Workplace culture: being nice isn’t enough
How did thinking about workplace culture increase the profitability of firms?
I was doing some thinking for some businesses over the last few weeks and the work of one person sprung to mind. Zeynep Ton is a professor of operation management at MIT Sloan School of Management. She found herself looking at the challenges that some businesses had with high employee turnover.
They were losing a lot of people. It was causing their service to suffer – it was also costing them a lot of money training and recruiting people. Sounds familiar?
From this it lead to another understanding. Some organisations by thinking about and planning the employee experience of work create jobs that were less stressful and more rewarding. It struck her that quite often companies don’t want to make decisions or create limitations for fear of upsetting customers. But in the process they become more muddled for customers and less rewarding for employees.
Zeynep goes on to say that the firms who think about these things and set about creating good culture and good jobs (a) are more profitable and have higher revenue (b) build more sustainable businesses so their stock does better.
Here are her 4 pillars:
- operational simplification
- standardisation AND empowerment
- operating with slack