The link between positive workplace culture and productivity

The Link Between Positive Workplace Culture and Productivity

“The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity.”

This quote by Tom Peters, the author of In Search of Excellence, illustrates how organizational culture and productivity are linked. Organizational culture, which is known as “the shared beliefs and values within the organization that help to shape the behavior patterns of employees,” can be managed with a positive approach in order to reap numerous benefits.

Does this contradict your assumptions about workplace culture? While the myth that that a cut-throat environment will lead to better results is perpetuated, studies have proven time and time again that this isn’t true. There are greater costs to a high-stress, low-care organizational culture, including 50% higher healthcare costs and 60 to 80% of workplace accidents due to stress.

A 2011 study published in The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science also shows that creating a positive organizational culture creates an atmosphere that buffers against negative experiences such as stress. It also attracts employees and brings out their best strengths.

How Do You Build Great Culture?

The 6 factors of a great organizational culture, as outlined by the Harvard Business Review introduce the shared characteristics of great workplace culture and help lay the foundation of an effective program that will drive engagement, achieve goals and create a climate of change.

  1. Vision A vision or mission statement is the north star of a company’s culture. This gives the company a purpose and influences the decisions employees make.
  2. Values Values are a set of guidelines on what types of behaviors and mindsets are needed to achieve the vision.
  3. Practices These are the actions the company takes to put their values and vision into place.
  4. People The people in the company need to share the core values.
  5. Narrative This is the unique story of an organization and make it into a part of what creates the culture.
  6. Place How the environment impacts the values and behaviors of people in a workplace.

How Can You Initiate a Culture of Change?

With the foundation of organizational culture in place, you can improve upon it to encourage increased productivity, among other benefits. One way to do this is by implementing culture change initiatives. This can include positive practices like calling out a few people in the company and telling them what you value about them. Other positive practices you can put into action include:

  • “Caring for, being interested in, and maintaining responsibility for colleagues as friends.
  • Providing support for one another, including offering kindness and compassion when others are struggling.
  • Avoiding blame and forgive mistakes.
  • Inspiring one another at work.
  • Emphasizing the meaningfulness of the work.
  • Treating one another with respect, gratitude, trust & integrity.”

One study of the biggest telecommunications company in Bangladesh demonstrated that a few benefits of strong organizational culture are:

  • Satisfaction and positive attitude Satisfaction and positive attitude can be achieved by fostering good communication, autonomy, participation and mutual trust. Productivity is achieved through employee satisfaction and attention to employees’ physical and emotional needs.
  • Motivation A supportive culture is a motivational instrument which promotes employees to perform well and encourages productivity.
  • Competitive advantage Studies have concluded that strong organizational culture is the key to creating better performance in an organization and thus a sustained competitive advantage.

To put it simply — the more positive the work culture, the greater the rewards for everyone. The creation of a positive culture leads to greater organizational effectiveness, which affects financial performance, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and, of course, productivity.

Total Well Being takes a holistic approach to corporate wellness and believes that a healthy culture is at the heart of a company’s success. Our comprehensive approach focuses on creating a culture of well-being that accounts for the physical, financial, personal, and professional needs of your employees. Contact us today to talk about successfully creating a culture of change in your workplace.

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