It’s Time to Build Your Workplace Beyond Bricks and Mortar
As 2022 steams ahead, there is no doubt that the hybrid working model – on-site and remote operating side-by-side – is here to stay. Yet many organisations are still insisting that everyone head back to the office. These moves have, to date, sent leaders back to the drawing board a few times, with one backfiring spectacularly.
Many organisations are striving to find the right blend between remote and office-based work. Employees too can also be divided on the topic, with many eager to be in-person yet some adamant about their desire to work totally remotely. Knowing the actual sentiment in the organisation is the first step towards creating the work environment that will support a company’s people to thrive.
The Disconnect – Why Us and Them Isn’t Working
There’s clearly a disconnect between leadership and employees on this single issue. It may not have led to a mass exodus per se, but the Great Resignation has caused many to consider quite how estranged they have become from their colleagues and the culture of the working environment. Aside from remote vs office friction, employee leavers cited other reasons for leaving, including:
- Dissatisfaction with a management that’s seen as pre-occupied,
- Lack of professional advancement, personal growth, and fair compensation,
- Limited flexibility in working patterns and a lack of workplace benefits.
According to exit survey data from 2021, the many employees (61%) would still recommend their ex-employer’s organisation as a place to work. But while that figure represents a majority, there’s still clearly a lot of progress that can be made. The survey’s detail reveals most ground can be made up in the area of alignment between employers’ decisions and employees’ perceptions of the motivations for those decisions.
The Realignment – How Working Cultures Make the People Great
What should business leaders look out for? How can they better understand the needs of their workforce? Here’s what we know: what can really connect management with their workforce is a better understanding of the parts of the employee experience that are either enabling or hindering both motivation and engagement.
The only way to reach that understanding is to create a feedback strategy that surveys employees on their perceptions and experiences at work. By collecting the right data, and understanding the insights drawn from the results, managers can take action to create meaningful change for their people.
In a typical business, surveys happen at moments that matter – six months into a new contract or during performance reviews. But more regular communication between colleagues, management, supervisors and employees can help create insights into the workplace that pays dividends to employees and strategy-makers alike.
The often-used ethos of having an “open door policy,” is highly positive, but done right, the workforce’s sentiments should always be apparent to an engaged management. To get to that stage, companies have to go beyond making sure all personnel have a direct line to management and proactively create two-way communication and feedback loops,
An example of using these policies and practices effectively can be seen with THE ICONIC – a Sydney-based Australian fashion and lifestyle retailer. After seeking employee feedback last year, it was discovered that 50% of the organisation’s workforce wanted more structure in conversations between employees and managers. This finding appeared in the bi-annual Engagement Surveys commissioned by Culture Amp. Maria Koralis, director of people and culture at THE ICONIC, went to Culture Amp for recommendations for “… a solution to start with to formalise what we were [already] doing. Culture Amp gave us the tools to set that up,”
A key feature of Culture Amp is the self-reflection tool. With it, THE ICONIC created an objective approach to performance reviews and optimised collaboration with their staff. In a space where employees can express their motivations and feelings clearly and openly, the individual themselves can learn about the best way forward, in accordance and with the support of their line managers. For THE ICONIC, the workforce self-reflection and feedback environment created positive outcomes in management-workforce discussions.
MATCHESFASHION, a personal luxury shopping brand, realised that in the case of smaller teams, connection and culture were easy to foster. However, as the company grew, it became increasingly more important to build a culture of feedback. With Culture Amp’s surveys, reports, and collaboratively-created action plans, MATCHES was able to better focus on what mattered most to its workforce. People felt they were being heard and, critically, became aware of their role in the way the company wanted to drive change. “Culture Amp created a real shift in our culture, ensuring the relationship between People Team and operations evolved,” shared Victoria Ashley, Head of People and Talent at MATCHES.
The Goal – Rise and Thrive With Each Other
Culture Amp promises a holistic approach to drive employee engagement, development and performance. Beyond providing real avenues for employers to help their personnel develop, it can also deepen trust with the workforce and help to create a culture that values feedback.
The Culture Amp platform is where the relationships that are the mainstay of a modern organisation are built. Management can easily gather opinions (“How are we doing?”, “What do you think about our new direction?”), employees can talk openly about how they feel things are progressing, and the empirical data forms actionable insight into the business’s overall strategy all backed by people science and data.
The space for self-reflection for all parties leads naturally to a culture of peer review and an ability to share personal agendas for growth and development right across the company. And thanks to deep integration with the rest of the IT stack, existing tools, like comms platforms, for example, can be brought into play too. That makes the Culture Amp methodologies part of the existing framework in which people work – not a separate space.
Companies using this technology amplify their people’s voices, their management’s choices and in total, empowering organisations to create a better world of work. To learn more about a product built for everyone in your company, reach out to a representative to learn more.