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Is your office culture a drag on productivity?

Your office culture can have a huge impact on the success of your business. Here’s how to make your work environment work for you and your business. 

Your company culture – its philosophy, values, behavior, dress codes, and unique style and policies as a company – governs how each person works, makes decisions, and behaves within your office on a daily basis. This culture can be either a benefit to your business or a detriment to its success.

Does your company culture,  and the ways that your current employees express that culture, function as an obstacle to your workplace’s productivity?

Defining Your Culture

Your office culture is defined, in part, by your company’s mission, goals, and values – the type of work you do, how you do it, how the organisation is structured, etc.

What do you do best? What is your mission? What kind of people are you recruiting to join your company? Why do they want to work for you?

Once you have determined what you want your office culture to look like, compare that image to the reality. Take an honest assessment of your culture by way of interviews, anonymous surveys, and research. Are your employees living and working according to your company’s mission and goals?

Effects of Poor Office Culture

Nearly 29 percent of company time is unproductive – the equivalent of 33.5 days per worker per year. The estimated cost of this lack of productivity tops out at nearly $600 billion per year in the US (Proudfood Consulting). Symptoms of an unproductive workplace culture can include high turnover rates, low employee satisfaction, and lower-than-expected revenues.

A bad culture in your business decreases productivity by making it acceptable for employees to work at less-than-optimal levels.

Poor quality of work, slow work speeds, and missed deadlines are reflective of a culture that does not emphasise accountability, transparency, and comprehensive managerial oversight.

Short-term effects of poor office culture can include:

  • Poor daily sales performance
  • Unmet deadlines
  • Distraction of coworkers
  • Stress for coworkers and team members

Long-term effects include:

  • Poor long-term sales performance
  • Failure of group projects
  • Inter-office conflict
  • Overall employee dissatisfaction
  • Loss of good employees to your competitors

Changing Your Culture

Although all of your employees participate in and act out your company culture, that culture is created through the decisions of managers – who they hire, how they manage employees, and how closely their actions coincide with the goals of the company.

Some of the barriers to productivity in a company can include inefficient management planning of work and organisation structure, as well as poor leadership.

Hence, the way to change a company culture that harms productivity starts with management:

  • Your management structure should be strong enough to effectively monitor and engage all of your employees – from assigning them work and monitoring progress to tracking their time and attendance.
  • There should be clear guidelines for what is and is not considered acceptable behaviour within your company.
  • You should also have a process in place for recognising employees who are productive and identifying employees who are not. Essentially, there should be rewards and recognition for good work as well as clear, actionable consequences for unproductive work.

Management must follow through with the guidelines and rules you have put in place to improve your work culture.

The biggest detriment to a company’s environment is when the culture set down on paper paper does not coincide with the real life culture of the office.

It is up to management to emphasise the importance of high-quality work within your office. Replacing managers who are incapable of monitoring and communicating with their subordinates may be necessary to effectively change your culture to one that values productivity.

Megan Webb-Morgan

Megan Webb-Morgan

Megan Webb-Morgan is a business blogger, focusing on topics important to startups and small businesses. She writes for <a href="http://www.resourcenation.com/?utm_source=guest-posts&amp;utm_medium=content-mktg-ext&amp;utm_content=megan&amp;utm_campaign=brand">B2B lead generation company ResourceNation.com</a>. You can find Resource Nation on <a href="https://twitter.com/resourcenation">Twitter</a> and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/ResourceNation">Facebook</a>!

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