Nobody wants to go to work to be miserable for the day, but unfortunately a lot of people do.
Building a better workplace leads to higher staff retention, higher productivity and a reduction in the number of sick days taken by staff members. All these things contribute to a better business, a reduction in costs and should mean more profitability for the company.
There has been a gradual change in approach by employers as to what constitutes a ‘good’ workplace. Statistics released by the OECD have shown that keeping employees onsite to try and wring every ounce of output out of their day is counterproductive.
If you compare the German and Greek economies as an example, you’ll see this play out. Specifically looking at the average annual hours worked per worker, you’ll see that German employees worked on average 33% less than Greek workers (1,356 hours versus 2,018 in 2017).
Also, the average hours worked per year in Germany have declined by 7% since 2000 compared to a 4% drop in Greece. Yet over the same period the German workers were significantly (70%) more productive in their 28-hour work week than the Greeks doing their 42 hours a week.
Interested to learn more?
We have written many blog posts that could help your company move towards a building a better workplace that benefits all concerned.
Creating A Good Corporate Culture
1. Join the Dots and Connect the Whole Company
One of the biggest downfalls of large companies is a tendency for departments to get totally caught up in their own agenda. These departments are frequently referred to as silos and can seem detached from the overall company goals. This can have a snowball effect on other departments silo-ing off to protect their own interests. All of this leads to a dysfunctional company.
If departments, teams and employees are micro-managed towards achieving individual goals everybody loses sight of the company’s goals.
The best way to solve this is to make sure that the business goals are aligned with the workforce strategy. Senior management and HR need to collaborate to achieve this.
If this is in place, then Employee Value Propositions can help articulate how every individual is contributing to the company’s success and not just their own performance or the department targets.
These blog articles will give you some ideas on how to achieve a more joined up company.
1. Embrace Critical Thinking
In the opening pages of his excellent book “Originals: How Non-Conformists Change the World”, Adam Grant refers to a study by an economist Michael Housman on customer service agents. Housman identified that agents who used the Internet browsers Chrome and Firefox were more likely to stay in their job for longer and less likely to miss work than agents that used Internet Explorer and Safari.
Not only that, Housman used 3 million data points to show that these agents also achieved higher sales in shorter call times.
How did an Internet browser make these employees better?
The Internet browser merely helped identify a non-conformist trait in these employees.
Typically, the default browser on Windows computers is Internet Explorer (now called Microsoft Edge) and Safari on Apple machines. These employees would have had to download both Chrome and Firefox themselves displaying resourcefulness, initiative and an unwillingness to accept the default option and maintain the status quo.
If employees demonstrate this pursuit of ‘better ways of doing things’ for their Internet browser, they are likely to apply this critical thinking to finding better ways to serve customers and achieve better results. Housman’s study and Grant’s book confirm this.
The key to progress is in communication.
Employees should feel empowered to inform management on how they can improve ways of doing things.
Management should be open to hearing new ideas and not stick to older methods because ‘that’s they way we’ve always done it’.
Here are some ideas on how to improve communications and foster some critical thinking.
2. Build and Demonstrate Trust
At some point a parent will stop holding their child’s hand when they are learning to walk. The child will begin to trust themselves more that they can do it. The parent will trust the child that, by falling and getting back up, they will eventually learn how to walk on their own.
Employees need to trust that senior management are making the best decisions for the company and its future.
Equally, the C-suite must trust employees to make decisions in their role that will create a better outcome.
Both should be able to give reasonable feedback if there is a disconnect.
A great way that trust can be shown in the workplace is through a flexible working arrangement.
The Society for Human Resource Management ran a survey in 2014 that found Flexible Workplace Arrangements (FWA) contributed positively to retaining employees (75% of respondents), improving the work-life balance (84% of respondents) and employees commitment to the organization (72% of respondents).
1. Diversity and Inclusion
This has become extremely important for both companies and customers. Increasingly brands are feeling the backlash in the media and at the checkout when they have been outed for prejudice against persons based on gender or ethnicity.
Employee wellness has attracted a lot of attention recently, mainly because it’s the right thing to do. But it can also lead to a reduction in your corporate health plan premium.
If a company can demonstrate they are actively taking measures to improve employee wellness, insurance companies can reflect some of these measures in a reduction of premium.
The major benefit to the organization is that people will be able to operate at an optimal performance level.
These articles will provide some ideas of how to improve employee wellness in your organization.
3. Tech Solutions
The Internet has changed our working lives meaningfully in the last twenty years. Things like automation, cloud services, data analytics and mobile devices have all made working life so much easier.
Human Resources have also been a huge beneficiary of the technology revolution. This article lists just some of the developments we’ve seen.
How Can Mitrefinch Help You Build A Better Workplace?
Mitrefinch creates user friendly interfaces that empower employees to manage their own time.
We also make it easier for management to record, collate and report on employee data saving both time and money for organizations.
We do this by offering a host of cloud-based workforce management systems for companies with more than 100 employees. So far, we have installed custom-built solutions for over 3,000 clients across a variety of industries.
We offer innovative solutions that cover several different services including
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