This might be a bitter pill to swallow for business owners and front-line managers: If you have turnover, you have culture issues. And it might be time to fix culture.
Many leaders point blame for the Great Resignation on employees’ desires for higher pay and flexible schedules. But Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management researchers found turnover is almost always rooted in culture issues – even before the pandemic.
The cost of a toxic culture
The fallout from a toxic culture – which can stem from just one team, a whole department or across an entire organization – are staggering. Employees who work in a negative culture are less effective and productive, and more inclined to health issues and absenteeism. Plus, toxic cultures are breeding grounds for incivility, injustice and harassment.
As you might imagine, that all adds up to major costs associated with turnover, health care and potential lawsuits.
You know why you should care about culture. But what matters to employees in their workplace culture?
In the research, employees identified these nine critical factors that their leaders should focus on to fix culture and how researchers suggest leaders can fix it:
Employees expect to be treated with dignity and courtesy, and be taken seriously. The expectation goes across the board – from every colleague to everyone in the C-Suite.
Deliver it: Leaders can set the example, showing respect to everyone. But to fix culture, you might want to reinforce it by rewarding employees for collegial behaviors – such as lending a hand when others need it or sharing relevant information – between one another.
Employees want leaders who listen to their concerns and triumphs. Then they encourage and support the goals and help eliminate roadblocks.
Deliver it: Hold regular one-on-ones to address workload and aspirations. Then, when employees are overwhelmed, pitch in or help them find resources to help when the time comes.