2019 Culture Report
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently released their 2019 Culture Report, “The High Cost of a Toxic Workplace Culture.” This report found that there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of workplace culture and managerial roles. The full report can be downloaded here, but listed below are some of the main highlights:
- 1 in 3 U.S. workers claim their manager doesn’t know how to lead a team.
- Nearly 3 in 10 employees lack trust in their manager to treat them fairly.
- 3 in 10 workers say their manager doesn’t encourage a culture of open and transparent communication.
- Nearly 1/2 of American workers have thought about leaving their current organization.
- 1/5 of workers have left a job due to workplace culture, costing organizations approximately $223 billion.
A Manager’s Role
SHRM’s 2019 Culture Report also found that approximately 3 in 4 working Americans believe management establishes workplace culture. This statistic directly explains the problems listed above. If employees believe management is responsible for workplace culture, and both the workplace culture and employees’ faith in management needs improvement, then the key to improving workplace culture as a whole is the managers.
In an interview with the SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., Ajay Banga, President and CEO of Mastercard, explains the importance of “people” managers. He states, “You’ve got to give people guidance, and that is the People Manager’s first and most important responsibility. It comes with the privilege of being a leader.”
Improving Workplace Culture Through Management
Culture change will not happen overnight, but if leadership at every level is committed to improving workplace culture, it will happen. The first step, as stated by SHRM, is to have an open and honest discussion about what the current workplace culture is and what it needs to be. From there, it is all about making small improvements in everyday actions. Listed below are tips from The Balance Careers on how managers can motivate and inspire employees, as well as build trust.
- Communicate clearly and effectively: Always communicate with employees about any company information that may impact or effect their work. Try to do so in person, and one-on-one if possible.
- Recognition of employee performance: Praising and rewarding a job well done is one of the best things a manager can do to help create a positive work culture.
- Implement an open door policy: When employees feel they can come to you with any questions, concerns, or ideas, it creates a strong sense of trust.
- Allow employees to further develop their skills and abilities: Make sure employees are placed in the correct positions to suit their strengths and then help them evolve their weaknesses. You can even provide additional training or cross-training opportunities. When employees are growing and learning at their current job, they are less likely to look for a new one.
- Provide authority: Employees seek autonomy and independence in decision making and in how they approach accomplishing tasks. A good way to provide them with this is to allow employees to self-manage and make decisions. You can also expand their job to include new, higher level responsibilities as they improve and assign tasks to the employee that will help him or her grow.