starting with the hiring process. Remember, what is written on a resume is not the only important part of selecting a candidate; rigid job descriptions and strict experience requirements will narrow your pool of potential candidates and limit your perspective in viewing non-traditional resumes. Instead, focus on hiring great people who represent your business’ core values and nurturing their growth throughout the company.
Another key marker of a healthy workplace is open and regular communications. Employees often feel more secure and confident in their jobs when they understand the mission, vision and values and receive regular updates on business performance and challenges.They also want a safe space to express ideas, collaborate with coworkers, and address any conflicts that may arise. Being able to clearly communicate also promotes more harmonious attitudes among team members because they can more effectively approach their projects and streamline their processes through collaboration. This kind of transparency is especially important in today’s world in which most of our business is done behind screens and through emails, where tones can be easily misinterpreted.
One of the most meaningful aspects of cultivating an uplifting company culture is to place emphasis on a healthy work-life balance. Chronic stress, or “burning out”, is common among employees who are overworked and cannot maintain a separation between their professional and personal lives. When employees burn out, it deteriorates their mental and physical health, and is usually a result of a toxic work environment that does not value them as actual human beings. Allowing your people to have adequate time to relax and recharge will result in happier, healthier employees who have more favorable attitudes toward their work and company, improving the culture as a whole.
In more ways than one, executives make critical decisions that shape the culture of the company. There’s a cascading effect within every business where the actions of leaders at the top trickles down to affect those at entry. For example, in times of uncertainty, people look to their leaders for what to do next — so being a positive force in the company will influence employees at every level to maintain a forward-thinking mentality.
Adverse effects can arise if leadership is exhibiting the wrong behaviors and values. Toxicity from poor leadership can create negative behavior in lower-level managers as a reaction to pressure and unrealistic expectations. Managers may become unfair and overly involved in how their direct reports are executing their goals — which is guaranteed to cause friction between both parties. In one study, 85 percent of employees said their morale was negatively impacted because they were micromanaged. Unfortunately, this pattern may affect employees at every level and can cause disastrous results for employee engagement. Understandably, employees are not willing to tolerate poor leadership. Working in a toxic environment created by executives is a leading cause of turnover in high-performing employees.
A study by Robert Half found 49 percent of employees have quit a job position because of issues with difficult leadership. There is not only the short term cost of replacing a high-potential employee, but the long-term opportunity cost that they could have achieved in terms of business won, products developed, markets penetrated and/or improvements delivered. This further proves why executives must be conscientious of their personal impact on the rest of the company. If they are striving for a positive workplace culture made up of successful, motivated, and engaged employees, they must first set an example and model the behavior and actions they want to see. If done correctly, those in leadership can increase their organization’s overall chance of being successful. However, this success can only be attained if leaders have the necessary qualities to encourage a positive work environment so employees may thrive. Furthermore, great leaders produce consistent employees who tend to have lower turnover rates and less absenteeism. They encourage and shape employees to be productive, responsible, and engaged which boosts employee morale and job satisfaction.
Finding excellent leaders begins with the recruiting process. We recognize the importance of maintaining a healthy work environment. We also understand how a toxic culture can quickly stifle employee success. Our team of specialized senior recruiters can assist any organization in finding an excellent leader to fill an executive role.Here at Kinsley Sarn we are known for our focus on finding the right fit for a company — we look for more than just an impressive resume. We understand the role high-level employees play in shaping the culture, politics, and work environment of an organization. Our promise is to find an executive leader who will endorse healthy workplace culture to guarantee employee success from the top down. Our mission is to help build great organizations one leader at a time. Contact us to begin the process of finding the next leader for your company.