Letting Bad Employees Go – The Importance of Company Culture, Communication and Building Morale in an Organization (2018 Update)
Every company regardless of size, will have their own company culture. Their own way of working, company system, or way of thought will be unique to each company. The company’s culture is said to affect the employees’ behavior, decisions, approaches, tactics and reasoning.
However, company culture has only become one of the bigger topics for discussions in the last two decades. Nonetheless, the effect and impact of company culture is greater than before, especially in today’s modern and fast-paced workplace.
So, what is company culture?
The company culture generally refers to the values and attitude of the employees. It is a collection of common values and beliefs. It is how the company works and how the team communicates and work together. Though invisible, it typically transcends and controls the working environment ensuring there is a unity of purpose among the staff for the benefit of the company.
In a company with a healthy company culture, each employee should feel valued and have their goals and objectives aligned with the company’s. Employees will be more willing to work as a team to meet both the company’s and their personal needs. On the other hand, if the company has a poor working culture, employees will not be concerned about the company’s goals and will only be interested in their own personal benefits. They may not be able to work well together as a team due to different goals and poor communication. They might not be able to perform at their best.
In certain scenarios, a skilled employee may choose to leave a high-paying job because of poor company culture. Likewise, an experienced employee may choose to remain at a company, taking home a lower salary because of the good company culture.
It is known that a healthy corporate culture helps to improve the business in many areas. This is why organizations such as Google, Adobe, Netflix, Warby Parker, Chevron emphasize greatly on the firm’s mission, vision, core values and ethics.
Why is company culture important and what are the benefits of having a good culture?
Helps to identify the best people for the job:
Academic qualifications are very important when looking for a new job. But why is it that some job applicants with top scores still get their applications rejected? Why would a top scorer fail to get into large companies such as Google or Accenture or GlaxoSmithKline?
Results aside, human resource recruiters and interviewers will always look at the potential employee’s attitude, body language, communication skills as well as their values and beliefs. The company will only be interested in hiring applicants with similar work styles or objectives as them. This is to make sure that the company is able to fully utilize their results and reduce potential losses. Each employee they choose to hire comes with costs, training and time investment. It is also to ensure that the current company culture does not get affected. Both the company and the employee will be able to work at their best and reach their maximum potential.
Increased productivity and happier workers:
Having a good company culture means that the company is likely to have a cohesive and highly motivated workforce. This is important because as time goes by, most managers struggle to keep their teams motivated.
Motivation is one of the greatest factors that affects a person’s productivity. In general, employees can be motivated by extrinsic or intrinsic factors. If a person is intrinsically motivated, they will be motivated by self-satisfaction and will be willing to do the tasks that they believe in or enjoy doing. They are likely to take up voluntary positions or hobbies. For people who are extrinsically motivated, they enjoy completing a task for external rewards or benefits.
When an employee is motivated, their productivity will increase which will contribute to the company’s goals and profits. It is a win-win situation for everyone because they will be productive and feel happier working.
Sense of identity:
Company culture contributes to the identity of employees, which affects how they feel and think about their work and the organization. A good company culture helps to ensure that the employees have the same goal and identity as the company. This minimizes collisions that would otherwise occur when employees lack a common reference point.
For example, if a company has a strong emphasis on goal setting, it will be better if the employees are also focused on goal setting. Having coherent goals and mindsets will help to increase productivity and progress of the company.
Reputation of the company:
Company culture enables institutions to cultivate a positive brand name and gain industry-wide recognition. This fame is mostly like to spread even to potential employees, helping the business attract top talents.
With good skills, qualifications and high levels of productivity, the company will be able to progress faster and gain more clients. When the company’s reputation is good, it may be easier for them to secure deals from large stakeholders such as labor unions and government agencies.
Just like how employees need to have good jobs and a good salary, a company needs good and skilled employees to progress and grow.
Having a good corporate culture helps to retain employees. When employees feel comfortable and happy working, they will be less inclined to switch jobs, even if the other opportunity comes with a better pay. If they have a stronger sense of belonging to the company, they are most likely to stay for the long term. A strong company culture allows the companies to retain good talent which may be tough to find. This will lead to a lower turnover rate and better teamwork among employees.
Top 6 tips to attain the desired company culture
So, what does will it take to cultivate the ideal company culture?
1. Define the desired culture
There has to be some vision or conviction of how the dream organizational environment is like. This has to be clearly put down with the tenets clearly underlined.
The common cultures are team-first corporate culture where the employees’ happiness is the top priority, elite corporate culture where the company only hires the best and expects a lot of innovation, the horizontal culture that is all about collaborations and is common among startups, conventional corporate culture that focuses on hierarchies and lastly, progressive corporate culture where it is in transition and there are many uncertainties.
The mindsets and values will have to be crafted with a clarity of purpose as they are one of the most important roots in a company.
One of the common ways for companies to teach their employees their culture or the way they work is to have orientation or training for new talents. It is similar to school orientations and camps in school which is conducted to help campers fit in better.
Usually, the training will include sharing sessions amongst colleagues and opportunities to work together. Stories and experiences will be shared.
3. Lead by example
The managers and the management team have to set a good example so that employees will believe in it. Building the organization culture takes time and is not something that can be achieved quickly or by just a few scattered actions.
Leaders in the organization have to set good examples. They have to lead by example. Junior staff sees everything and they will learn from the seniors in the company. Actions or spoken words should be aligned with the envisioned tradition. Rules are usually set through the behavior of the management team and seniors. If possible, nothing should cause actions to stray from the stated principles.
4. Align everyone
It is also important to align all the people with the identified culture. The secret here lies in mindfully shaping people’s thoughts and long-standing beliefs around the company vision.
It takes time, observations and lots of effort for the leaders to get the employees excited, proud and positive about the culture. A good example will be Google. Employees will proudly and confidently say, “Yes, I enjoy working at Google.”. If the employees are unsatisfied with their workplace culture, they are likely to share negative stories about the company and bring the entire workplace morale down.
5. Letting bad employees go
This may sound uncompassionate and cold but it must be noted that in certain situations, companies may have to let bad employees go.
Most bosses who are compassionate and thoughtful face the problem of firing bad employees. They think about their employee’s well-being, their families, responsibilities and how they are going to bring the bread to the table. It is difficult for them to fire employees.
So, what kind of employees may have to be let go? Usually, these employees create a toxic work environment. They may claim credit for work that others have done, complain and pick on all kinds of problems but never bother to try and help or find a solution, say things that lower the morale of the team. In any situation, regardless if the company is big or small, morale plays a huge role in the progress of the business. With poor morale, employees, even those with the best credentials may find it hard to perform well or excel. If an employee has been creating a toxic work environment, bosses have to understand that it may be time to let them go for they are affected other employees and workers as well.
6. Keep the conversation going, communication
To ensure that the company thrives and progresses, communication lines need to remain open. Frequent dialogues, healthy arguments are key to bringing mutual understanding and progress for the business. It helps the team to understand one another better and create better solutions to solve the issue. Companies with the best culture always welcome feedback and suggestions from their employees and team members. However, it must be noted that the team should only take in constructive and helpful feedback, not complaints.
The Bottom Line
The organization culture is probably the most important factor when managing the company. It is what affects employees’ decision to leave or stay with the company and the key in whether the company progresses or lags behind. Shared values and principles put the establishment in prime positions to scale the heights of profitability, attract top talent, build a good image and brand name and survive industrial storms. Building the desired corporate culture requires clear definitions, training, action and frequent constructive communications to achieve.