What does it take to keep employees satisfied on the job?
According to findings in Catalyst’s new Mind Your Culture Gap, both women and men MBA graduates surveyed want inclusive workplace cultures that not only emphasize integrity and collaboration, but also encourage them to achieve their potential and support others.
These “constructive behaviors” are much preferred over more “aggressive” ones like perfectionism, power, competition and opposition—and they predict employee satisfaction with their current organizations as well as their intentions to stay.
Catalyst researchers looked closely at the “Culture Gap”—the difference between employees’ current workplace culture and the culture they say they want—and found that the narrower the gap, the more likely employees were to:
- Say they planned to stay at their current organizations in the coming year.
- Feel satisfied with their:
- Work and advancement.
- Organization’s commitments to work-life quality and diversity
To create high-performing workplaces where employees feel included and empowered to contribute, companies must also involve employees throughout the organization. Here’s how:
- Connect employees to the company’s core values. Demonstrate what your organization stands for, and how those values extend to everyone.
- Impact: Nearly 50% of employees surveyed reported feeling a greater sense of inclusion when they felt personally connected to their company’s values.
- Show how you’re socially responsible. Share news about your company’s philanthropic and volunteer efforts and how they benefit customers and the broader community.
- Impact: More than 62% of employees who felt strongly that their company was making a meaningful impact also felt included at high levels. More than 70% of employees who felt strongly that their company was making a meaningful social impact also felt that great progress was being made toward workplace inclusion.
- Cultivate champions at all levels. Employees need to see role models throughout the company—from peers to managers to senior leaders—demonstrating their support for inclusive work cultures.
- Impact: Employees who saw change champions at all levels perceived that their organizations were making more progress toward creating an inclusive work culture.
- Create pathways for dialogue. Give everyone opportunities to share feedback and experiences about company culture and engage in meaningful conversations about inclusive practices in scheduled work groups, town hall-style staff meetings, manager office hours, as part of team project work, and through focus groups across job levels.
- Impact: When employees had opportunities to engage with senior leaders and share their views, they felt more included and perceived that their organization was making greater progress in creating an inclusive work environment for all.
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