An organization’s work culture impacts various aspects of the organization including talent acquisition and retention. It is no surprise that today improving work culture is not only a human resource (HR) challenge but is increasingly discussed among the Senior Management as well. According to a 2016 Global Human Capital report, 87% of respondents termed culture as important, while 54% of them rated it as very important.
Employee engagement is one of the key aspects of the work culture. It is to be noted that highly engaged employees in an organization lead to 22% increase in profitability. However, only 13% of the employees around the world are engaged at work. With employee engagement linked with productivity and profitability, it important to understand the reasons for disengaged employees and to develop a culture of engaged employees. Lack of employee recognition is one of the factors affecting employee engagement across companies.
Creating a reward and recognition programme where employees are appreciated for their efforts through positive words or financial incentives can help in developing a more personalized environment. Apart from the management, recognition from peers can significantly boost the spirits of the employees. Enabling employees to nominate their peers for a particular reward or recognition can help in this regard and also strengthen team spirit.
Learning and development opportunities
Every employee has latent interests and passions, organizations that enable its employees by providing opportunities for learning and development can cultivate an environment which would lead to reduced investment on new recruitments.
Organizations should develop upskilling programmes that provide a perfect fit between company needs and employee interests. Apart from that, employees should be provided more opportunities based on their performance and enhanced skill set. Integrating Recognition of Prior Learning can further enable organizations to gain skilled employees without investing much on training and hiring. This approach doesn’t just inculcate a learning culture but also shows the employees that the organization cares for the development and well being of its employees along with overall growth.
Creating a women-inclusive environment
In India, only 27% of the workforce is comprised of women and after becoming mothers, merely 27% rejoin the workforce and nearly 50% of them drop-out within four months of returning after maternity leave. The situation tends to be far worse for women working in the rural and semi-urban areas of the country where women are expected to prioritize family over work. Societal pressure, work overload and lack of childcare facilities at work further add an unsupportive environment for women.
Loss of a productive employee doesn’t just add to the organization’s cost burden but also hampers its long term growth. Organizations need to provide a better work environment for mothers returning after maternity leave by supporting them through flexible work hours so that they aren’t overburdened with work and providing daycare facilities at offices. This approach will not only create an inclusive working environment but also help bridge the gender gap in the workforce.
Fostering an entrepreneurial mindset
Rather than fostering an employee mindset, organizations should focus on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset among their employees. An organization that supports and encourages its employees to take initiatives as well as develop and work on their ideas is well prepared to groom the next set of leaders in the organization itself. Such a work culture is crucial in building trust and loyalty among the employees and helps secure the future of the organization along with the employees.
In pursuit of increasing profits, most organizations breed a performance obsessed culture which ends up creating a divide among the employees by labeling them as winners and losers accompanied by the pressure of proving themselves. While there is nothing wrong in focusing on performance, organizations should also focus on inculcating a collaborative environment conducive of growth. Honest feedbacks and improvement opportunities should form the core of the performance management process along with clear and transparent communication.
Positive cultures are not created overnight. It takes continuous efforts from both the Management and the employees. But once you follow the right approach, you tend to attract the right employees which only bolster your organization’s culture further by knitting it into a tight family focused on growth and development.