The world was brought to a virtual standstill by the unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 health crisis. Words like “coronavirus”, “work from home”, “pandemic” and “vaccination” became the new buzzwords for the general public. In such a time, corporations and employees across the globe began rethinking their priorities vis-à-vis the work-life balance, health effects of the job and a general trend toward focusing more on health and wellness as a bigger part of the corporate experience.
As we continue with the second year of COVID-19, the impacts of remote work and social distancing are still being felt, albeit differently now. The focus on helping employees maintain a healthy balance between work and general well-being is still paramount, with many companies offering health benefits and incentives to attract and retain employees in the corporate workspace.
Why workplace culture is important
Imagine picking and cultivating a team of talented individuals who are carefully selected for their potential to help develop the company into a Titan of industry and innovation. Now think about those same team members slipping away from the company due to the workplace culture, improper communication, incentivization and engagement! A true horror story for any ambitious company and HR leader who wants the company to scale new heights.
According to research conducted by Gallup, a strong workplace culture increases KPIs across industries, including up to 85% net profit increase over a 5-year period.
In a recent LinkedIn poll conducted by ekincare, 53% of respondents said that the company culture was the most important factor influencing their retention within the company, with 25% saying it was rewards and recognition keeping them engaged.
This simple poll goes to show that the importance of company culture in the modern workplace cannot be overstated.
Creating a winning company culture
Transparency - Fostering trust between employees and management helps employees feel more at ease, so that the team is not left in the dark about the reasoning and causes behind company decisions. Creating a transparent team culture enables the team to be completely engaged with and make better decisions regarding their work. Improved trust between teams and management also helps the organization as a whole cooperate, raising overall productivity.
Communication - In the absence of proper communication, team members often feel out of the loop. If employees have suggestions to improve team performance, then they should have a space to speak their mind freely. Similarly, if leaders don't communicate their expectations for current and future projects, employees will feel disengaged, undervalued, and directionless in their endeavours.
Additionally, teams should be encouraged to cooperate across departments as frequently as possible. This way, teams will have a better idea of what the roles everyone fulfils in the organization and will feel inspired to try different working styles and viewpoints that may help them perform better in the future.
Wellness - This is an added benefit of better communication. Psychological wellness is when employees feel at ease expressing their ideas in the workplace. Fostering a psychologically-safe work culture helps staff members feel recognized and included. Such employees also feel encouraged to take calculated risks and innovate without unnecessary fear of retaliation in case of problems. This helps uplift your team members and gives all employees equal chances at success, leading the organization to benefit from increased productivity and innovation.
Creating a winning team culture
Core values - Every company has certain guiding principles or core values that help it stay true to its goals and mission. Sometimes, in order to improve the workflow between teams, it is important to revisit the roots of the company's vision and mission statement. This helps everyone see the values that are important to the company's success, and helps instil in everyone a clear vision for the future.
Brainstorming - Once the company's core values are clear to all, management may ask for suggestions and improvements to the current functioning of the teams and company as a whole. This helps redefine the company culture to fit the employees, while sticking to the core values that everyone knows are vital to the organization. This in turn creates a win-win situation where employees feel heard and respected, while the management is able to understand the needs of the employees on a grass-roots level.
Clarity - Teams that communicate openly and with clarity about their needs and goals produce a better result than teams that are confused about these important aspects. Having a team culture that fosters open communication and clarity of purpose will lead to a more focused, productive and low-stress workplace culture.
In the post-COVID workplace, health and wellness are of utmost importance. This includes the mental health of both leaders and team members in the corporate workplace. Having a good workplace culture will go a long way in retaining the talented employees who bring value to the organisation, and having a well thought-out, personalized and customizable corporate health benefits plan will help employees feel safe and secure while they perform their duties. Health is wealth, and that has never been truer than it is today for corporations worldwide.