We are constantly hearing about how influential corporate culture is on employee’s performance.
A cut-throat, high pressure culture is often mistakenly associated with better, more efficient performance. However, working in such environment can be extremely harmful to productivity over time. In fact, it can be a source for many financial and non-financial costs.
Health care expenditures at high-pressure companies are nearly 50% higher than at other companies. In fact, 80% of workplace accidents are attributed to accidents caused by stress.
Moreover, even though a fear-inducing culture can be effective at enforcing engagement at the beginning, overtime it will inevitable result in disengagement, lower productivity, lower profitability and less aspirations for job growth.
Lastly, a negative working culture negatively impacts loyalty. Employees are more likely at declining promotions, going on the job market and resigning. This also brings more costs to make up for lower productivity, training, and lost expertise.
For this reason, many companies invest a lot of time and resources in fostering a positive and empowering culture. Yet many are lead by the wrong assumption that such a culture will be solely built on material benefits, when in reality wellbeing has to be paramount.
In a snapshot, a positive culture that prioritizes employees’ wellbeing, counts with 6 principles:
– Caring for, and being interested in colleagues as friends
– Engaging in mutual support, offering kindness and compassion
– Steering away from blaming
– Inspiring one another
– Emphasizing the meaningfulness of work
– Treating each other with respect, integrity gratitude and trust.
How to integrate these principles into a corporate culture?
– Encourage social connections: positive social interactions and connections at work make the experience more enjoyable, which directly reflects in job performance. Moreover, its makes learning be faster, have a longer memory and display more metal acuity.
– Empathy at the core: when colleagues are un-empathetic to one another, areas of the brain associated with avoidance and negative emotions get activated. This is particularly important for people in managerial positions, as leaders who demonstrate kindness and compassion are better able to foster collective resilience in challenging times.
– Do not hesitate to help: chances are you have developed deeper connections with those colleagues that were able to give you a hand in stressful or troubling times. This type of behavior further inspires employees to engage in collaboration, raising moral and strengthening teamwork dynamics.
These strategies only account for the tip of the iceberg of what is like to build a positive, encouraging working culture.
The end state will be ultimately determined by the companies core set of values and the tone the company’s leaders set for the organization.
The key point to remember is that happy employees lead to commitment, engagement and higher performance. In turn, happy employees, lead to improved customer service, which then translate to improved client outcomes and satisfaction.
A win-win situation.