Luke Smith looks at boosting productivity and customer experience by focussing on organisational culture
A strong workplace culture is key to the long-term success of your business. A recent survey by McKinsey even found that businesses with strong, positive cultures yield 60% higher returns than their peers.
The same report also found that companies with a positive workplace culture are more adaptable. This is particularly important today, as fast-paced markets are changing rapidly in the face of a global economic downturn.
Customers love buying from businesses with a positive culture, too. Everyone wants to support firms that treat their employees right, and many consumers are loyal to companies that champion their people.
Creating a positive company culture isn’t just a feel-good way to spend your budget and boost your business expenses. A 2022 Harvard Business Review (HBR) study found that a positive employee experience increases your revenue and can bolster your bottom line.
The HBR study took anonymised internal data from a large global brand and found that the businesses benefited from reduced turnover and increased productivity after funding employee experience initiatives. This meant that employee-centric firms could retain more of their experienced employees and benefit from the skills they brought to the table.
Increased productivity and reduced turnover invariably resulted in higher revenue and increased ROI
Increased productivity and reduced turnover invariably resulted in higher revenue and increased ROI. Each of the business’s highest-performing stores that concentrated on employee experience saw an average $30 per-hour jump in revenue thanks to experienced staff and a 150% ROI on their spending. Business leaders cannot afford to overlook the benefits associated with positive workplace culture and should work hard to build a business that encourages employee retention.
Culture and your consumers
A strong sense of culture doesn’t just improve your employee’s productivity – it also has a profound impact on the consumer experience. Customers know when staff are happy to be at work and will be more loyal if they sense that employees authentically care about the business.
You can further improve the customer experience by ensuring that your employees are prepared to handle consumer queries. Training your staff is a crucial part of your workplace culture, and doing so will ensure that they feel prepared to do their jobs. Arm your employees with the training and tools they need to be successful and take responsibility if staff aren’t able to adequately meet customer expectations.
While assessing the customer experience, you may notice that some staff are less helpful than others. Rather than chalking this up to individual inadequacies, focus on developing your underperforming staff. Start by cultivating a growth mindset in these employees and find out what really motivates them. You may be surprised to find that they are looking for new development opportunities and should facilitate stretch assignments that help them take on responsibilities that they find fulfilling.
Some employees may be struggling with the monotony of performing repetitive tasks. If your business is ready for it, empower employees to help the company personalise the customer experience. Personalisation employs data as well as automation and AI to take the burden of repetitive tasks off of employees’ plates. This enables employees to do high-level thinking and develop new skill sets as they develop personalisation strategies. Simultaneously, your customers can see an improved digital experience through personalisation.
Agility and experimentation
Championing your people can also increase business agility. Staff who are secure in their roles are far more likely to feel empowered at work and will take calculated risks designed to benefit the bottom line of the business.
However, encouraging an ethos of ownership, empowerment, and customer centricity can be tricky. Many employees are used to an abundance of oversight and may be hesitant to take the steps necessary for a business to become ‘agile’. As a business leader, you can foster agility at work by:
- Setting the tone during onboarding by highlighting the importance of mentorship and goal setting in the firm
- Facilitating regular performance reviews but giving employees agency when evaluating their current performance
- Encouraging a love of learning in your firm by funding training and further education
- Investing in new tech and giving your staff a chance to update their skills to meet the demands of the digital age.
These leadership strategies put the onus on your staff and give them a chance to direct their career growth. This can help you build a positive culture, as your employees will feel supported during their tenure at your company.
A strong, positive workplace culture is clearly good for the health of your business. However, creating a happy, productive workplace can be tricky. You can promote a positive workplace culture by:
- Embracing an ethos of respect and support
- Being transparent about business decisions and trying to discourage gossiping
- Taking steps to improve the health and well-being of your staff
- Investing in your leaders to help them better manage their employees.
You can supercharge your workplace culture by encouraging team building through social events. Give folks time off work to get together and bond over activities like escape rooms, scavenger hunts, and company-funded holidays. Follow up by creating action plans to help staff who are under stress and find creative ways to better support the people in your business.
Positive workplaces benefit from increased productivity and an improved customer experience. As a business leader, you can create a happy culture by championing your people. Start by giving employees more agency in the decision-making process and try to instill a sense of ownership in your organisation. Further support staff by embracing an ethos of mutual respect and take steps to improve the health and well-being of your people. This will help you yield a higher ROI and increase the long-term profitability of your business.
Luke Smith is a freelance writer