Workplace Culture

3 Focus Areas to Improve Workplace Culture

Workplace culture can make or break a company.

When employees feel appreciated and supported they’re more likely to excel in their positions and keep the company’s mission and values close to heart.

In a resource guide published by The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For, culture is split up into three components: employee engagement, teamwork, and diversity and inclusion. If you’re trying to build a dynamic company culture, focusing on these three areas is a great place to start. In fact, 89 percent of the Best and Brightest’s winning companies’ employees feel their organization promotes a positive culture.

Here’s how to start:

Engagement: When employees feel emotionally invested and are willing to go above and beyond for their company, they’re engaged. According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace study, high employee engagement leads to “higher productivity, profitability, and customer ratings, less turnover and absenteeism, and few safety incidents.”

Of Best and Brightest winners, 93 percent of employees surveyed said they understood their company’s mission and values, while 54 percent of employers offered onsite games and activities.

To increase engagement, focus on ensuring employees’ are well-informed about ongoing company news and initiatives. Instituting a way for employees to voice their successes and frustrations can help improve engagement, as can regular employee appreciation events.

Teamwork: If you’ve ever worked with someone you don’t get along with, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that teamwork plays a big role in a company’s culture. Ninety percent of the employees of the Best and Brightest winners reported positive, cooperative relationships with their colleagues.

Allow time for team building activities and host occasions for employees to get to know each other outside of work. Peer-to-peer recognition opportunities can also foster goodwill. Fostering teamwork pays off: of Best and Brightest winners, 94 percent of employees reported working in environments where they help each other out and 87 percent feel their co-workers deliver on commitments.

Hiring effective managers and senior leadership is critically important. Of Best and Brightest winners, 81 percent of employees feel senior leadership is open and honest; 83 percent trust senior leaders, and 80 percent believe senior leaders care about them.

Diversity and Inclusion: Cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace is good for business. “When coupled with an inclusive culture, diversity delivers higher performance, less absenteeism, more customer satisfaction and greater innovation,” wrote author Sebastian Bailey in Forbes.com.

In Best and Brightest’s resource guide, the case for diversity and inclusion as a business strategy hinges on employees’ need to feel confident that their perspectives are valued, even if they are different from those of their colleagues. It also “provides space to explore common ground and sameness between seemingly different groups of people.”

Read more about how Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan works to promote diversity and build an inclusive culture across the organization.

BCBSM was recently named one of the 2017 West Michigan 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For and was also honored as a metro Detroit winner in 2016.   

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Photo credit: Creative Sustainability

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