People rarely leave a company, they leave other people. Despite the fact that we get taught how important positive company culture is, many organisations still seem to neglect this vital part of business.
Increasing employee engagement is arguably one of many facets of a communication specialists' role. However, it's role in improving internal relations, performance and, as flow-on effect the external reputation of an organisation can't be underestimated.
So what exactly can a good culture do for business performance and what should a good communication expert look at to build one?
An ideal culture involves open dialogue systems with two-way communication.
The crucial role of culture
A company's culture is irreversibly connected with communication practices. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), in line with this, suggests an ideal culture involves open dialogue systems with two-way communication.
Moreover, shared power in decision making and encouraging honest feedback from employees is, according to the PRSA, a key performance driver. Higher engagement levels directly influence the ability and motivation of staff to be productive, positive and satisfied within their role.
The reality of this is that Gallup Management Journal has found less than 30 per cent of employees are actively engaged in their job. The other 70 per cent are either not engaged or, disengaged, something that can severely damage an organisation's reputation in the long term as productivity plummets and staff turnover rises.
In short, employee engagement is a key driver for success and something communication experts should not only be aware of, but proactively shape.
What to look for in good company culture
Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith, an expert in human-capital management and Forbes contributor, emphasises that effective communication experts should focus on creating an intentional culture. This concept goes beyond communicating openly – something every internal relations specialist will already do – and instead highlights the need for strong relationships and connections at work.
The alignment of work experiences with employee needs plays a critical role in this as it builds trust. By offering both social engagements outside the workplace and career development opportunities, intrinsic motivators such as a sense of being valued, respected and supported are promoted.
Communication specialists therefore need to account for the positive effect these intrinsic factors can have on overall satisfaction and culture. Combining this with salary and bonus based recognition, employees are more likely to meet and exceed expectations
Summarising, building and maintaining a good organisational culture is something any diligent professional should see as an opportunity to build integrity and manage a solid reputation from within.