Chances are your company has been impacted by the Great Resignation in some way, whether you’ve experienced increased turnover or had to adjust your hiring strategies to compete for talent. While some believed this record-breaking trend of resignations was a temporary phenomenon caused by the pandemic, the mass exodus has continued unabated. And in a hyper-competitive labor market, employee retention is more important than ever.
That’s why as an organization, you need to look inward and evaluate what your company may be doing, or failing to do, to foster loyalty and retain employees. It’s easy to blame turnover on employees looking for a bigger paycheck, but research shows that isn’t the case. A recent report from MIT Sloan Management Review indicates that toxic workplace culture is the leading driver of employee resignations, beating out employee burnout and compensation for the top spot.
When you hear “toxic culture,” you might think of screaming bosses, rampant backstabbing, and overworked employees. But the researchers found that the causes of a toxic workplace are far less dramatic but no less damaging. A toxic culture fails to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, leaves workers feeling disrespected, and allows unethical behavior to go unchecked. if your workers feel left out and unappreciated, you might have a toxic culture on your hands.
So how do you avoid toxicity and foster a healthy workplace culture? These tips can help.
What makes a healthy workplace?
Every employee is unique, and so are their ideas about what makes a healthy workplace. In general, however, a healthy workplace prioritizes employees’ mental, physical, and social well-being, provides employees with the tools and resources they need to succeed, encourages open communication, and appreciates and empowers employees.
Creating a healthy corporate culture begins with a foundation of respect. Respecting everyone’s talents, differences, and contributions goes a long way toward creating a loyal and engaged workforce, which ultimately helps you attract and retain top talent. Once you’ve established respect, there are several ways to build on that foundation to fit your workforce and your business.
Cultivate a positive workplace culture
A positive culture begins with hiring diverse employees with various skill sets. Like a machine that runs smoothly thanks to many different parts working together, companies are more successful when their employees have a wide range of talents and interests to bring to the table. To help employees do their best work, you need to give them the tools, resources, and support they need to shine. Tips for cultivating a healthy culture and a healthier workforce include:
- Mentorship programs. Do you have employees who are adept at guiding others? Encourage them to become mentors to new and younger employees. They can show new employees the ropes and be a resource, provide advice for navigating the professional landscape to less experienced colleagues, or offer new skills training for employees interested in learning more about other areas of the company.
- Culture committee. Create a culture committee dedicated to promoting a positive company culture, and open membership to all levels of your organization. They can oversee planning events, organizing office activities, and welcoming new employees. Have them put together a welcome routine for new employees, including desk decoration, some company swag, and a meet and greet with other employees.
- DEI committee. Like the culture committee, the DEI committee should be open to all levels of employees. The DEI’s committees’ mission is to find practical ways to celebrate diversity, expose employees to diverse cultures and viewpoints, and provide resources to educate staff on how to incorporate DEI efforts into daily work-life.
- Exercise groups. Offering ways to stay physically healthy are a great way to get employees involved in creating a healthy workplace. Do you have any yogis at your company? Or how about kickboxers, cyclists, or runners? Tap into those interests by having employees coordinate or lead workout sessions, or perhaps have them create a resource sheet with recommended exercises, activities, or events for employees to stay in shape together.
- Efficiency brainstorms. No matter how streamlined you think your processes are, there are sure to be areas for improvement. Consider having quarterly sessions where employees can bring up roadblocks and allow them a chance to brainstorm solutions. Employees are happier when they can get their work done and know they have a voice. Bonus, you’ll be able to identify valuable problem-solvers in your workforce!
- Equipment and resources. In addition to making sure processes are efficient, be sure that employees have the tools and resources they need to get their jobs done. Something as simple as having the correct equipment can do wonders for helping employees maintain a healthy headspace. This might include providing dual monitors for their workspace, giving them access to specific software, or even providing a training course to help them learn or sharpen a skill.
- Regular appreciation and recognition. A healthy workplace makes time to appreciate and recognize people’s hard work. Make it easy for people to celebrate their co-workers, with a formal nomination, appreciation platform, or a separate channel on your company’s intranet. Throw in some automation by using a benefits platform that can send reminders to employees to nominate someone, or even a simple reminder to send someone a note for their hard work.
Get a little help from technology
Creating a healthy workplace can require a lot of work and organization. Make things easier by harnessing the power of a platform that can lighten the load with automation. Use automated surveys to gauge individuals’ interest in programs, committees, or activities. Also, gather feedback on improving processes and culture that can enhance your company and give employees a voice.
An automated communication platform can also send reminders about company initiatives and groups, along with personalized messaging about relevant benefits and programs to maximize their physical, emotional, and professional well-being.
Building and maintaining a healthy workplace culture can take time and effort, but the rewards can be enormous for workplace morale and employee engagement. And creating a happy, healthy workforce can help attract new talent and keep turnover to a minimum.