Why culture trumps everything else
There were an alarming number of reports published during 2023 echoing the same message – employee engagement levels are worryingly low.
Back in June, we wrote about the Gallup ‘State of the Global Workforce’ Report which broadcast that: 23% of the global workforce are ‘engaged’ at work, while 59% are ‘not engaged’, and another 18% are ‘actively disengaged’. This implies that, in a team of 10, only 2 people are ‘engaged’ in their work. Startling!
Research carried out by YouGov on behalf of 1st Formations in February this year, reported that only 39% of people in the UK feel their salary is fair and in line with their skills and abilities. While a staggering 41% felt that their salary is below fair.
More research, this time from Bamboo HR in November, reflects this same trend. The US-centric report shows rapidly declining employee satisfaction with levels of happiness dropping fairly dramatically between 2020 and 2023. It appears that some of the frustration / dissatisfaction comes from the ongoing debate about working from home: employees experienced ‘freedom’ (or perhaps that should be referred to as ‘more flexibility’) in 2020 and they report that this freedom / flexibility is being taken away as they’re being asked to return to the office.
Is work vs. home really the main discussion that we should be having, almost four years after the pandemic changed the course of our working lives? If you are interested in that debate, some interesting research from Gallup was published in December. However, we believe that organisations should instead be focussing on how they can positively uplift their culture…. Engagement and satisfaction will follow!
The key components of a high-performing culture
Direction: Is the purpose clear? Is it unifying? Do your employees understand what they are helping to achieve and working towards, beyond targets? Is the organisation being true to the vision in its daily tasks?
Collaboration: Is there evidence of consistent and inclusive team-working and cross-functional networking? Does one division understand what another does and how they might perform more productively together?
Communication: How effective are your communication and feedback processes? Have you built a culture of trust in which your employees feel safe to voice their opinions and provide alternative viewpoints? Does the culture foster healthy conflict via discussion, challenge and feedback? Do communication platforms support constructive and efficient communication?
Agility: How nimble is your organisation? Are decisions made quickly when they need to be? Is it relatively easy to flex processes to meet market demands? How open are you to experimenting, with the risk of possible failure? Do employees feel equipped to make directional decisions or take remedial action where appropriate?
Drive: Do your employees feel that they have appropriate levels of autonomy and empowerment in their roles? Are they motivated to come to work and perform well? Are their personal objectives supported, and aligned with the goals of the team? How do you feed back on progress?
We have consistently demonstrated with the organisations that we work with that, if the business is performing well in each of these Five Pillars of High-Performance (according to their employees), they will also be experiencing high levels of productivity and efficiency, which of course leads to higher levels of competitiveness and profitability.
Make 2024 the year that you focus on prioritising your organisation’s culture. Contact us today to find out how we can support you, we can’t wait to work with you.