Considering most of us spend more time in our workplace than anywhere else, including home, it’s no surprise that workplace culture is so important…
This statement is validated by a recent survey by Speakap [Speakap Research Study – The Culture Factor: Improving Employee Loyalty and Relationships] which revealed that 42% of those questioned would rather work a 60-hour week than work for an organisation that doesn’t value its culture.
So what is so important about workplace culture? Well, top of the list for the UK respondents was respect and fairness, followed by trust and integrity and teamwork.
If your organisation is ‘stuck in its ways’ don’t expect to keep your staff for long – this is how a third of those questioned described their employers – and they thought there was no hope of their employers considering how to improve the culture in the workplace.
It’s vital to get the balance right – many companies think that offering free lunch and the odd outing is enough to keep staff morale up, but at the end of the day, if your staff are unhappy, feel their voices aren’t heard, and their opinions are not valued, no amount of free grub is going to fix that.
Conduct a review
So is it time you took a review of your workplace culture? Look at the things that staff value – open and honest communication between them and senior staff, opportunities for upskilling and training, and ensuring that the workplace is a fair place to work and progress.
One of those most attractive phrases when trying to attract the right staff is flexible work hours. According to a study by Fractl [Harvard Business Review: The Most Desirable Employee Benefits 15/02/2017], flexible hours could influence 88% of respondents to choose a job with a lower salary than your competitors.
With two salaries needed to pay the mortgage these days, more and more of your staff are trying to juggle a work life and a family life. According to FlexJobs [Flexjobs: Survey: Parents Rank Work Flexibility Ahead of Salary 12/08/2016], around 80% of parents listed flexibility and work-life balance as the most important factors when looking for a new job.
Options such as more maternity/paternity leave and work from home possibilities for emergencies such as a burst pipe, or help for those trying to help elderly relatives as well, will mean you not only attract, but also retain your experienced staff – the staff you may have spent both time and money training to do their jobs well.
For more on flexible working see our blog Is Flexible Working Your Friend?
If you fancy being even more flexible, you could emulate media streaming giant Netflix. The industry leader offers unlimited vacation time. Rather than keeping track of time off, the organisation trusts that its employees will use their judgement wisely to take time off when they need to, and gauges this by staff being productive at work and meeting their performance objectives.
Nurture your people
Nurturing your talent is also vital. If you have made the effort to attract top talent, you are going to have to work hard to keep them. Look at what career pathways are open to them, offer opportunities to experience different parts of the company where possible. After all, if you expect them to eventually manage at a high level, they need to know how all areas of the organisation work.
You should also ensure you help to challenge them and broaden their experience.
You might like to read an earlier blog on the subject here including five ways to assess your workplace culture.
If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it could help your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.
T: 01296 761 288 or contact us here.
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Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.