Employees who feel they have a good cultural fit with their employer are more productive according to new research which highlights just how vital it is for employers to actively invest in finding and retaining the right people.
The research by ThriveMap shows that employees who feel they ‘fit’ with their employer, both in terms of their role and the company values, had a productivity of 7.2 out of 10, compared with 5.3 for those who did not. It also revealed that almost a third of respondents had left a job because they didn’t feel they were the right fit for the organisation.
At a time when it’s becoming increasingly difficult for employers to recruit the right talent, a challenge that will no doubt became more difficult once the UK has left Europe, employers need to scrutinise their workplace culture and consider how effective it is at creating the right conditions for happy, healthy and productive employees.
Workplace culture may sound intangible, but it refers to the belief system, shared values, assumptions, character and personality of an organisation. It is the glue that binds an employer and its people together and when done properly, it has the power to motivate and inspire, make employees loyal and engaged and instil a sense of pride and belonging.
With that in mind, there are seven principle considerations to ensure a positive workplace culture and an organisation full of people with the right cultural fit:
- Be truthful – Revisit how your company is represented externally, starting with the recruitment process. As yourself whether it gives an accurate reflection of the business or the experience of work within it. If you describe your business as open, flexible and dynamic it should be evident in the type of work environment on offer, the trust shown to employees and the company’s reputation. Painting a positive workplace culture begins with the first encounter with a potential new recruit.
- Apply cultural checks – Research has revealed that 77% of employers just use gut feel to assess potential candidates. Consider how you can check whether candidates are the right fit before they are offered the job, by using tools such as psychometric testing and peer interviews or by incorporating workplace tours and tasks within the recruitment process.
- Think top down. The approach of senior leaders, everyday management styles and how colleagues treat each other all help to shape workplace culture and the employee experience. Make sure senior managers are leading by example and embodying the desired values and adopting the right behaviours.
- Build on your current culture. There’s every chance your existing company culture already has positive attributes to build on. If people are particularly supportive of each other find ways to amplify this – perhaps with CSR activities to support a local community project or by putting a buddy system in place to enhance the graduate programme. If you’re not sure what your company culture currently is – ask employees to tell you what they think of the business and their experiences working there.
- Focus on employee wellness. There is a deluge of data that shows the connection between staff with good mental, physical and emotional health and workplace productivity and loyalty. Review short and long-term sickness data to identify how well your workforce is, what the contributory factors are and how it can be improved. Modern wellness programmes are all-encompassing in their reach – from nutrition and medical support through to anti-stress programmes, mental health sick days, access to fitness and phased returns to work.
- Shared vision and goals. Groups of people with shared goals have a shared sense of purpose and meaning and by definition, are a team. This contributes hugely to forging a positive workplace culture. Ensure that company goals and objectives are shared with employees and regularly reported on, so they understand how their role and contribution matters.
- Encourage sociability. Sociability helps workforces to build a strong personal connection and is instrumental in helping positive cultural attributes to spread and become the norm. It’s been proven that employees with friends at work are typically more engaged and loyal, highlighting the importance of cultivating a friendly working atmosphere. Actively encourage greater sociability with knowledge-sharing programmes and buddy systems as well as organised staff gatherings and nights out.
Modern employers should be in no doubt about the growing importance of workplace culture and the expectations of today’s employees. Those businesses that overlook its power stand to make the wrong hires and potentially lose their brightest and best talent to those organisations that do see the value in putting people first. Workplace culture, employee retention, employee engagement and productivity all are indelibly linked – get the first part right and the rest will follow.
 As reported here: https://workplaceinsight.net/culture-fit-essential-for-personal-productivity/
 ThriveMap research as reported here: https://workplaceinsight.net/culture-fit-essential-for-personal-productivity/