Do you feel that your office is as productive as it could be? Are your employees highly motivated, and are tasks completed within an amenable time frame? Or is it the contrary? Perhaps your workplace is rife with a lack of enthusiasm and a high turnover rate. Company culture plays a vital role in both of these scenarios.
A recent study carried out by The Alternative Board found that an incredible 86% of those surveyed felt that company culture and in-house productivity are inextricably linked. Let us examine this relationship in greater detail.
Company culture should always be viewed from a top-down perspective. While employees are individuals, it is essential to remember that workplace productivity results from a team effort.
Let's take Olympic athletes as an example. They tend to train with those who are equal to their skill level. This is because they desire to be surrounded by others who possess the same talent, drive, and motivation. This is the same for the workplace. Promoting a highly driven workplace culture will therefore foster feelings of productivity and exclusivity.
In the same respect, a talented individual who is hired into a workplace with low productivity levels can also be impacted negatively. This is one of the reasons why some businesses fail to retain highly skilled employees.
One trait associated with productive teams is related to high levels of collective engagement. A company culture that promotes shared goals is more likely to enjoy impressive levels of in-house productivity. In the same respect, employees who arrive at the office to do nothing more than collecting a paycheck are less likely to enjoy their roles.
Managers who effectively engage with their employees will therefore breed a sense of shared focus. In other words, when workers care much more about their jobs and are willing to "go the extra mile," it naturally leads to much higher productivity levels.
Many businesses within western society have been built on the belief that competition is one of the best ways to encourage workplace productivity. Interestingly enough, this may not always be the case. Research conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that highly competitive environments can lower productivity over time. This is likely due to the cut-throat nature of such approaches.
Instead, company culture should be based on positive reinforcement as opposed to individual achievements alone. The logic here is that employees who are overly concerned about their status amongst peers are less likely to focus on the team. Simply stated, teams that function well will consistently achieve more.
Although there is no doubt that some employees will work harder than others, it is essential to note that collaborative efforts ultimately determine the success or failure of an organization. Therefore, the notion of a chain only being as strong as its weakest link is particularly relevant here.
Collaboration is also crucial for its innate ability to identify the character traits of specific employees. This allows managers and team leaders to leverage unique skills and attributes more effectively. Proactively collaborating within real-time settings is an excellent way to make the most out of what a team has to offer.
Finally, collaborative company culture has been associated with more satisfied employees and higher retention rates. It is likewise essential to mention that untrained or new employees will often learn from those with more experience, allowing the office to progress at a faster pace.
It is a foregone conclusion that company culture is directly influenced by the policies that it chooses to embrace. Some experts believe that these policies can be broken down into two categories:
Prescriptive policies essentially dictate what is allowed and what is prohibited, representing a set of ironclad rules. The main issue here is that this approach will often cause employees to feel like nothing more than a number. This is not beneficial in terms of productivity.
Principle-driven policies instead provide much more latitude to employee roles and responsibilities. These approaches show employees that they are professionals and that the firm trusts them to make the correct decisions.
Thanks to increasing levels of competition, the relationship between company culture and productivity is now more critical than ever before. Firms that wish to maintain an efficient and happy workplace should pay special attention to the abovementioned observations. Their positive impacts cannot be denied.