The report in The Culture Economy found a third of British employees quit their jobs because of bad workplace culture.
Google, a highly rated “best place to work” in many studies, focuses heavily on culture. The company regularly measures dozens of factors to understand what makes people productive and happy. This research has shaped Google’s workplace culture in myriad ways—from the company’s open workplace design to the provision of free gourmet food and on-site laundry services for employees.
So how can we improve culture in the UK and learn from great companies such as Google so we can better recruit and retain a valuable workforce?
Treat employees like your customers and listen to their needs. Understanding what your employees want from their place of work and matching this with the organisation’s own ethos and aims is how culture is created. Large organisations can use software such as 360 feedback or more innovative tools such as Track’s Graffiti which allows managers to have an ongoing conversation with employees as well as co-workers.
After you have done the leg work, run the 360 Feedback or asked for employees to submit opinions and views it is important that you act on these. See what your workforce wants and work out practical ways to empower them.
Culture is defined, modelled and highlighted by the leaders of a company. Virgin is a great example as it is defined by Richard Branson, but his the leadership team and managers will also need to have a clear and aligned vision which they communicate with other employees. So make sure you invest in good leaders, develop and grow these people as they will help you grow your company. A bespoke 360 Degree Feedback will help you to embed the culture and behaviours you’re looking to create, and is a tool for measuring the success of your change programme.
As Patrick Woodman, head of research for the Chartered Management Institute, said: “A strong, inclusive company culture is essential for long-term business performance. The tone is set from the top, so management and leadership play a crucial role and creating the conditions for workers to thrive. In particular, transparency and communication are vital for building trust and engendering a sense of purpose among staff.”
“The top three things every manager should start to do are share their thinking with their team, admit to their mistakes and uphold their company values. Employers must also recognise the pivotal role played by managers at the heart of their organisations, and support and develop them to succeed.”