Every business wants its employees to be as productive as possible. There are many strategies employers can implement to motivate employees, and one major motivational factor is company culture.
Engagement: The Link Between Culture and Productivity
To put it simply, engagement is what ties company culture to productivity in that culture affects engagement, which in turn impacts employee productivity. This is evidenced by the noted difference in productivity of engaged employees, who feel valued and challenged and love what they do, and unengaged employees miss the same connection to their work and company.
This is demonstrated by 60 percent more mistakes, 37 percent more absences, and 49 percent more accidents among disengaged employees. All of these directly impact productivity and quality.
An Engaging Culture Cares
One of the most important differentiators between companies with engaged, productive employees and those without is often said to be a sincere culture of caring for employees. Employees who feel as if their employers care about them as workers, but also as human beings put more effort into their work, improving productivity and quality.
In larger organizations, showing how much you care about each and every employee can be especially challenging. However, there are steps you can take to facilitate this culture throughout the company, including:
- Offer services like an employee assistance program, which demonstrate your acknowledgment of employee thoughts, feelings, and personal struggles
- Hire and promote managers very selectively; every manager should demonstrate sincere concern for his or her team
- Contribute to causes that are near and dear to employees and offer to help when employees are facing personal or professional struggles
Advancement Opportunities Foster Motivation
Another aspect of a culture that promotes productivity is the opportunity for advancement. When employees know they have reached their peak in an organization, they tend to function at a just-getting-by level. Their motivation lies in getting to work, getting through work, and getting home from work. However, when employees know that hard work pays off in the company, they strive to compete with their peers and achieve more every day.
By consistently sending the message that there are opportunities for those who stand out in the company and by filling those opportunities internally whenever possible, you can foster motivation—thus increasing productivity—among staff.
Meaningful Work Is Key
Meaningful work builds a positive company culture and increased personal investment in work for employees. The most interesting consideration when it comes to meaningful work is that any work can feel significant when the company communicates the right message to staff.
Consider how simple and impactful messaging can create change in these examples:
- A clinical research clerk’s role is described as 1) completing clerical tasks that better allow the clinical team to bring new drugs to the market, or 2) playing a vital role in the development and approval of life-saving medications for patients.
- A long-term care nurse’s role is described as 1) performing tasks for daily living that patients are unable to perform themselves, or 2) enrich patient lives, empower patients through encouragement of independence, and improve quality of life to allow patients to age in the most dignified, comfortable, and enjoyable manner possible.
- An elementary school janitor’s role is described as 1) keeping the school clean and well maintained, or 2) playing an active role in empowering students and driving their future by maintaining the environment they learn and play into the highest standards possible.
As you can see, the message you share as a company is more important than the work you do. All work can feel meaningful when the company believes it is, and consistently shares that message at all levels.
Company culture does directly impact productivity. The best news is that culture is in your hands. By demonstrating concern for the employees in your organization, providing opportunity for growth, and making work meaningful for employees at every level, you can create a culture that fosters maximum productivity.
Author bio: Amanda Lipson is Human Resources Generalist at ZeroCater in San Francisco. Lipson also is working toward her master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology at San Jose State University.