BY CHLOE SPRING, PLANNER/BUYER
“When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” Charity Focus
Gone are the days of successful companies overworking and under-appreciating their employees.
Businesses are waking up to the rewards of giving employees respect, trust and empathy. Happy, healthy employees equate to a happy, healthy business. Encouraging a positive workplace culture has been empirically proven to result in all round greater sustained business success.
Top businesses such as Google, Facebook and Airbnb (to name a few) are leading the way in this new approach, and the results are astounding. Barry Phegan (Principle Business Consultant @ Meridian) agrees “high morale is a key to success. It is closely connected to trust, purpose, team loyalty, pride, and faith in the leadership”. The studies have shown substantial improvements in employee productivity, engagement, moral, retention and general overall wellbeing; but and more importantly significant rises in company profits. Wagner & Harter (2006) found that companies who engaged their employees could experience profit increases of 27%.
So, how does a company create an amazing workplace culture to drive these results?
Here are the top 9 things to think about:
Everyone is treated the same, everyone is worthy of regard and everyone is treated with courtesy, politeness and kindness. There is no nit-picking or criticism over little things. A series of seemingly trivial actions, added up over time, constitutes bullying.
Individual differences and quirks are nurtured, encouraging diversity, which allows for many different solutions to a single problem.
You feel valued and important in your workplace.
Everyone, no matter who you are, likes to be recognised for their efforts. A multitude of studies have found that recognition, appreciation, “feeling special”, however you phrase it, is the most important employee benefit, even over large financial rewards.
Along with this another study found that a huge 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated.
The change for more recognition is being championed by millennials as they require immediate recognition for accomplishments, supposedly due to Social media creating an addiction for ‘instant recognition’.
Along with all the “fluffy” benefits of recognising employee efforts, a study found that companies spending more than just 1% of payroll on recognition are 79% more likely to see better financial results (SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey).
3. Support and Investment
Personal development is encouraged as much as professional development. Training is regular while support, guidance and constructive feedback is given for development and improvement. Seniors actively give you challenging tasks that require more than your level of responsibility enabling an employee’s development.
Full information is provided about the direction of the company and its leadership decisions. Employees want the truth about their own company’s successes and failures.
Being open and honest with all employees will in turn give employees the feeling that they are as responsible for the successes and failures of the company as any senior, suggesting they will work harder if they feel responsible for their results and the effect they have on the company.
A transparent workplace shares many traits with a strong relationship. Honesty is paramount.
Employees are trusted to manage their own time and there is no micromanagement.
Trust builds for morale and motivation, bonds teams, increases loyalty decreases stress and much more – it’s the gateway to persuasion, sharing and developing ideas and a key ingredient to coaching and improving employee performance.
You feel involved in the company and like your opinion matters, always being encouraged to express your ideas and opinions, as well as seeing them acknowledged, expressed and/or implemented.
An employee should never feel excluded from any company changes or the future direction of the company. This approach encourages social responsibility, so again employees feel as responsible for the company’s successes and failures as a senior, meaning they feel as responsible for the company as the proprietor.
7. Understanding and Empathy
You are seen as a human, not as a machine.
Employees are offered flexible working hours, empathy for illness, bereavement, need for short breaks and long vacations etc. without any guilt tripping.
A company with a good work life balance understands that people have a life outside of work and cannot act like superheroes all of the time. Issues arise all of the time and if companies are not willing to understand, then they lose talented, trained, loyal, diligent employees and business profits will suffer.
Employees should feel as though the ‘door is always open’ with the owner/boss of the company, to be able to discuss anything, if they want. Seniors always have time for you and never make you feel like you are being an inconvenience no matter what it is you’re asking. “If your boss doesn't take the time to offer any feedback, guidance, or support you as you work toward achieving your goals, it can be seriously detrimental to your career” says Business Speaker Michael Kerr.
A study conducted on workplace rewards found ‘managerial support and involvement’ came out on top! That says a lot about what employees actually wants from their job.
Seniors lead through trust over fear.
Employees are never made to feel insecure about their job position, that they could be fired or dismissed unfairly at any point. As employees who feel secure in their jobs are more likely to perform at a higher level and feel greater commitment to an employer.
Walking the walk.
In the short time I’ve been working at Response One I’ve been empowered to flourish both professionally and personally, becoming part of a culture I had only dreamt of working in when reading blogs like this in previous jobs.
Our core values are:
Innovation – New ideas, different approaches and perspectives are very much encouraged and welcomed at Response One. Investing in and embracing new technologies and processes allows for an innovative workplace, much needed for such a challenging business environment.
Collaboration – Response One always encourages knowledge sharing in many different ways. The office attitude is - even if an opportunity isn’t relevant for one person it may be for another and if someone can they will help with solving others problems. Capitalising on this attitude Response One recently introduced a new CRM system to enable more knowledge sharing called Nimbus CRM making us that much more efficient and competitive in an already very efficient and competitive business world.
Commitment – As a business we have committed ourselves to the quality of our work and our business objectives. Achieving this through social responsibility, so everyone is as committed as everyone else to achieving each other’s goals and targets, “for the greater good” of the company as a whole.
Diligence – Data diligence is Response One’s USP. The ISO27001 accreditation and years of experience in compliance legislation, has created a reputation in which our clients trust us with their most valuable asset: their data. Although being compliant is complicated, costly and extremely time consuming, great pride is taken when investing time, money and resources into providing a safe, secure environment.
In closing, it is easy for a company and its employees to fall into negativity but with such free and simple changes making such a huge difference, there is no reason not to start implementing the factors outlined here for happier employees and healthier revenues.
If you would like to investigate more there is set employee benefit advice and guidance provided by the Government to aid the development of a positive and flexible workplace culture, follow the links to find out more.
If you’re interested in working at Response One, drop us a line here: firstname.lastname@example.org