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The many benefits of a truly employee-driven culture

With the current talent market skewed in favor of jobseekers, company culture and employer brand are growing increasingly important to success across both recruitment and retention. Great company cultures don’t simply crop up out of nowhere though; without buy-in from the grass roots to the grass tops, efforts to boost culture can go unacknowledged, or worse, backfire. Many organizations are looking for a silver bullet, but the truth is that culture change is a slow and often difficult process, as many negative aspects become entrenched over a number of years and can take similarly long to roll back.

A company struggling with a sub-optimal culture frequently experiences its effects across the entirety of the employee lifecycle. Recruitment becomes more difficult as word spreads about the undesirable environment. Retention drops as employees leave for healthier workplaces. Engagement and productivity suffer as staff feel unappreciated and grow increasingly disengaged. Even customers may lose interest in working with the company as they learn more about the corporate climate. These are gambles that few businesses can afford to take in such competitive times.

Fortunately, one proven change that companies can make is to give employees a seat at the table. From increasing transparency around business decisions to asking for feedback (and actually acting on it!), making your employees feel included and appreciated is a solid first step. We’ve all seen examples of personal relationships where one person values the other, but it’s not reciprocated; it never ends well. The same dynamics occur in companies. If the organization doesn’t invest in their people, how can they expect their people to invest significant time and energy in the organization?

The next step beyond simply giving employees a voice is giving them the ability to actually make some of the changes they would like to see. By empowering team members to truly influence outcomes, companies can begin to transform themselves from the inside out. Employee empowerment is one of the true drivers of employee engagement. It creates an ‘all hands on deck’ environment in which everyone is working towards the goal of a healthier company culture together.

Unsurprisingly, empowered employees are more engaged and productive, contributing to the company’s bottom line. Highly engaged workforces see 67% lower turnover, 21% higher profitability, and 10% higher customer ratings. Happier employees are stronger brand ambassadors, championing the cause of recruitment and amplifying the culture strides at every turn. Staff who are truly invested in their companies even take fewer sick days. In fact, businesses with weak engagement saw employees take three times as many sick days as their more engaged peers. Investing in employees pays significant dividends; companies are leaving money on the table by not seizing this opportunity.

We know it’s not easy to deliver on the myriad employee needs and requests that the average company fields on a daily basis. We also know that for compliance and legal reasons, it can feel scary to share the reins with employees. Ultimately though, the combination of higher engagement, happier employees, and increased transparency will help create a self-regulating community. If employees are happy, they won’t be inclined to launch programs or initiatives that may reflect poorly upon the organization. If you build transparency around your programming, you’ll have full insight into what employees are doing, and therefore oversight with the ability to step in before anything gets off-track. With the appropriate checks and balances in place, empowering employees can successfully reduce the time burden on HR as employees not only self-serve for programming, but organize their own events taking some of the onus off of taxed People teams.

It can be difficult to empower employees, but luckily, Workrowd makes it easy! With our straightforward community management tools and activity roadmaps for employee leaders, it’s a breeze for your team to drive a healthier, more inclusive company culture. If you’re interested in leveraging these tools to achieve better business outcomes at your company, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at hello@workrowd.com.