Simple workplaces drive employee retention and productivity

BY BLOOMBERG NEWS

 

Oftentimes less is more — including in the workplace, according to Siegel+Gale’s study, “Simplicity at work.”

“Simpler workplaces — those where employees easily get their work done and feel productive and fulfilled doing so — engender more advocacy, innovation and retention,” the brand strategy firm writes in its report.

However, 30 percent of workers say their workplace is complex and difficult to navigate, according to Siegel+Gale’s survey of more than 14,000 people in nine countries.

“In an era when company culture is a top-cited reason for leaving a job, along with pay and growth opportunities, building company culture through simple experiences at work is critical,” the authors write.

The survey found that in a “simple organization,” 95 percent of employees are more likely to trust their company’s leadership; 54 percent find it easier to innovate; 65 percent are more likely to refer someone to work at their company; and 84 percent of employees plan to stay longer in their job.

Simple organizations also have “brand champions.”

“Brand champions understand what their company stands for, and are committed to it,” the authors write. “They are more likely to advocate—even evangelize—on behalf of their companies and trust leadership to further their brand’s mission.”

According to the survey, brand champions in simple workplaces are 65 percent more likely to advocate—even evangelize—on behalf of their companies. They are also more likely than disengaged employees to handle unexpected problems well (33 percent); feel productive on a typical workday (35 percent); try to learn new things, even if they are difficult (39 percent); and look for ways to improve the way they work (40 percent).

Other key findings include:

Purpose-driven industries have more brand champions—55 percent of military employees consider themselves brand champions, versus just 20 percent in retail and grocery sectors.

Cultural norms impact brand champions—48 percent of employees in India consider themselves brand champions, versus only 12 percent in Japan.

Companies desiring to simplify their organizations should define an internally-focused employer value proposition “to give candidates a reason to join and employees a reason to stay,” the authors write. The proposition should be activated through reinforcing behaviors, culture-building initiatives, recruitment campaigns, onboarding toolkits, and leadership alignment, among other ways.

Siegel+Gale emphasizes that, while a company’s size, age or services offered are unlikely to change, reducing complexity at work is possible.

“Make it easy and rewarding for employees to do their jobs. Create a culture of simplicity with clear, open communication that ties employees’ roles to business goals,” the authors write. “When you streamline processes and connect the dots for employees, they start to see a bigger and better picture.”

Original article from Indiana Business Journal.