In March of 2020, working from home became the new normal for many people. Organizations may not have been prepared for this new normal, but ready or not, the transition needed to be made. Some employers went with the Band-Aid approach of doing what they needed to do to get by temporarily, while others fully embraced the challenge and sought the potential long-term advantages that it offered to employer and employees alike. Most employers did not expect this new normal to last as long as it has, or for it to bring so many unforeseen challenges.
No company can force its employees to be engaged. Employees have to want to participate fully in the life and culture of a workplace. The good news, according to a recent Gallup survey, is that employee engagement is on the rise, with 34% of U.S. workers reporting feeling engaged at work. That percentage ties the highest in Gallup's history of taking this poll. Even better, the 13% of actively disengaged (i.e. miserable) employees is the lowest level ever reported. So whatever strategies employers are using to engage with their employees is taking the trend in the right direction.
The less-than-stellar news is that the remaining 53% of workers (i.e. the majority) are considered not engaged. Gallup defines this category as workers who "are not cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and workplace; they will usually show up to work and do the minimum required but will quickly leave their company for a slightly better offer." If your company's employees are amongst the 66% of casually or actively disengaged workers, what can your organization do to change that? This is an important question, since employee engagement indicates your employees’ commitment to their work and the success of your organization. If your employees aren't engaged, the goals of your business will suffer.
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.
Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
We can’t be excited to go to work every day, and sometimes we may even drag our feet getting there. That's just normal. But when you feel stuck in a bad or toxic workplace culture, you start to dread the beginning of each workday, and that can take a serious toll on your outlook and work ethic.
It’s not often a single thing that makes or breaks an organization’s culture. A combination of leadership, traditions, values, attitudes, beliefs, interactions, and behaviors together set the overall tone of the work environment. From an employee's perspective, rarely does a bad workplace culture start out that way. Little by little, things that seem insignificant in the moment can start to add up until one reaches the proverbial last straw. By the time employees feel overworked, under-appreciated, and burnt out, it’s probably too late to go back and reset the culture of the office. Instead, it’s important to proactively build the culture and make appropriate changes and tweaks as needs arise.
Workplace culture is one of the most elusive yet important aspects of any organization. It depends, in large part, on the people who work for you, so you'll never have complete control over it. It responds collectively at times and individually at others and so remains difficult to influence. Free and expensive actions alike can impact it, meaning that its monetary costs are unclear.
And yet culture is often the key factor determining why talented and hard-working people remain with organizations that may be otherwise challenging places. It is frequently synonymous with employee job satisfaction and can have strikingly positive reverberations when it comes to customer retention and a company's bottom line. By the same token, a unsatisfying culture can end up costing an organization alarming amounts in lost productivity, negative reputation, and poor recruiting ability.
All this month, we're focusing on the need to foster great workplace cultures. If you haven't already done so, we encourage you to register for our free webinar on this topic. We also have a great Company Culture HR Toolkit that you can download to learn strategies and tactics for improving - or getting started on - the culture in your workplace.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employees, on average, are staying with their current employer for an average of 4.2 years. Age has an impact on this statistic as older workers tend to remain with organizations longer than the average (55 to 64 year olds average 10.1 years), while younger workers make moves more frequently (25 to 34 year olds average 2.8 years).
Our knowledge is your knowledge! That is the common expectation in the HR world, right? It's all about sharing resources, training, updates, and knowledge with employees, clients, and even other human resource professionals in our network. We do it because everyone in this role knows what a constant challenge it can be to keep up with changing legislation, benefit offerings, trends, policies, and compliance requirements. You can never have too many tools in your toolbox of HR information.
“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”
What companies do you think of as having the best corporate culture?
How many of the following five were on your list: Costco, Google, T-Mobile, Hubspot, AFLAC? These were the top five companies with over 500 employees on the Forbes 2018 list of companies with outstanding workplace culture. Was the organization you work for on your list? If not, our June HR topic, How to Build a Great Workplace Culture may offer some exciting new ideas and resources for you.