How to Understand Your Workplace’s Employee Culture

It isn’t far-fetched to think about how the size of a company can impact its employee culture. In a small business operation, everyone typically works under one roof and can connect more easily. Grievances can be passed to the boss more quickly, resulting in quicker change and happier employees. Meanwhile, if you visit the corporate headquarters of a Fortune 500, you’ll likely find endless aisles of isolating cubicles where change can be alarmingly slow and complaints are left at the waste bin. Before you know it, your large company is drowning in employee resentment and disengagement.

The Data Doesn’t Lie

A study from Gallup says 7 out of 10 employees are actively disengaged from their job and have been for over a decade. We need to focus on addressing the systemic and cultural hiccups in your workplace to improve the retention rate and boost employee pride.

Gallup reports that “Employees who work for larger companies with more than 1,000 workers report lower levels of engagement than those who work for smaller firms with fewer than 1,000 employees. The engagement gap widens for employees who work for companies with more than 5,000 workers, as these individuals report lower average results on nearly all of Gallup’s engagement items thanfirms with fewer than 1,000 employees.”

It’s true that the larger the company, the lower the employee engagement. That can lead to troublesome retention rates and a myriad of other issues. Despite having good metrics by all other means, some companies have toxic cracks that unfortunately chisel away at the foundation. With other companies hiring and unheard complaints looming, people are now more inclined to be searching for jobs in a workplace culture that lacks toxicity. It’s important to address any potential issues in your workplace immediately, so you don’t lose your best employees.

4 Ways to Make Your Employees Feel Seen and Heard

No matter the size of your company, each employee needs to feel seen and heard by upper management. A disconnect between levels of your workforce can create dangerous fractures in your company’s structure, resulting in unnecessary turnover and poor retention rates. There is so much you can do to better advocate for your staff. Improve employee engagement by consulting with them personally on their ideas and the current prognosis of the office culture. Then, utilize their constructive feedback to formulate better solutions for the whole office to

enjoy. Whether that’s rewarding a bonus day off for exceeding expectations, or just something as simple as a pizza party on the company card, there are numerous perks you can sign off on to help improve office morale.

1. Get Involved in the Conversation

When you go out of your way to ask employees for their ideas and perspective, you’re building a bridge of trust. You may discover that an employee feels a certain way and is on the verge of leaving because of their misgivings.

How do we start this difficult conversation? Usually, an employee is already talking; just be ready to listen without judgment. Employees are likely to present their distress to other coworkers. This is an early sign that they may be ready to jump ship for a different company! Giving them a platform to openly express their concerns is a great way to build trust with disgruntled staff members. Organize a positive and constructive seminar for gaining feedback on the company’s current situation and be open to change. If the issue lies in a more personal matter, make sure your senior leadership takes every step to accommodate any employees that need assistance.

A worker may express input that gives valuable insights into the company culture. There may be some deep-rooted issues causing high turnover and bad morale, so it’s important to hear about these issues before they are too far out of your control. A company can hit all the marks and metrics—yielding high profits and productivity—but if there’s a cloud of discontent hanging over their workday, your ignorance may just be contributing to the larger issue of employee dissatisfaction. Encouraging your employees to speak up and share their experiences, misgivings, and advice is an excellent way to make your staff feel seen and heard.

2. Hire from the Inside

We are living in a world where people change jobs frequently. Whether for financial benefits or a new location, there’s going to be a lot of turnovers. Show you appreciate the talent of your current employees, and that you see their aspirations to grow and learn, by hiring from the inside. Consult with current employees on who they believe could fill the shoes of the person who just exited. Hiring from within the company has proven to increase positivity and excitement for the future among employees. It also sets an excellent example that working hard will not only get you recognized but possibly promoted when the time is right. This can quell concerns of leaving or wanting to find a job elsewhere.

Regarding retention, a study from the World Economic Forum explains that 4 out of every 10 employees are actively ready to leave their jobs for the next opportunity, especially if they don’t feel valued by their current company (CITE). This prevalent issue could be plaguing your workplace. A recent study shows that one of an employees’ biggest gripes is when outside hires get jobs ‘meant’ for long-time employees. So, before you hire your next employee, start your search from within your company first. That way, you can ensure you are putting your best employees first.

3. Highlight Employee Accomplishments

There are many things that higher-ups can do to promote a healthier work environment. Showing appreciation to people who work hard and deserve recognition is a great morale booster. The time-tested ‘employee of the month’ can be converted to a more democratic election, allowing people to recognize their peers on a public platform. The idea is for everyone to anonymously vote for someone with a simple description as to why their hard work made a positive difference that month. Sharing these results with the company through a monthly celebratory meeting could mark a huge culture shift in your office, ushering in an era of appreciation and acknowledgment.

4. Adapt to the Pandemic

Before the pandemic, it was estimated that only 5% of employees worked remotely. Now that number is exceeding 60%. Consider adopting a hybrid or remote work model, as many employees find comfort in the ability to work from home. Not only does this shift prove to increase productivity, but it boosts office morale and raises a company’s internal reputation because it gives employees the opportunity of choice. Flexibility is key when it comes to navigating work in 2022. Allowing for remote work is a generous way to allow employees to thrive in spots they’re more comfortable. Not only are WFH employees more protected from the COVID-19 virus, but they can enjoy more time with family and even save on babysitters or other expenses.

Let Linke Resources Help You Land the Best Job for You

Any company can have discontent employees. The real question is, “How do you go about resolving their distress?” Open dialogues, highlighting accomplishments, hiring from the inside, and building a better connection within your workforce is an invaluable step towards reaching full potential. Visit our website for more on our experience with hiring solutions and trusted service.