Business culture is changing.
Workplace culture has always been thought of as the true reflection of a business and its people. Historically it has been left to its own devices, to develop organically.
The world is becoming more conscious. Employees want to know more about the company they work for and are demanding more from their working environment, and consumers now care more about the morals and actions of the companies they buy from. It is too risky to long term success to leave business culture to shape itself.
What shapes business culture today?
Business culture is intangible. Its very existence derives from the culmination of traits of the people the business employs. It has historically been placed into the following three categories - Beliefs and Behaviours, Satisfaction and Engagement.
However today, there are only two components that shape how a business's culture develops.
- Beliefs and Behaviours – how a company handles external transactions.
- Wellbeing – how a business engages with their employees, aims to satisfy their requirements, and how they look after them.
What does a culture of wellbeing actually look like?
Contrary to popular belief, a culture of wellbeing is not just employee perk packages, away days, and 6 monthly pay reviews. While these things certainly contribute to increased wellbeing, a business needs to invest in their wellbeing infrastructure.
The term 'wellbeing infrastructure' refers to a business investing in long term structures that create a humanistic environment. For example, a manufacturing company investing in the health and safety of their employees. Meaning they feel less at risk, less stressed about coming to work, and therefore feel happier and in theory are more productive.
Another example may be a call centre implementing a walking meetings policy. Where employees have the option to take their meetings as a walking-meeting outside the office to increase physical activity levels and combat the affects of their sedentary working environment. A wellbeing infrastructure is seen and experienced by all employees daily. Impacting their health, happiness, and productivity. Organisations that only invest in perks, such as money off vouchers, tickets to events and so on, can feel as though the company's wellbeing policy doesn't extend past the writing on their contract. This can leave employees feeling disengaged and can cause the companies culture to suffer.
A culture of wellbeing - does it really matter?
Having high-levels of staff wellbeing means that employees are happier, that they have a better work-life balance, and they are generally healthier. It would be nice to believe that every business would invest in the wellbeing of their workforce because of these reasons! However, the vast majority are more concerned with the financial implications of investing in wellbeing measures, e.g.,does it create a return on investment?
The short answer is yes. It does indeed create a return on investment. In fact, there are numerous benefits to the business of having healthy and happy employees …
Attracting the right talent to an organisation
A business is only as good as its employees. The CIPD state that company culture is one of the top considerations for candidates when looking for a new job. If an organisation'swellbeing infrastructure is robust enough and deeply engrained , it is more likely to attract a higher calibre of candidate. After all, high-quality candidates will have more market-value and this includes the ability to choose an employer that benefits them as much as they benefit the business.
An engaged and supported employee who is enjoying their work is much less likely to look for another job. Lower labour turnover means less client disruption, less internal disruption, and no negative press associated with high numbers of staff leaving the business; it also means lower recruitment and training costs. All these factors can be shown as a financial return on investment and can save business expenditure.
Increased wellbeing at work does more than just make your employees happy. By promoting healthy lifestyles as part of a company's wellbeing infrastructure it makes them more productive, too. Businesses that promote health and wellbeing regularly have been proven to out perform those that don't (6Q), which in turn increases profitability and is proven indicator that the return on investment for wellbeing infrastructure can be very profitable.
How do you improve wellbeing, and business culture in your workplace?
We know that a good business culture that embraces wellbeing can be profitable, but how can business leaders instigate change and improve wellbeing within the workforce? The nature of wellbeing is that the needs and circumstances of everyone in the business is different, so it is not good enough to let wellbeing develop organically. It has to be managed.
Step 1 – Invest in your businesses knowledge infrastructure
In order to achieve good wellbeing the workforce needs to be given knowledge about their part to play in creating this positive business culture. Our Wellbeing eLearning Collection covers all the areas that a business needs to positively change organisational culture. It provides understanding on how employees can live a healthier lifestyle, how to support mental health, how to recognise signs of alcohol or drug addiction, and how to prevent illness spreading within an organisation, plus much more.
A business cannot create an atmosphere of understanding and support around wellbeing without the whole workforce being educated on best practice. You can see a full list of our Wellbeing courses here.
Step 2 – Communicate with employees about business performance
Transparency is key to trust in any relationship, and the working relationship between employer and employee is no different. Ensure all employees are kept up to date with performance. Let them know when the business is doing well, or when it's not doing so well.
This helps employees feel 'seen'. It makes them feel like they are part of the business and allows them to see the fruits of their labour. They are more likely to be motivated to stay and work harder to help the business in tough times should there a history of transparency.
Step 3 – Listen to your employees
Sometimes people just need to be heard, and this is the case in the workplace too. It is so important to give employees a route to communicate easily with their employer. Not only does it make them feel valid and boosts mental wellbeing, it can also help uncover better ways of working, further improving business performance.
Step 4 – Invest in business infrastructure
Providing a safe, secure and well-equipped workspace makes employees feel valued, secure and safe while at work. If they have the equipment, or the working environment that empowers them to do their job to the best of their ability then they will feel happy at work, and be more productive.
Step 5 – Go beyond your workforce
At first this may seem counter intuitive, but as an employer it is important to understand that your employees care about more than just work. Employees value seeing their employer lead by example and engage with the local community and doing charitable work. This helps to develop business culture, and makes employees feel like part of something bigger.
DeltaNet wellbeing eLearning collection
Here are DeltaNet we have been hard at work developing our Wellbeing Collection. Designed to provide businesses with an all-in-one eLearning package to help drive positive physical and mental wellbeing changes in their business. We have worked alongside subject matter experts in mental health and wellbeing to ensure that the contents of the courses provide expert information.
To discover more about the Wellbeing Collection or to book free course demos click here.