Workplace Culture and Employee Engagement

How you feel in your work environment matters! To you and to your organisation! There are positive correlations between a positive work culture and good business results, and a 2012 Deloitte report supports this – http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/About/Leadership/1fe8be4ad25e7310VgnVCM1000001956f00aRCRD.htm.

It makes sense: if you have a positive work culture, employees feel more comfortable, more creative, more valued. This results in a lower employee turnover rate which cuts the costs associated with recruitment, selection and onboarding. All this ultimately leads to organisations reporting stronger business results…

However, there are discrepancies between the perception of company culture from senior management and those lower down the hierarchy, with more senior organisational figures generally being more positive about the culture of the organisation.

In order to ensure all employees in the organisation are sharing the common vision and mission of the organisation, it is important for senior managers (leaders) to lead from the front and to communicate regularly with their subordinates. To communicate about the organisation, its history, its success and failures, its challenges, its vision for the future… Incorporating employee surveys to ask members in the organisation how they feel about the organisation prove invaluable. Such anonymous data enables senior managers to unpack any engagement issues or information gaps that may exist in the organisation.

Leading from the top is essential, if your organisation has a culture of trust, then top management need to show how they, for instance, telecommute so that their subordinates do not feel pressurised to be ‘visible’ and ‘present’ on site, but that it is trusted they will do the work on their own terms, but to the quality and deadlines that are expected.

A recent CIPD report notes a fall in absenteeism in recent months which is matched with a rise in presenteeism. There are no correlations between presenteeism and productivity, rather such unspoken implicit expectations to be ‘present’ put a strain on employees juggling work and personal lives, which generally affects the female members in the workplace to a higher proportion. In addition, such moves advocating ‘presenteeism’ impact on the company culture – where a culture of trust and empowerment is replaced with one of mistrust and ticking boxes (to ‘look’ good).

What are your personal experiences here?