Dr. Debra Villar offers expert advice to HR on improving employee engagement across any organization.
Disengaged staff, high employee turnover and a disconnect between leaders and their team are all a sign of an unhealthy company culture, said Dr. Debra Villar, director of Complete Corporate Wellness.
“A recent Gallup survey on employee engagement showed that organizations with high levels of engagement outperform others up to 200% in terms of growth, productivity, profitability and reduced levels of absenteeism and sick days,” she said.
“The Corporate Leadership Council found that the most engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their organization. With the high cost of replacing employees it’s best to avoid this situation and create a healthy company culture.”
Dr. Debra Villar offers five ways to do exactly that:
A company with great culture asks their staff for feedback. This can be hard for the employees says Linda Hill, the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School: “The major reason people don’t give the boss feedback is they’re worried that the boss will retaliate because they know that most of us have trouble accepting negative feedback”.
However, listening to the needs, suggestions, and positive and negative feedback is essential to develop a healthy company culture. There are many ways to get feedback, from employee surveys, to team meetings, to whiteboards in common areas that people can write thoughts or suggestions; this allows staff to have a voice and feel like they can contribute to the shared vision and company goals.
Change is usually estimated on how it can affect the organization. Planning, communicating and involving staff can ease the change. Hiring new staff to join a team should be based on qualifications and experience but it is essential they also fit into the organizations culture.
Invest in people
Paying employees above their minimum wages, especially in retail sectors have been found to increase profits. This is likely due to lower employee turnover, higher engagement and more drive. Since increasing its benefits and wages above industry standard, retail chain Costco were able to reduce employee turnover to less than 6%.
“Do as I say not as I do” should not apply
When the company’s personality is established, it is should be embraced by all, from entry level talent to senior executives. Management should set an example on drive, commitment and dedication.
Deliver great benefits
Investing in benefits such as a corporate health programs, training, speakers, paternity leave and more, makes employees feel valued and cared for.
For example, a corporate health program benefits the employee but in turn will increase productivity, decrease sick days and provide a great ROI for any company.
Leaders need to establish holistic ways to create a healthy company culture. This allows for a happy, productive, and positive workplace, which in turn will provide greater profits.