Keeping up with a modern workforce dominated by a generation of millennials is all about embracing the impetus for change in the traditional ways of work structures and employment patterns. To attract and retain critical talent, organisations need to go beyond focusing on their teams in the context of measurable and attainable goals. Sure, metrics, key performance indicators and other tangible factors are important to indicate an enterprise’s success. However, intangibles – such as employee engagement, ideologies, culture, authoritarianism, etc are also vitally important in the impact they have on the productivity levels of your human capital.
Company culture is an aspect that largely influences employee experience, satisfaction and talent retention. A strong organisational culture lowers the stress for management to develop and regulate formal rules and regulations. This makes it important for organisations to invest time and effort in improving it.
Corporate culture can be defined as a shared understanding members have about the organisation. It is the perception held by employees about the characteristics of the organisation. Company culture therefore forms a basis for how things are meant to be done and how members are expected to conduct themselves. Let’s dive into some of the ways organisations rely on to foster and propagate positive workplace culture.
When communication from upper management is clear, direct and free from ambiguities, the code of conduct and code of ethics are conveyed with clarity. It’s crucial that the organisation’s perspective on ethical behaviour is communicated both top down and in parallel on all levels as well. After all, a code of conduct and ethics are the primary values an organisation would expect its members to follow, and developing a perspective on their consistency is likely to help.
2.Reward and Penalise
It is important to invest time and effort in reviewing the means taken to achieve the said goals. A positive culture follows an ethical code of conduct and those acting in accordance with it must be rewarded visibly. At the same time, it is equally important to to penalise unethical behaviour – perhaps more so, as such moves communicate the organisation’s values and intolerance for what it may consider unacceptable. Encouraging employees to report unethical behaviour without fear of reprimand may be another corrective step in this direction.
3. Train to Gain
Training can pave the way in elevating organisational culture, as it can help employees learn about the practices that may or may not be permissible. Employees are assisted in clarifying and reinforcing the organisation’s standards of conduct. Employees should be trained to focus and follow righteous actions and behaviour congruent with the system.
4. Endorse Transparency
Transparency plays a significant role in building the trust of employees in their organisation and employer. As many would agree, trust forms the foundation of a company with an admirable culture. Transparency in the decision making and distribution of rewards can assist in achieving fairness at all levels. This further helps the employee to resonate with the organisation and to stay with it.
5. Encourage employee participation
The behaviour of top management is a force that plays an important part in sustaining culture. Employees’ participation in decision making, autonomy, liberty to communicate and bottom-up feedback are some of the characteristics that help to create a strong culture. With higher employees’ participation, expect your employees to exhibit the right behaviour and produce higher product quality.
An organisation’s culture is its essence. Whether they intend to or not, its founders and top management will be perceived as role models whom employees will look up to as a benchmark for the most appropriate and accepted behaviour. Therefore, actions from the top are going to be a reflection of how things are expected to be done.
This does assign disproportionate responsibility for this concept to the upper management, but justifiably so. Culture is indeed set top-down. Authentic leadership can enlighten the road to a positive and strong culture that ultimately generates cohesiveness, loyalty and organisation commitment from the top talent available.