From employee retention to fostering community to adding to brand image, there are clear benefits to establishing a strong, unified company culture. Showing gratitude in the office is one of the simplest yet most effective way to establish a positive culture. A simple expression of "thank you" helps boost morale among employees and the organization, increasing job satisfaction, productivity, and well-being. In this month’s roundup, we’ve curated five articles on how your company can encourage an inclusive workplace culture and why expressing gratitude can be key to your success.
While leaders from all industries struggle to improve the culture of their organizations, some are cracking the code quite easily—by truly understanding the worst behavior they’ll tolerate, and the best cultural behaviors they should applaud.
“Culture can’t be that simple,” Rick, Chief People Officer of a large distribution company told us. “What does tolerate even mean exactly?”
We thought that was a great question. And, we also thought, “culture is that simple.”
Consider this. When it comes to workplace culture, tolerating certain behavior sets the lowest standard for what a team, or organization, is willing to accept. The less unwanted behaviors you’re culture is willing to accept, the closer your culture becomes to your goal. For example, if you aspire to build a culture of great service, but allow marginal service, or even an occasional bad experience, the further your culture is from your goal.
The effects of a toxic workplace culture can range from deteriorating employee health and happiness levels, to decreased productivity and employee churn.
Business owners know all too well how valuable time is. And how there never seems to be enough of it. Among the plate spinning, some things inevitably take a back seat. Take company culture. A lot of CEOs and business owners still don't view it as a priority, but this approach will have a knock-on effect and can lead to much deeper ingrained issues arising.
The effects of a toxic workplace culture can range from deteriorating employee health and happiness levels, to decreased productivity and employee churn. It's also costing the UK economy a staggering £23.6 billion per year. We know culture is important to your people too. Statistics actually show that 80% of young people research a company's culture before considering a job and a third (34%) of British employees have quit their jobs due to shoddy workplace culture.
High performing teams have well-defined goals, systems of accountability, clear roles and responsibilities, and open communication. Just as importantly, teams that foster cohesion with a sense of appreciation and gratitude among the team members maximize performance on a number of dimensions. Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith, authors of the Wisdom of Teams, define a high-performing team in part by members’ strong personal commitment to the growth and success of each team member and of the team as a whole.
Research on gratitude and appreciation demonstrates that when employees feel valued, they have high job satisfaction, are willing to work longer hours, engage in productive relationships with co-workers and supervisors, are motivated to do their best, and work towards achieving the company’s goals. Google, which sits atop many best-places-to-work lists, fosters feelings of employee value through an open culture that promotes employee input, routinely rewards and recognizes performance, and encourages personal growth. In a recent interview, CEO Larry Page stated, “My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they’re having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of society.”
This important strategy could yield results nobody would have predicted.
Creating a business is an intentional act. Even if you inherit or buy a going concern, you purposefully plan and execute the steps you believe will make your company prosperous.
Expressing gratitude is one way to help your business thrive, and often, it tends to get lost in the day-to-day. It distinguishes you from a sea of competitors, and even small acts of appreciation can solidify your key professional relationships. It can create a connection that becomes the basis for a powerful alliance you never considered.
Over my years in business, I've learned that expressing gratitude is a powerful thing. It yields results I couldn't have predicted in a business meeting. So while gratitude might be at the top of your mind during the holidays, why not make a mindful decision to incorporate it into your thinking year-round?
Consider your various constituencies: customers, clients, staff, vendors and alliance partners. Who is crucial to your business and at what intersection points?
Valuing the Service (We've Been There, Done That)
Understand that many transitioning Service Members have leadership capabilities above and beyond the typical civilian employee. Value this characteristic and find ways to weave leadership responsibilities into the civilian position. Be sure to overtly demonstrate the values your company places on military training and experience, perhaps by creating a Veteran-specific page on your website or reaching out to a local Veterans Service Organization (VSO) to find out how you can partner to assist in transitioning Service Members into the civilian workforce.
Offer More (Different People, Different Needs)
Many companies offer their workers access to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) – employer-sponsored services designed to assist employees and their families with managing work and life's daily challenges. EAPs have a long history of providing resources to help employees with personal and job performance issues, identifying and resolving workplace challenges (ideally before they result serious problems at work), and promoting healthy lifestyles. It is necessary for EAPs to continually update their tools and resources in order to keep on top of potential issues that may impact the workforce.
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