Employees today have the knowledge at their fingertips to explore how businesses around the world handle company culture, fairness, equality, inclusivity and motivational tactics. They have high workplace expectations that come from diverse life and generational experiences.
As an organization, the ability to foster or hinder an inclusive work environment can be the difference between gathering employee input and feedback, and failing to do so. When it comes to internal motivation of your staff, the belief of how fair they feel they are treated in the organization relative to others cannot be overstated. Be sensitive to issues of fairness and how organizational leaders treat their team members or risk negative word of mouth (which can spread like wildfire online), resistance or increased turnover rates.
Inequity in the workplace leads to subpar work and high churn
People tend to judge the fairness of their treatment based on how others like them are treated. They make social comparisons to others who are in similar roles and ranks inside the business. Employees view a situation as equitable when their teammates deliver similar inputs and receive similar outcomes. When rewards vary for the same degree of effort, that situation becomes inequitable. When input varies for the same reward, this is also inequitable. Employees who don’t feel treated as though they are fairly treated will decrease how much effort they put into their work, they might act out, they are likely to push leaders for more pay or superior positions and they might quit. Some of the employees who walk out will leave behind bad reviews of your business (either with friends or online). They might even convince coworkers to tender their resignations.
Address and deal with inequity
You might not be aware of having a problem like this in the workplace, but you should be going out of your way to verify that you aren’t. It’s important to support a work environment where all employees feel comfortable speaking out on their concerns without the fear of repercussions. It’s also a good idea to regularly release internal surveys (anonymous, of course) to gauge how your team feels about the business culture, their day-to-day experiences and how satisfied they are with the way they are treated. Providing a safe outlet for staff to voice any concerns or doubts they might have increases the likelihood of leadership being able to effectively address the problems hiding beneath the surface. It also allows businesses to see what things they’re doing are making a positive impact on the happiness and wellbeing of employees. Just be sure to take all critiques and suggestions seriously. Providing your staff a safe place to say what’s on their mind is one thing, but acting on the items discussed shows that you walk the walk.
Does everyone in your workplace feel valued and heard? Are you sure? At Tethr, one of our core values is listening and listening to our team members allows us to maintain a collaborative learning environment that multiplies the positive impact we have on our customers. Daily interactions are the most telling sign of whether a company truly has an inclusive culture. When it comes to communication and meetings, always publicly give credit for great ideas and outcomes. Show respect for your employees’ backgrounds and traditions by inviting them to share them in the workplace. Food is a great way to bring people together. You can honor various nationalities (even different states) by having your employees bring in traditional dishes for a company gathering or potluck.
Be sure not to accidentally alienate your remote workers if you have any. Welcome them to meetings, ask them questions and give them opportunities to take part in team conversations. When holding team lunches, consider getting their lunches delivered to their remote location and having them tune in virtually to enjoy the fun.
When you have a larger company, it might be necessary to create an inclusivity council who can help set hiring goals, address employee engagement problems among underrepresented groups and advocate for inclusivity initiatives and events. The councils should be as diverse as possible, with members of different ethnicities, genders, business functions and geographic locations.
Company culture is the backbone of all successful organizations. A thriving workplace upholds values that propel team morale, and therefore, company success.