The truth about workplace culture is that there’s a super bug going around that exists within almost every organization. This super bug either acts for the greater good of all employees still engaged, or it brings the entire system down. The longer it floats around and is left unmaintained the more resistant it becomes to treatment (engagement). And ultimately, it can take control of your organization and crush any hope there was of developing a unique culture.
But how we do we find this super bug? What are the symptoms? What’s the treatment? Is it possible to eradicate it, before it’s too late?
Like atoms, workplace culture is all around us. It’s in the air we breathe at work. It’s felt within our emotions at work. It brings life to culture or it brings its demise.
And why should we even care that it exists? What harm can it possibly do, even if the dough is still rolling in? Well, funny that I should mention that because actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year. Here’s another fun fact from the Bureau of National Affairs, which estimates that employee turnover is costing businesses $11 billion annually. Now, once you’re done processing all that, try to imagine any great structure of our modern-day time. If not maintained, time will eventually wear it down and it will crumble. Try and look at workplace culture as a structure. Structures are only as strong as the materials inside and the constant planning of maintenance to ensure structural integrity.
Symptoms of an ill Workplace Culture
One obvious sign that your culture is suffering from a super bug is when workplace productivity starts to go down, more and more employees are taking sick days, and the number of gloomy and tired faces filled with stress begin to multiply. According to research from Officevibe, it’s costing organizations $300 billion per year to deal with issues that are stress-related health care and missed work. The research reported that 48 percent of its respondents lie awake at night, due to stress. And employees that are unhappy are 10 percent less productive. Here’s a statistic from the report that many of us can relate to: Seventy-five percent of employees cited money and work as the leading cause for their stress. Perhaps some of these issues relate to the global uphill battle organizations are facing with employee engagement. Globally, only 13 percent of employees are engaged, according to a Gallup study.