How to Proactively Build a Strong, Engaging Culture

By Emily Ciavolino

Company culture and the employee experience are not easy to get right, so it can be tempting to address them in a reactive way:

  • “Are employees asking for this?”
  • “Is this a priority right now?”
  • “Employees will tell us when something is wrong.”
  • “We have an open door policy.”

Problems will inevitably come up, and they will already have become pain points by the time you can address them with a reactive approach. It’s worth prioritizing and analyzing culture now, before employees ask.

It’s important to proactively anticipate employee needs, and design an organizational culture that fosters mutual growth, trust, and esteem among all its members.

Why an open-door policy isn’t enough:

ElisaRiva / Pixabay

1. It’s hard for employees to speak up.

There are many pervasive attitudes from both managers and employees that prevent individuals from speaking up, even in high stakes situations.

In a survey of 1,025 managers and employees, respondents provided at least one example of silence costing the company an average of $7,500. Even though silence has shown to be costly, employees are still staying silent:

  • 85 percent of employees recently failed to speak up.
  • 90 percent of nurses hold back from speaking up to physicians, even when the patient’s safety is at risk.
  • 93 percent of organizations are at risk of an accident due to employee silence.

2. The things employees need are hard to ask for.

For example, only 24 percent of employees are satisfied with management’s recognition of job performance, but asking for recognition, or expressing their dissatisfaction puts employees in a vulnerable position.

An employee would need to be confident saying they deserve more recognition, while also acknowledging their need to be appreciated. Given that many workplace cultures discourage employees from showing emotion at work, this conversation is unlikely to happen.

3. Employees do not always know what to ask for.

Employees may feel unhappy at work, but lack the context to bring up issues effectively. For example, they might be able to identify they feel unappreciated, but they likely won’t know that asking for a company recognition program would mean getting regular feedback, appreciation, and recognition.

4. It’s easier for employees to move on than create change.

93 percent of millennials say they left their employer the last time they changed roles. Changing jobs is easier than ever, and unhappy employees employees may find it easier to find greener grass than ask for change.

Proactively Building Organizational Culture

1. Design a workplace around employee needs

Since designing a great workplace is about creating a space for employees, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is great place to start the design process.

The principle of Maslow’s Hierarchy is that the lower level needs must be satisfied before higher-order needs can influence behavior. For example, an employee who does not feel safe in the workplace will not be focused on learning new skills, building relationships, and pursuing opportunities.

Some of these levels might have come naturally for your company, and some might be challenge.

Here are some ideas to get started on each level:

Physiological: Taking care of employees’ physiological needs is Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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