Here at Maytrix Group we are passionate about working with organisations to grow their workplace culture. Workplace culture provides the heartbeat of any business, a rhythmic beat that promotes and recognises a key set of behaviours that remove the shackles of employee disengagement.
The employee disengagement crisis is certainly not restricted to the United Kingdom. A comprehensive workplace study throughout Europe and the United States, by US based analytics and advisory company (Gallup), has identified the problem to be widespread and growing. Here are a
couple of examples:
- Germany 16% employee engagement 74% disengagement
- France 6% employee engagement 94% disengagement
- USA 30% employee engagement 70% disengagement
Many organisations prioritise financial efficiency, productivity and the sales pipeline to support growth. In one of the examples captured, businesses in Germany are in the middle of an employee disengagement crisis due to a strong management focus on efficiency and productivity, creating a significant gap in how employees are motivated and engaged. Traditional management training in Germany has focused on these non-people processes, and it’s only now that German businesses are waking up to the value of company culture and the associated ROI opportunities it creates. In many businesses it’s not a case of ‘no culture’ as there will be some form of workplace culture in existence, it’s more about cultural realignment and how your culture reflects your organisation and the people
who work within it.
Common misconceptions can include that if employees are happy, they must be engaged and that financial incentives will suffice with regards to engagement levels. So, let’s start with the happiness = engagement calculation. Simply buying table tennis tables, beanbags and painting the walls a nice vibrant colour, amongst other cosmetic methods, simply isn’t enough to tackle disengagement in the workplace. More has to be done to address the culture to make the workplace more appealing, interactive, empowering and rewarding. With regards to the second point, various studies over many years have not managed to find a legitimate connection between long term financial incentives and a consistent improvement in productivity. It’s far too easy to throw vouchers, bonuses or other financial incentives at your employees. What’s less easy, but far more effective, is tapping into the uniqueness of each employee and identifying what type of recognition would be right for them, giving a much more personal feel. Not easy, but like anything regarding culture and employee engagement, it takes time, patience and good old-fashioned hard work.
Maytrix Group are currently working with a diverse group of organisations who have asked for help with building a positive, connected and engaging workplace culture. This has helped us to develop our CULTURE in your workplace acronym which we are very proud of and would like to share with you.
In summary, communication and the way we address each other in the workplace, is the common currency of success, respecting our colleagues and taking time to listen to their needs will go a long way in building lasting relationships.
Managers and leaders make many critical decisions and if any bias is present, the chances of promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace, that embraces the positive differences amongst the team will be significantly reduced. It not easy to remove bias, however there are some simple exercises that will help to maintain an un-biased opinion. Leaders have to learn how to listen to their teams, they need to experience what it’s like to work for the business across all levels. If you are a leader and nobody follows you, you are simply going for a walk. Helping to grow a modern leadership style is what Maytrix Group are passionate about. One of the key issues that face many organisations is the dis-connect between the board and the operational front-line. This disconnect allows for gaps to be filled with the wrong information. Taking steps to involve employees in decisions that can affect them and being as transparent as possible helps to break down barriers and create strong connections throughout the organisation. There are many leadership styles that you can buy off the shelf, but you have to build your leadership style based on your personal and organisational values and experiences. Taking a unified approach creates a real sense of involvement, this has a natural impact on moral and motivation and breaks down any silos that exist within the business. We have looked at reward in this blog already, but how hard is it really to take the time to say ‘thank you’ to those who have helped to build success within the brand, those who have gone above and beyond and those who simply fit into that reliable category. Some of the commonest feedback we receive from employees is that their managers never say thank you. The impact of this can be significant and will be felt throughout the team. The biggest challenge facing our managers is the complex task of managing people. It always has been and always will be so it’s time for managers to develop those skills that allow them to reach out to their teams and create a sense of workplace wellbeing.
Engaging managers will always succeed here as the number one reason why employees quit their jobs is because of bad managers. Emotional Intelligence is a skill that can be learned and taking an empathetic approach to employee issues, whilst understanding and controlling their own emotions, will allow problems to be resolved and relationships to be maintained allowing the team to move forward. Engaging managers will strive to build a sense of community and be able to adopt a servant leadership approach. Traditional command and control managers will increasingly struggle as employee’s needs, from work, continue to diversify across the generational cohorts. After all we now find, for the first time, a workplace that has 5 different generations working together. The hardest step to take is often the first step so why not give the Maytrix Team a call and take that first step with us.