We spend over a third of our lives at work and that as many as 60% of UK workers are not happy with their brand culture, according to Investors in People.
Reflecting on this and my own experience, it seems to me that the more we work, the more we realise what makes us happy at work. But perhaps there’s more to achieving workplace happiness than meets the eye. In this blog post, I dig into five ways companies can create a positive brand culture.
#1 Open communication is key
Employees need to feel that what they do and say has value. If they know their contributions will be valued, their work becomes more meaningful. I worked in retail for many years before joining Aura. In that time, I experienced the effect poor management can have on employee morale. Staff should be able to share their ideas and say what they think and feel regardless of their role.
Effective communication seems easy, but it requires effort and consideration. It’s unlikely that hanging a notice board in the staff room is going to make any real difference. Communication isn’t something on a notice board, it’s a two-way dialogue.
#2 A healthy work-life balance
Having the right work-life balance is crucial to employee happiness. According to the OECD, UK employers have only recently started to put policies in place to help balance family and work life. Organisations should always promote a healthy work-life balance and discourage workaholic behaviour.
The reality for workers in many industries in the UK is quite different. In contrast to us Brits, the Swedes are among some of the happiest people on earth. Employers in Sweden have recently introduced the 6 hour working day to make people happier. They also benefit from flexible working, extended paternal leave and at least five weeks holiday!
#3 A culture of training and development
Companies that develop their employees are more likely to succeed in the modern world. Likewise, managers who set specific goals for staff will motivate team members and help them see how they fit into the bigger picture.
I realised at the age of 29 that the company I worked for had little interest in helping me develop. In the end, I felt limited in my job forcing me to look for opportunities to grow in other ways. After considering my options, I decided to pursue a new career. This led me to take on an internship with Aura and I’ve set my personal objectives for the internship. I will be working towards the following goals in the coming weeks:
- Understand what PR is and how it can help achieve business objectives
- Learn about strategy and then how strategy is executed
- From there, the different tactics that can be used
- Develop myself professionally in public relations and learn how to continue to develop
#4 Recognition and appreciation
Staff should be recognised and valued for their hard work. This doesn’t necessarily mean financially. Employees of Twitter receive free meals, yoga classes, and unlimited annual leave. It’s no wonder Twitter’s employees can’t stop raving about the company’s brand culture!
Recognition and values sit nicely in an employee engagement strategy…
Wouldn’t it make sense for all companies to put employee engagement at the heart of what they do? Understanding employees and their roles within the business, plus having a strong sense of recognition and value would mean that the business would have the opportunity to put ‘reward’ into the engagement strategy.
This would help give employees a clear sense of purpose in what they do plus gives incentive and motivation to be part of the organisation or business and commit themselves to each other.
#5 Avoiding an unhappy workforce
If organisations are proactive conflicts and negative scenarios won’t occur. If a negative situation arises it should be a collaborative effort to resolve the issues and move forward in a positive fashion. A company that blends steps 1-4 are likely to deter workplace conflict.
It’s unrealistic for people to always be happy at work. Yet, workplaces can improve their brand culture in a few simple steps. These changes will have many knock-on benefits. Companies that support their staff will reap the rewards through increased productivity and satisfaction. At the same time, staff who are happy at work will lead happier personal lives. I know from my own experience the value in finding a supportive, nurturing workplace.
Guest post by Carly Fleider, Aura Intern
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To find out more about Aura’s services which can help improve your brand culture click here.