Company Culture
3 min read

The cost of ignoring workplace culture problems

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Lou Pardi

Strategy Director, Agency Marou

We’ve all seen how wrong it can go when workplace culture problems are ignored or silenced. If you have problems with company culture it will cost you money in productivity and retention - we’ve always known that - but never has the reputational risk been so huge. Uber is the latest organization to have its problems hit the media and there’s plenty of conjecture as to how and why their situation was allowed to happen - but at the end of the day it’s an old and simple story - bad things happen when good people do nothing.

"At the end of the day it's an old and simple story - bad things happen when good people do nothing." (Click to Tweet!)

No excuses

Managing people is tricky, but that’s no excuse either. You might say that your sales, finance or marketing teams have it easier than your people team, because they have reports that show them exactly what’s going on, as well as accepted metrics and vernacular to communicate it.

That might have flown five or ten years ago, but the fact is that nowadays there’s no excuse for not having basic people analytics. It will not only help you propel your business forward, but flag problem areas so that you can take action before it’s too late.

Just as sales should be able to predict their pipeline, number of sales and revenue each quarter, your people team should be able to predict retention, report on engagement and understand employees’ effectiveness and learning and development needs.

If you don’t have regular reporting on these areas, not only are you not able to empower your people efficiently, you’re blind to picking up on serious workplace issues. And we’ve clearly seen that ignorance won’t fly as an excuse. There may have been a time that some (mostly wrongly) believed that they were more protected if they weren’t aware of workplace issues, but if you build in reputation risk - that’s simply not the case.

Can you answer these four questions?

  • How engaged are my employees with our company as compared to other companies they could work at?
  • Do employees at my organization see leaders demonstrating that people matter?
  • How many of the people at my organization plan to be there in two years time? How does that compare with other organizations like mine or that I aspire to be like?
  • What can I do to improve these results?

If not, you may wish to revisit your people analytics strategy. Here at Culture Amp, we're all about helping you find ways to analyze the happiness and success of employees.

How employees feel about your organization makes a big difference

You know the risks of not focusing on workplace culture, but are you aware of what you’re missing out on? Improving employee engagement isn’t just about ‘doing the right thing’. If we take a look at the New Tech organizations in our benchmark who score in the top 10% of engagement scores, compared to the rest, we find some significant impacts. The average Mattermark growth score of organizations in the top 10% is 612 as compared to 292 for everyone else - this gap might look exaggerated because organizations can have negative growth scores - but it’s still significant. The average Glassdoor CEO approval rating is 95% as compared to 80% and employees at organizations in the top 10% are 30% less likely to be looking for a job than people at other organizations. 

New Tech Benchmark 2017 Infographic | Culture Amp

"Improving employee engagement isn’t just about ‘doing the right thing’." (Click to Tweet!)

What can you do?

The right actions to take at your organization to improve employee engagement will be unique to your organization.

To establish basic people analytics, select an employee feedback platform with questions designed by organizational psychologists and methodology designed and tested by data scientists - so that you can launch employee surveys anytime to get the data you need. That data will then be reliable, and the platform will automatically surface insights so that you can easily decide on actions to take that will have impact. You’ll also be able to compare your scores with organizations like yours, or that you aspire to be like, and see heatmaps that will flag any problem areas.

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