In the pulsating heart of the American workforce, the job market is ever-evolving, and remote work is taking precedence. So, companies must understand the importance of having an engaging culture. A cohesive and robust work culture attracts top talent, fosters employee satisfaction, and improves retention. It acts as the linchpin for success, shaping the company’s identity.
While the top management is responsible for giving the culture its shape, the execution falls squarely on the shoulders of the Human Resources (HR) to create an environment that resonates with the employees.
The current state of employee engagement
According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, employee engagement has dropped from 36% in 2020 to 34% in 2021. In 2022, 32% of full and part-time employees were engaged, while 18% felt actively disengaged. This translates into lower emotional investment in their work, reducing productivity, higher turnover rates, and a generally detached workforce.
These numbers show the work that HR professionals must do across the country. With competition for talent being cut-throat, organizations must adopt employee retention practices to create a workplace where employees feel connected, motivated, and valued.
The pillars of a solid and engaging company culture
A solid and engaging company culture requires a strategic and multifaceted approach. Think of your company’s HR as the architects who design and implement the way forward. They create employee engagement strategies that make your company attractive to incoming talent and existing employees. To create this blueprint, there are some key pillars that an HR must always keep in mind.
1. Clear communication channels
The foundation for a thriving company is effective communication. If there are no transparent lines of communication between leadership and employees, your company culture needs an overhaul. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 65% of employees think the cornerstone of building trust is open and honest communication within the organization.
By conducting regular town hall meetings and feedback sessions, offering accessible communication platforms, and encouraging an open-door policy, HRs can contribute to a culture where everyone feels valued.
Furthermore, according to a study by McKinsey, reported by Issuu, practical communication skills improve an organization’s chances of outperforming its competition and peers by 3.5 times.
2. Emphasis on Employee Well-being
Your employees are the backbone of your company, and their health and well-being must always be paramount to a positive workplace culture. Post-pandemic, a holistic approach towards everything has been encouraged, so it’s no surprise that employees also expect the same at a corporate level. HR professionals who implement wellness programs that address mental, physical, and emotional health can contribute to a culture that promotes a healthy work-life balance.
In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that for every $1 invested in initiatives promoting mental health in the workplace, there is a return of $4 in improved health and productivity of employees. Think flexible work hours, mental health days off, and initiatives that let your employees know that your company culture prioritizes work-life balance.
3. Recognition and rewards
Acknowledging and rewarding employees for their hard work is a cornerstone of a solid company culture. The HR’s role here lies in designing recognition programs that go beyond the norm.
According to a survey published on Reward Gateway, 70% of workers say motivation and morale would improve if managers said thank you more and noticed their excellent work. Giving a shout-out in a team meeting, a personalized note from leadership, or offering creative recognition at an event — are all initiatives that can boost morale to foster a sense of accomplishment in your employees.
4. Investment in learning and development
The better your employees work, the better your company’s wheels turn. If you’re instrumental in providing continuous growth and learning opportunities, your employees will see solid professional development that benefits the organization’s success.
Further, according to LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees reported staying at a company longer if it invested in their career growth.
HR’s dynamic role in adapting to change
As we mentioned, the corporate landscape is evolving into a digital-first one, and HR needs to be at the forefront of adapting company culture to meet fresh challenges. The pandemic catapulted the world into a remote-work, digitally connected community, so HR needs to be well-versed in surfing the virtual waters.
1. Virtual team-building initiatives
Gitlab’s Remote Work Report concluded that 86% of respondents believe remote work is the future, and 62% said they’d consider leaving for remote roles. Initiatives like virtual escape rooms and online fitness challenges engage employee development initiatives in virtual setups that HR needs to look into and implement.
2. Digital employee recognition practices
When face-to-face interactions fall, HR can employ digital platforms to bring remote teams together and improve employee recognition. Online platforms that allow real-time appreciation can make your employees feel valued even in a remote setting. SurveyMoney partnered with Bonusly to find out that out of 1,500 respondents, 63% who were “always” or “usually” recognized said they were “very unlikely” to quit their jobs.
The path forward
As organizations adapt to the complexities of the modern workplace, HR must take the wheel and build for the future. That includes shaping and sustaining a solid company culture through strategic practices. After all, creating a positive work climate has never been more pivotal. The pillars of a robust company environment, fortified by HR’s impact on workplace culture, set the blueprint for a resilient and thriving organization. In this gratifying waltz between technology and human intelligence, your HR is the orchestrator that ensures your company’s work culture stands as a testament to your commitment to excellence and the well-being of your most valuable asset – your people.
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