You might not be surprised to find out that over half (51%) of U.S. workers don’t feel engaged at their jobs. But why is this? There are undoubtedly several reasons at the individual and company levels, but there are also more widespread issues contributing to this lack of engagement. These issues require better workforce management solutions.
Company culture is one of the largest obstacles organizations face today with their workforce engagement. While “culture” has become a sort of buzzword, the concept shouldn’t be dismissed. The environment a business constructs defines much of its success, retention, outreach, and reputation. You don’t have to look much further than the success of companies like Apple and Google to see how culture yields positive results in every aspect.
What exactly do these companies do that allow them thrive? Is it simply a matter of their workforce management tools, or something else? Let’s dive into what makes a company culture and, more importantly, what makes it great.
1) Workforce Management Solutions: All about Access
Accessibility applies to just about all facets of the workplace. Whether it’s access to technology, other employees and departments, human resources, or information, the more access the better. Now, of course, certain information should be compartmentalized to allow for efficient work among separate departments, as well as the withholding of company secrets, etc. Those things aside, however, employees and leaders need avenues of access to one another in order to communicate effectively.
It’s not just about communication, either. It’s about trust. If workers feel entrusted with more access to information, they will feel empowered to do a better job. Having more knowledge of a company’s successes, failures, goals, and vision allows employees to feel more tied to the ultimate condition of the business. One way to increase access is to improve workforce management software. This can be as simple as allowing employees to clearly view payroll information, edit direct deposit elections, request time off, and more.
2) Clear Policies
One way to prevent the need for intense workforce management solutions is to lay out clear company policy before hiring. These policies should be reiterated annually (or more frequently), and updated when necessary. They will lay the foundation for a great company culture.
As for the content of these policies, it will differ from business to business. Relevant federal and state laws will always apply to these policies, but individual company policy is the key here. In light of recent events, increased awareness of harassment policy should be at the forefront. The better these rules are defined, the less potential misunderstanding there will be. Employees will have to know these policies before entering the company, resulting in a safer, more trusting culture for all.
3) Atmosphere Matters
We all know that work is work. It’s not always fun, and we don’t always want to be there. Still, the environment in which one works doesn’t have to be bleak. On the contrary, a brighter atmosphere yields better efficiency, higher retention, and overall improved company morale. This is why every business should invest in its atmosphere to improve its culture.
Much of this is easily done. Introducing softer lighting, more open office space, brighter colors, coffee stations, comfortable seating, and plant life are just a handful of ways to improve the atmosphere around the business. Of course, atmosphere isn’t just about aesthetics. It also depends on the feeling workers get when dealing with other employees or leaders. Any tension between two people can fester into bitterness and resentment, resulting in lower productivity. All workers should be encouraged to treat each other with respect, and find ways to deal with interpersonal problems in a professional manner.
4) Strong Leadership
While the policy and atmosphere lay the foundation of a good company culture, much of the culture also trickles down from the top. People need to trust their leaders and know they’re doing their share of the work, not simply micro-managing and rent-seeking. A company simply cannot have a great culture if its leaders aren’t willing to provide examples of that culture by acting accordingly. The term “lead by example” might be overused, but for good reason.
A company culture is built around many things, including improved workforce management solutions. In the end, it comes down to access, trust, atmosphere, and strong leadership.