5 Signs Your Company Culture Needs Fixing, Fast

Organizations with engaged employees earn nearly 150 percent more per share than competitors, so improving company culture could potentially produce more gains than simply selling more stuff will provide.

5 Reasons Employees Hate Your Company Culture – and 10 Ways to Fix It

When a business wants to increase revenues or improve profit margins, they often look for ways to generate additional sales or find new clients. However, by only looking outside for new sales, they might be missing big opportunities that exist on the inside of the organization. Here are five symptoms along with ten ideas that can help you realign your company culture in order to reengage employees.

Human beings are wired for engagement. We want to be intrigued, interested and moved to identify ourselves with our heroes and with heroic enterprises. Most people will readily plug in and help promote organizations that fulfill these types of needs.

Yet, for nearly 15 years running, Gallup’s State of the American Workplace pegs employee engagement at just 30 percent, leaving 70 percent of American workers under-engaged or not engaged at all. When you think about the number of hours spent on the job, it’s disappointing to think that a majority of your organization’s employees might be just putting in their time, watching the clock, waiting for the moment they can leave at the end of every day.

As a business owner, you probably want your staff to feel engaged – but are you doing anything to earn it?

There’s a long list of benefits that go along with employee engagement, and many of them directly impact the bottom line when it comes to profitability and productivity. For instance, HBR (Harvard Business Review) notes that organizations with high levels of employee engagement enjoy:

  • 22% higher productivity
  • lower employee absenteeism
  • 25-65% lower levels of employee turnover
  • 41-48% less safety incidents
  • 41% less quality defects

In Employee Engagement: What It Is and Why You Need It we find even more compelling statistics, including a direct tie to the bottom line, listing some of the benefits of employee engagement as:

  • 19% boost to operating income (and correlating 33% loss of operating income for companies with the lowest percentages of engagement)
  • 26% increase in employee productivity
  • greater ability to attract top talent
  • 13% higher returns to shareholders over 5 years

Plus, engaged employees are twice as likely to be top-performers as less-engaged counterparts and miss a whopping 20 percent fewer days of work.

Entrepreneur.com published an article called, “5 Signs Your Company Culture May Actually Suck” listing five symptoms of cultures crying out for improvement. Here are the five signs, along with ten ways to fix what’s wrong so you can reap the benefits of employee engagement.

10 Ways to Fix Company Culture and Enjoy the Benefits of Employee Engagement

Sign Number One: Your Culture Relies on Perks

Companies that rely on employee perks instead of employee passion are simply trying to bribe their staff to love them. Perks might get talent on board and even keep them there, but won’t turn those same employees into engaged brand advocates, top performers or customer expectation-exceeders. What’s more, if lack of profitability dictates that you must eliminate perks or competitors match your offers, they won’t work at all.

1. Identify shared values and give employees something to believe in.

2. Improve on-boarding to ensure that new hires (and all employees) are well-versed in company history and lore, including mission, vision and values.

Sign Number Two: Your Company Has a Generic Mission Statement

If your mission statement is filled with expected clichés, has become obsolete or is simply M.I.A. (missing in action), you can’t expect employees to be excited about it or understand why their job is important.

1. Update your company mission and vision statements so that they are unique to your organization and express precisely how your business will meet important customer needs, improve the lives of its employees and make the world a better place.

2. Tie each and every job description (and salary review) back to measurable goals that relate to mission and vision pursuit and fulfillment.

Sign Number Three: Your Culture Exists Only at Work

If you want your brand’s influence to extend beyond the walls of your business, you have to do more than just sell stuff and your efforts must be geared for more than just selling stuff today.

1. Put verbs behind your shared values and vision; your business should be known for the causes it supports and champions, not just the goods or services it sells.

2. Give employees a voice in helping to choose give-back activities and projects, and give them time to participate.

Sign Number Four: You Hire Skills, Not People

Ideally you will hire someone who is a good fit for your company culture who “happens” to be able to fulfill the responsibilities of the job for which they were hired. Hiring for skills without considering whether an individual will be a good fit relative to shared values, co-workers, managers, important customers and other key stakeholders can be a recipe for disaster.

1. Add personality and value assessments to the hiring process and use group interviews to gain additional insight into candidates.

2. Ensure that some portion of the employee on-boarding process is designed to help the new hire integrate into the culture, their department and even facilitate social interaction with co-workers.

Sign Number Five: You Discourage Risk

When did you ever hear of a great team or a great coach that didn’t take risks? Nothing ventured, nothing gained! But all too often there are dis-incentives for taking risks within an organization.

1. Tie risks to rewards, proportionally, based on measurable goals and achieved outcomes. You should always reward employees who stick their necks out to share a great idea with recognition, and might also consider other “thank you’s” such as a one-time reward, a promotion, shares or a percentage of returns.

2. Create a process. A process for assessing employee suggestions can help to mitigate any potential negative outcomes and help you choose ideas which represent the most return on investment.

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