Employee Productivity and Work Culture are two topics you’ll hear about ad nauseam. Go to an HR conference and you’ll hear about it. Look up one and you’ll see reference to the other. The two are intertwined tightly. Why?
One (work culture) is an input and the other is an output (employee productivity). Wait, maybe employee productivity and work culture are both inputs and outputs. What if the input was employee productivity… that is, results, and the output was work culture?
That actually makes sense.
Check out this Harvard Business Review article titled Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive. You might be thinking, “I don’t need to read an article to tell me taht positive work cultures are more productive, that’s common sense!”
True, and I agree, but that article has some great stats and information. And, if you work with any organizational leaders who wonder about investing in, strategizing about, and planning for a better work culture, you need this article. Here’s how the article starts:
Too many companies bet on having a cut-throat, high-pressure, take-no-prisoners culture to drive their financial success.
But a large and growing body of research on positive organizational psychology demonstrates that not only is a cut-throat environment harmful to productivity over time
The article talks about the hidden costs that come with high-pressure work environments. It says “more than $500 billion is siphoned off from the U.S. economy because of workplace stress, and 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress on the job.”
You read $500 billion is wasted, I read there’s a $500 billion industry out there called “workplace stress.”
The other stat’s aren’t heartwarming: 80% of workplace accidents are attributed to stress…. etc.
Pretty intuitive stuff, right? I mean, the stats are alarming, but you already knew a stressful workplace was not good.
Employee Productivity and Work Culture: Getting There
Sow what can you do about employee productivity and work culture to combat those nasty things? The article proposes “six essential characteristics” to have a positive workplace culture, including:
Caring for, being interested in, and maintaining responsibility for colleagues as friends,
Inspiring one another at work, and
Treating one another with respect, gratitude, trust, and integrity.
And three more… read the article to get their list.
Their list is great… and again, as you read it you’ll likely think, duh, everyone knows that. So if everyone knows that, why is work so stressful? Why are some cultures so toxic? Why are we wasting, just in the U.S., over $500 billion??? Why are 550 million work days lost because people are calling in sick?
Reading a list of six things from HBR is one thing. Making cultural changes… really impacting employee productivity and work culture, is something different. This is a gargantuan, almost-impossible task. You have to change the way leadership thinks. You have to ensure that programs to create the positive work culture are designed and implemented well. You have to encourage your leadership to support them and your employees to use them.
Getting to higher employee productivity and work culture that is something to brag about is not easy. It takes intentional thought, planning, and lots of consistent work.
And it is entirely worth all of that work.
So what does it look like?
Let’s take one of our favorite words from that article, and the list of six things: Gratitude.
Gratitude is an easy concept. We all know it’s good. Why, then, do we not hear it more at work? At Snowfly, we have created an employee and manager recognition system that makes expressing gratitude easy. A colleague or manager can say kind words, recognize something done well, and even award points that can be redeemed by the recipient. This point system allows an employee to have a monetary reinforcement of someone’s gratitude!
That hits on another of the six ways to improve employee productivity and work culture: “Emphasizing the meaningfulness of the work.”
When a boss tells you, and the rest of the organization, that you did an excellent job on a call, in a meeting, with a customer, at a demo, they are emphasizing YOUR impact on work that was meaningful. Wow! Talk about moving towards a better work culture!
This can easily be done with the employee and manager recognition system, which is just one aspect of the Snowfly suite of employee engagement and workplace culture tools.
If you want to work on your employee productivity and work culture, let’s get on a call. We love this stuff. We work with a variety of industries and even teams within organizations to improve these things. Our experience can help you on your journey to a better work culture, one where you start to recover some of that lost money and days off.
Let’s talk… reach out to chat with someone on our team about your work culture needs, and how you can create an environment where you have increased employee productivity!