Communication: The Key to Building Work Culture

A strong work culture can boost productivity, lift employees’ morale and create an overall atmosphere of success—but how do you build an effective, positive culture? The answer: strong communication.

Published: 5.23.2012

Whether verbal, action-based or an individual’s thought process, communication is the key to unlocking stronger retention, greater productivity and generating a higher employee engagement levels. In short, effective, strategic communications build culture.

What exactly is culture and why is it so important? First, let’s define it. Culture in the workplace is a series of spoken and unspoken beliefs, symbols, traditions, and that drive the way the company and its employee function. To address why work culture is so important, a recent Gallup Survey found 22 million American workers are actively disengaged in their work because of a poor work culture—and that adds up to an estimated $250-$300 billion annual productivity loss. In short, culture affects your bottom line, whether positively or negatively. And to have a strong work culture, you have to have excellent communications within the organization.

A lack of communication in the office can create a stressful environment, reducing employee engagement and damaging your culture. If the line of communication is broken, assignments may not be completed satisfactorily or efficiently. A manager who’s easily angered or fails to provide direction on projects or praise for work well done can do significant damage in a short period of time; employees may start to feel unappreciated, dread their workday, and may lose focus.

Strong, frequent, and open communications enable managers to identify and eliminate stress factors that drag down productivity and hurt the bottom line, and improving communications between employees and managers can make a world of difference. When managers are thorough on what they expect on a project or with work behavior, it keeps things in perspectiveeliminating uncertainty. With stress factors eliminated, a positive ambiance is created and offers employees the chance to concentrate on their work instead of irrelevant aspects.

The company’s core values, symbols, and dress code are a type of unspoken communication. A company that articulates and practices its values sets the tone of what’s expected of each person. These values should foster commitment, innovation, integrity and social responsibility. A strong culture can bring employees together. Synergy is created: Employees work better together and can develop greater ideas once they are more familiar with each other.

A well-managed culture can improve performance; employees will flourish and will want to stay with a company longer. Spoken and unspoken communication helps individuals understand how their roles fit in to the company are bigger picture and will help retain top talentand recruit new top performers. Regardless of the size of your organization, your culture matters.

For more on building a strong work culture through effective, strategic communications, contact Sanger & Eby today to talk with one of our experts!

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