7 Ways Organizational Culture Influences Employee Productivity
⏱ Reading Time: 6 minutes
Organizational culture may seem like a modern phenomenon, but it has been studied for more than 50 years as an important part of business success. Only recently it has resurfaced again. Rooted deeply in psychology and employees’ perception of work, it’s consequently reflecting on their productivity, stress level and quality of work. And if implemented well, organizational culture will directly impact company’s prosperity and well-being.
In order to be successful, companies need to be aware of the role organizational culture has on their employees.
Here are some interesting numbers to help put in perspective just how important it is.
According to builtin.com, 58% of employees would stay at a lower-paying job if it meant working for a great boss, 15% turn down a job offer because of a bad / or lack of the company’s culture, 46% of job seekers think that company culture is very important and 24% of employees are more likely to quit if they don’t like their company’s culture.
That’s why during the last several years organizational culture has become one of the main factors for employee retention.
Picture 1. Organizational culture has a crucial role in emplyee retention
How Can We Define Organizational Culture?
Putting it simply, organizational culture is most often described
as a group of internal ideals and behaviors in an organization,
built on shared goals and values, team work and collaboration between employees and the management on all levels. When organization and employees are on the same path and their goals align, the management can expect more proactivity, dedication and involvement.
Employees are more likely to put more effort into their daily tasks and spend more time completing them. Moreover, organizational culture has the power to influence how people react in given situations and interact with others. It is also in tight relationship with leadership styles, which set the tone of work environment.
So What Strategy to Implement?
According to Business plus survey, as high as 86% of entrepreneurs believe organizational culture helps their employees’ productivity. Why not turning that into advantage?
Here are some tips on which types of activities are more likely to have an impact on employee productivity.
1. Positive Reinforcement
Who doesn’t love being acknowledged and commended for a job well done? There are many ways to do just that. For example, you can use an internal communication channel or a newsletter, group email, financial stimulus or a free trip of their own choice.
2. Free Education
Lifelong education is essential for personal and professional growth. Therefore having a separate budget for training programs sends a message that the company supports and invests in its employees. Organizing free lectures with professional educators and giving employees the choice to pick an education of their own interest will not only benefit their professional development, but also have a positive impact on the company.
3. Rituals and Ceremonies
Rituals and ceremonies turned out to be very popular and a great way to relax and connect with colleagues. Here is a list of few ideas to consider: everyday happy hour in common rooms, monthly parties or themed events few times a year (Christmas party, Halloween, St. Patrick’s day, Office Olympics, 70’s party, movie nights, talent shows, karaoke nights..).
Picture 2. Organize office parties and ceremonies
It’s often overlooked just how much of an impact physical and mental health have on productivity. For this reason, health insurance and workspace health programs should be the minimum of every company’s culture. Add to that gym memberships discount, free medical examinations, office workouts, yoga, football and volleyball matches, private time with company’s psychologist, life coach courses, and you will have one big group of happy and well taken care of employees.
5. Common Spaces
Comfortable common space where employees come to socialize or take quiet breaks is also important. Pay attention to design. Hire a professional interior designer who will create a dynamic room with funky furniture and accessories that will allow employees to make changes and use them easily.
Include lots of plants, unlimited healthy snacks and fresh fruit bar, games and book shelves to stimulate interaction and promote healthy lifestyle. Also, keep in mind that not everyone wants to socialize on their breaks. Maybe they want to relax in a quiet room with relaxing chairs and access to headphones and relaxing music to recharge.
Picture 3. Google office in Amsterdam
Invest in tailor fit mentorship programs that will put employees in the center of company’s growth. A good mentorship is beneficial both to the mentor (feeling of empowerment, recognition, being helpful) and to the new employee in reaching their full potential. But the program shouldn’t be limited just to the newcomers.
Everyone needs to have an opportunity to learn more or to learn something new and company’s HR department should help to connect the right mentor to the right individual. According to SHRM, HR’s role is vital in fostering a high-performance organizational culture.
7. Internal Projects
Themed parties and company’s events aside, internal projects can really help your company stand out. We are all different as individuals but we share common interests. Creating groups for sports enthusiasts, culture lovers, humanitarians, volunteers etc. will give employees more purpose. Consequently, it will encourage them to interact, do great things together and spread their enthusiasm throughout the company.
Where do Great Ideas Come from?
Here are some companies that are well known for being the best examples when it comes to taking care of their employees: Google, Pixar, Coca Cola, IBM, Apple, SquareSpace, Facebook.
When you look closer at their practices you’ll notice similar culture in terms of creative and supportive environment. They nurture open communication, flexibility, common game rooms, free education and lectures, award programs, gyms and regular parties. In addition they have work events, financial bonuses, free meals, equipped canteens, a budget for personalizing their office space and more.
A Few More Tips
Be transparent when it comes to any news affecting your company. Your employees deserve to be informed and feel free and safe to share their opinions. So give them tools for giving feedback, ones that are accessible at all time. Most importantly, encourage open communication. Start during interviews and continue during the onboarding process to make clear what your company’s vision, mission and culture are.
Use organizational culture as a powerful tool to your advantage. Approach the subject prudently and with care. Finally, build strong culture intertwined with company’s strategy and structure. This will play a huge part in employee’s satisfaction and engagement.
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