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Why and how managers should create an engaged and positive company culture

The Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting and a lack of purpose, it’s safe to say that the global workforce isn’t exactly enamoured with their job at the moment.

According to Flexjobs’ recent study, ‘a toxic company culture’ was the number one reason that employees were quitting. And even if your company doesn’t have a toxic culture, if your team isn't engaged (and, concerningly, according to Gallup, only 17% of Australia and New Zealand’s employees are engaged at work), chances are productivity is falling and your retention rates will also be dropping.

Why Do You Need a Positive Company Culture?

Perhaps the most obvious reason for having a positive company culture is that it makes work more enjoyable, reduces stress and helps with employees' wellbeing. If you’re going to be spending at least 40 hours at work then you don’t want to come away at the end of each day in a negative mindspace. Other reasons to have a positive company culture include:

  • It strengthens teamwork

  • Productivity, work performance and efficiency are all boosted

  • Job satisfaction increases

  • You’re more likely to retain talent

  • And equally, you have a better chance of attracting new talent.

But what can you do as a manager? Because it is, after all, managers who have the power to change it. As Gallup estimates: ‘Managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units.’

We Need to Re-evaluate How We See Our Business

It’s easy to see a business as the service they provide or the product that they sell, but actually at the heart of any business is the employees. Without the employees you don’t have your service or product. Which means you need to reevaluate how you view your business. If you look after the people first, not the product then your employees will thrive and in turn, the product or service delivered will be better.

Acknowledge Successes

OC Tanner’s research shows that 79% of employees who quit their job say that a lack of appreciation was a major factor in leaving. If you’re setting goals and KPIs for your team to hit then it’s important to recognise and celebrate when these are achieved. Acknowledging and rewarding success will not only foster an environment where employees are likely to feel valued, but it also encourages employees to feel proud of their work and empowered, meaning they are likely to strive for the next goal.

Make Room for Ongoing Conversations

Employees aren’t looking for a boss, but a coach - think if a rugby coach only provided feedback at the end of the season, it wouldn’t go down very well with the team. It’s time to scrap the six months or (even worse) the annual review and replace it with ongoing conversations and open communication. How do you feel when you go into an annual review? Uncomfortable? On the backfoot? Defensive? The formal structure and importance placed on these annual reviews can actually impede open dialogue and prevent constructive criticism from being accepted. Removing the formality of the ‘big annual review’ in place of regular conservations allows for managers to address needs in the current moment -whether it’s obstacles removed to help them be more efficient or extra support in certain areas.

The Benefits of Clifton Strengths

If you’re looking for a more nuanced approach to engagement factor which takes into account individual needs then it’s worth asking your employees to take the CliftonStrengths Assessment. The assessment helps employees to identify their strengths rather than highlighting their weaknesses - this positivity alone is both empowering and enlightening. Managers can then use this information to help them understand their team better and how each individual’s strengths plays into the team as a whole. In turn, managers will be more effective at leading employees and setting performance expectations based on their individual strengths.

Looking for help with your business? Alongside our general accounting services, Grace Team Accounting also offers business coaching, business planning and future proofing. For more information, get in touch by calling 07 578 5416

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