Workplace culture and employee engagement continue to be one of the major concerns for the C-suite in companies across all industries. Here’s how they interlink.
Culture. Something so simple for all of us to relate to, yet so difficult for a large part of businesses to manage – and this is a challenge. The fact is that strategy, processes and HR policies can only raise the quality of our work and our competitive advantage to a certain level. In order to avoid creating an environment filled with disengaged employees, the rest must come from leadership and culture.
What makes up a workplace culture?
Culture can be defined as; ”The set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterizes an organization”. For its simplicity, culture describes the way things work in a specific workplace. This can be how people behave, how projects are driven and even how people are rewarded for their work on a day-to-day basis.
Company culture must be driven by top management. In general, it is up to the senior leadership to provide a direction and purpose for the organization. This often unfolds through the vision, mission and values.
- Vision: where the organization wants to go in the long-term. A vision is like creating the future in advance. It describes what the organization aspires to be.
- Mission: the organization’s reason for being. It is the organization’s purpose expressed as an action.
- Values: what holds people together and creates common culture along the way. Values should be supported by some general and shared assumptions about how a company should be run, or how employees should be managed.
Culture shapes the employee perception of workplace reality
The combination of vision, mission and values underscores the culture of the organization and ultimately what the employees perceive as reality inside the organization. This helps creating alignment, so that everyone is working towards the same goal.
Even though it often is the senior management who controls the process and ultimately drafts the vision and values, it is important that they are fully understood, committed to and embraced by managers and employees at all levels. Here managers must make it a habit to base their communication but also individual behavior on the three principles. However, how do you make a workplace culture bound on vision, mission and values alive in the organization to positively improve employee engagement?
Linking workplace culture and employee engagement
When a company’s culture clearly is tied to the overall strategy of the business, it automatically attracts people who feel comfortable being a part of such environment.
By working with vision, mission and common values, the job becomes bigger than each individual’s actions. This in fact will result in employees doing the best they can – not because they have to, but because it fits into the bigger agenda – the overreaching purpose of the organization.
In general, as human beings we are interested in doing things that enrich us or somehow provide us with meaning. Also, we want to know that what we are doing matters. A pivotal way to adopt this into a business practice is to help employees understand how they fit into the bigger picture and how their contribution helps the business to achieve its goals.
People need to feel involved and being listened to. Therefore, making sure to listen to the employee feedback and involve them in reaching important strategic goals is a great way to create engagement.
The most important point to keep in mind is that the way an organization treats its employees has a direct influence on the workplace culture – just like the culture an organization actively seeks to foster ultimately is dependent on how they treat their employees.
Would you like to know more about employee engagement and how it interlinks with productivity and even customer satisfaction? Then please download our award-winning Service Management 3.0 White Paper: Linking Customer Experience with Service Employee Engagement
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