Employee experience is the summation of every program/activity an employee went through, saw, felt, or was involved in, as well as their work environment while with a particular company. It is essentially the journey an employee takes with the organization, otherwise known as the employee lifecycle. The employee lifecycle proceeds from the recruitment phase through the onboarding, development, retention, and exit phases. Your employees’ experience spreads across these stages.
Organizational culture, on the other hand, refers to the shared beliefs and values (as defined by leaders of the organization and duly communicated to everyone) that guide people’s behavior within the organization. In other words, it is a set of practices, values, and behaviors that define your employees’ experience at work.
In this post, we’ll zero in on the relationship between employee experience and organizational culture, and then look at how organizations like yours can improve your organizational culture.
Why Organizational Culture is Important
A critical thing to keep in mind is that your organizational culture has a direct impact on your employee experience. Whether or not an employee enjoys their time at a particular company will depend on the nuances of the company’s workplace culture and work environment. Studies also show that employee engagement is directly related to employee experience.
In recent times, the direct interaction between workplace culture or organizational culture and employee experience has risen to become a major workplace challenge for a good number of organizations.
To be a little more specific, culture matters because:
It is important in creating and sustaining the identity of an organization.
It provides a behavioral playbook for everyone, including leaders, within the organization.
It influences employee engagement and allows companies to retain top talents for the long haul.
With increased employee retention, organizational culture indirectly impacts productivity.
It makes it easier to define and manage employees' experience.
Your company’s culture is the expected social order within the organization; it defines what is accepted, shunned, celebrated, and discouraged in your organization. All of these can affect how employees behave and commit to their work. It is therefore safe to say that organizational culture impacts employee experience, which in turn affects employee engagement.
How Organizational Culture Affects Employee Engagement and Productivity
Many employers have realized that employee engagement and workplace culture are two critical workplace themes that are inextricably related. This means that if your workplace culture is structured in such a way that employees feel uncomfortable, excluded, unheard, unchallenged, or stressed at work, there’s a very high probability that you’ll likely lose your talents very fast. Gallup’s employee engagement report indicates that companies with a highly engaged workforce record 21% higher profitability.
Nowadays, workers are not just looking for the fastest paycheck or the finest offices, but they are even more interested in the culture that exists in an organization. This is why diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging have taken center stage in staffing and HR management spheres. If your culture makes employees feel valued and cherished in the organization, you can expect to see their best, as their engagement will improve.
For example, an organization that has a poor communication and feedback culture will find it difficult to carry everyone along with its vision and policies. If workers do not feel like they have a voice in the firm, they might as well look to work elsewhere where their opinions matter and they are kept in the loop. Considering that about 85% of employees become more engaged in the workplace when internal communication is effective, we can agree that a workplace culture promoting effective communication benefits business growth.
What employers of today must know is that a good culture is a competitive advantage, after all, high turnover rates do not look good on any company. A hostile organizational culture will negatively affect productivity and increase the turnover rate as more employees feel disconnected from their work and the organization.
How to Improve Your Organizational Culture
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to it. Organizational culture varies from one organization to another it changes frequently. However, some practices can help organizations - regardless of their industry or niche - to improve organizational culture:
Define Your Business Goals, Mission, and Values
Building an effective and purpose-driven organizational culture starts with revisiting your company goals, mission, and values. You want your organizational culture to align with your company’s purpose and interests. With this taken care of, organizational leadership can narrow down the core elements of their organizational culture and communicate them clearly to staff members and stakeholders.
Review Your Existing Culture
Companies must keep an eye out for workplace culture trends, then look back to their own culture and identify areas that are not in line with global best practices. You need to routinely evaluate your existing organizational culture to pinpoint areas you can tweak to improve your organizational culture. This is where the FIC Human Resources Partners’ Nuance Culture Consulting™ and Nuance Culture Surveys™ services become pretty handy for organizations.
Nuance Culture Surveys offer you a series of integrated audits, assessments, and surveys to measure and define the organizational culture at the macro and microculture levels, as well as the workplace culture experience (inclusive of intended/permitted culture) throughout the employee lifecycle. Our Nuance Culture Consulting service is designed to offer you the coordination you need to implement a culture strategy that is tailored to your specific organizational needs. It involves:
NUANCE Culture Development Program
Culture Quality Audits
DEI Policy Audits
Inclusion Policy Development
Mission, Values, Goals Development
Culture Initiative Planning
Goal Setting; Listening Tours
Organizational and Career Mapping
Pay equity Audits
Improve Internal Communications
Organizations thrive on effective communication. Leaders must encourage authentic, timely, and open communications with other staff members. Workers typically appreciate a work environment where everyone is encouraged to communicate and contribute freely. Two-way communication is typically the best, as it creates a seamless communication structure between leaders/executives, subordinates, and co-employees.
Encourage and Reward Great Performances
Consider appreciating and adequately rewarding high-performing employees as part of your core values. Rewards and appreciation are morale boosters. When the business does well, consider adding more bonuses to employees’ paychecks. To ensure that outstanding employees are properly appreciated, you might need to review your existing rewards and recognition program and make changes.
Train and Engage Employees
While the company’s leadership is responsible for formulating the policies and culture that define the organization, employees are the ones who run with the policies and bring the culture to life. So, engaging employees as you create and adjust your organizational culture is a critical part of the process.
As employees shift their behavior and work approach to align with the organizational culture, it grows organically from within the organization. Besides this, you want to also ensure that your employees are provided with enough training and development opportunities to help them grow in their careers.
Create a Flexible Work Environment
As part of our efforts to help organizations stay ahead of the talent game, we encourage them to focus their resources on promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace. These are key ingredients that we believe should be part of every culture. The work policy should also be flexible enough to allow employees to work from the comfort of their homes if necessary. Finally, flexibility here also means creating room for feedback from employees and making adjustments that allow them to work autonomously or with less supervision.
Feel free to reach out to learn more about how your organization can leverage our Nuance Culture Consulting™ and Nuance Culture Surveys™ services to build an effective organizational culture that allows your company to thrive.