Workplace culture is well established as essential for retaining and attracting top talent. In a prior study by the Duke Fuqua School of Business, 90 percent of executives surveyed said culture is important at their firms, and 78 percent said culture is among the top five things that make their company valuable. However, only 15 percent said their own corporate culture is exactly where it needed to be. This begs the question: what can be done to not only fix workplace culture but to drive workplace culture excellence?
As the late business management guru Peter Drucker famously said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Drucker made this statement because workplace culture is the very act of operationalizing an organization’s pillars and values. Not only does a healthy culture guide employee decisions on technical needs and interactions with others, but it also creates consistency in actions taken by a diverse group of employees for the best benefit of clients and stakeholders. And finally, let it not be overlooked that today’s workforce is expecting, better yet demanding, workplace culture excellence.
Why Culture Excellence Matters in the Workplace
• Attract talent: A strong, positive culture attracts talented job candidates. According to a recent study, the world’s employees are feeling more stressed now than they did in 2020, which may seem a surprising statistic at first glance. Forty-four percent of employees experience “a lot of daily stress,” and women, specifically in the U.S. and Canada, are among the most stressed employees across the globe. The numbers make sense when considering that inflation is at its highest in 2022 and continues to rise. With such elevated levels of pressure and anxiety in the average worker, this makes culture one of the most important focus areas for today’s enterprises. As leaders, we must continually ask ourselves: How are we creating a culture that mitigates stress among potential employees?
• Drive retention: Culture impacts how employees interact with their colleagues and feel about their organization overall. When employees feel culturally safe and included, they have little reason to look elsewhere for employment. This is proven to be true in a recent Glassdoor survey, which highlights how a majority of U.S. and U.K. millennials prioritize workplace culture above salary. Persistent employee turnover can be a sign of poor office culture and causes a host of issues for employers, the biggest being a loss of productivity. A new hire may require one to two years to reach the productivity level of an existing employee with the time needed to build relationships with co-workers and clients or customers. Voluntary turnover costs U.S. businesses 1 trillion per year, which is why driving employee retention should be at the forefront of decision makers’ minds.
• Improve performance: Organizations with stronger cultures outperform their competitors financially by at least 20 percent and are generally more successful. This is because strong workplace culture is linked to employee satisfaction. Satisfied workers are 13 percent more productive than the average employee and it’s not that they work more or longer hours—they are simply more productive within their time at work. In examining our own workplaces, it goes without saying that the more employees can be productive within the traditional work week, there will be less burnout, more work-life balance and lowered business costs in the long run.
How to Make Cultural Excellence a Top Priority
How can we, as leaders and decision-makers, drive that positive culture change that impacts the employer and the employee for the better? In my professional experience, there are a few ways we have been successful in this endeavor which include the following:
• Creating an Inclusive Environment: When it comes to driving workplace excellence through culture, a focus on diversity and inclusion provide an abundance of advantages to an enterprise as a whole, including an increased commitment to the company, improved innovation and creativity, and reduced turnover.
TouchTunes uses the power of collaborative music in the workplace to bring our diverse group of employees together and encourage them to discuss something aside from just the day’s work tasks. Employees choose the songs and playlists they want to hear. However, through the power of collaborative music, employees also learn about songs and artists that they might not be familiar with, which encourages them to venture outside their comfort zone. Our environment has made listening to music in the office feel like a new adventure and experience together. We’ve also elevated diversity in the workplace in terms of the type of music employees listen to. The more diverse your workforce, the more diverse the content you’re listening to will be. As a result, we’ve seen employees who are delighted to listen to music from their own cultural backgrounds on the jukebox and excited to share this part of their culture with coworkers. This has particularly helped in breaking down cultural barriers.
• Incorporating a Personalized Rewards System: According to a Gallup survey, recognition and personalized feedback are “crucial predictors of positive workplace outcomes such as employee retention and productivity.” The worldwide rating for feedback and recognition are low, as there are surprisingly few workplaces implementing a consistent rewards system. Thus, organizations that implement effective feedback and recognition systems could actually gain a competitive advantage, especially when it comes to attracting new talent.
TouchTunes has focused on workplace cultural excellence by establishing our internal employee perks system. This includes the ability to win concert tickets, company lunches with a jukebox setup for karaoke, and hosted in-office live concert experiences. This was another step in the right direction of showing our commitment to creating an inclusive and rewarding environment.
• Forecasting Employee Needs: Analyzing workplace trends is an essential part of driving excellence in culture. At TouchTunes, we forecast worker needs and implement benefits that resonate with their well-being as a whole, not just in the workplace. For instance, we are exploring financial wellness solutions for employees because we recognize many are facing challenges related to inflation, student loan debt, and other financial burdens.
This benefit shows an understanding of the challenges our team members currently face to better grasp what impacts stress levels and in turn, work performance. Forecasting can be done by an internal survey to gain worker feedback or by turning to national surveys that highlight common challenges faced by the modern workforce. This shows the genuine care that your business has for its people.
These are just a few of the many ways TouchTunes has driven more than just workplace culture but true culture excellence. When it comes to talent recruitment, employee retention and work performance, excellence in workplace culture is at the forefront of change for the better. As author Maya Angelou so wisely said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Cultivate a positive office environment and show your workforce how you are helping change the narrative on stress management in today’s economic climate. When you take care of your employees, you are taking care of your company and ensuring a successful future for generations to come.