Healthy Culture=Happy Employees
“To make customers happy, we have to make sure our employees are happy first.” —Zappos
By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM
Employees don’t want to work for an organization where the culture feels oppressive, unwelcoming, and cold. If you want to move forward as an organization then you need every employee to work together to achieve shared objectives. The key lies in developing a culture where employees want to work together. The culture that you, as a leader, develop affects the behavior, performance, and decision making of your employees. Build a culture that bonds employees together in a spirit of loyalty and commitment to the organization. A healthy culture will result in happy employees.
How does trust play into a healthy culture? Trust provides the foundation from which you build all relationships. A healthy culture enhances the ability of employees to develop the trusting relationships which improve team effectiveness and productivity. Show your employees by the example that you set that you trust them and are deserving of their trust. Be consistent. Consistency helps employees to trust management because they know what to expect.
How does this contribute to happy employees? When employees feel there is mutual trust they are more likely to feel content. When you show your employees that you trust their judgment and ability to perform you raise their confidence and job satisfaction levels. Happy employees trust that their work environment is safe, stable, and that they know what to expect from their leaders.
What role does engagement play in a healthy culture? A healthy culture offers employees a sense of purpose and encourages them to challenge the status quo. Engagement helps employees to feel they are an important part of a team. A culture that encourages employee engagement offers challenges, allows employees to have control over their work tasks, and gives them the opportunity to continue to develop their knowledge and skills.
How does this contribute to happy employees? Engagement inspires and energizes employees. When you, as a leader, are approachable and responsive employee engagement skyrockets. When employees feel fully engaged they become emotionally committed to working hard in the best interest of the organization. When employees enjoy their work and the environment they work in they are more loyal, innovative, and provide better customer service.
What role does empowerment play in a healthy culture? Gone are the days of employees who are content to work like mindless robots. Employees want to be heard. They want a say in how the organization they work for is run and the freedom to design their work, their way. Empowerment gives employees the autonomy they desire. As a leader, you must involve employees in developing solutions to organizational problems and give them power over the implementation process. A healthy culture allows employees to help set team goals and participate in making team decisions.
How does this contribute to happy employees? Happy employees are respected for their great ideas. They are empowered by being offered discretion, control, and independence over their work. They believe that their work is important and has meaning. They are treated as competent to perform well and know their actions and decisions matter. They are encouraged to be active participants in the success of the organization.
How does inspiration play into a healthy culture? When employees feel inspired by those who lead them they become fully engaged in the organization. A healthy culture inspires employee through the development of shared trust, values, and purpose. By developing and maintaining a culture designed around trusting relationships you can inspire individuals to collaborate, share knowledge, and innovate. Inspire employees through your words and actions so they know exactly why they want work for you.
How does this contribute to happy employees? Happy employees are inspired to become the best that they can be. They become passionate and committed to the team they serve. Employees who are inspired by an optimistic and confident leader are happy to share that inspiration with others.
How does communication lead to a healthy culture? Employees want to know where the organization is going, what does the future look like, how they contribute, and why it’s important. Develop a culture where objectives and expectations are clearly communicated. A healthy culture has systems in place to keep employees informed of what is happening in the organization and for expressing appreciation to employees for their contributions.
How does this contribute to happy employees? Happy employees feel acknowledged for the vital role they play in the success of the organization. When you, as a leader communicate openly with employees they feel respected. Give specific compliments. Communicate a specific and consistent vision. Happy employees are engaged in conversations about their goals and aspirations. They feel they are really being heard and allowed to participate in formulating solutions to problems.
What role does opportunity play in a healthy culture? Times have changed; employees have become more educated and skilled. They want the opportunity to participate in the leadership and decision-making process of the organization. High performing employees expect the opportunity to be independent. A healthy culture creates opportunities for growth. This type of culture encourages investment in employees and offers challenging and purposeful work.
How does this contribute to happy employees? Happy employees find their work fulfilling and meaningful. They are encouraged to bring their passion and new ideas to the table. They are given the opportunity to learn and contribute on an on-going basis.
Share in success
How does sharing in success contribute to a healthy culture? When employees share in the success of the organization they are willing to invest more and more of themselves. A healthy culture eliminates the attitude of us versus them and shares successes as a whole.
How does this contribute to happy employees? Happy employees feel like they are have ownership in the organization and are not just employees. Having a vested interest in the success of the organization increases employee job satisfaction and productivity. Sharing successes as a team develops a sense of community and belonging.
You get twice the productivity from happy employees. You have lower levels of employee turnover. Your employees are more energized and take less sick days. Happy employees also treat each other and your customers better.
Healthy Culture=Happy Employees
Look at your culture from the perspective of your employees because their perceptions of the culture you are developing impacts the satisfaction they receive from their jobs. If you want happy employees your culture should encourage the development of relationships built on mutual trust. A healthy culture also emphasizes the value of the contributions made by employees and focuses on engagement and empowerment.
Happy employees are led by an inspirational leader who communicates openly and respectfully. A healthy culture with happy employees offers abundant opportunities to employees for participation and personal growth. Successes are shared throughout the organization. As a leader, it is your responsibility to develop a culture that brings out the best in your employees. The healthy culture you create will result in happy employees who are committed to the success of the organization.
© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli