When it comes to staff absences, many, if not most, instances aren’t under your control. For a start, employees are entitled to annual leave and you can’t help if staff fall prey to a bug going around, let alone a longer-term illness or accident.

However, there are also times where an employee is capable of coming to work but just doesn’t want to, resulting in a sick day. On such occasions, it’s not the employee’s health that could with a check-up – it’s the company culture.

What is company culture?

A company’s culture can be defined as how a company is: its personality. It encompasses how an organisation treats its employees and how they, consequently, feel about the company and conduct themselves at work.

The benefits of a healthy company culture

  • A Positive Working Environment
    A company’s culture hugely influences its social order, so when it’s positive, there are better relationships among employees, improved communication between different teams and departments, and a positive attitude towards management.
  • Job Satisfaction
    When staff morale is high, employees feel more valued and stimulated, so they’re happier in their work. Being happier, they’re also more productive.
  • Higher Staff Retention
    If employees are happy with the company and get along with their colleagues, they’ll be more loyal and less likely to leave. Even when presented with a good opportunity, they’ll second-guess whether they’ll get along as well elsewhere. With an increased rate of retention, it’s easier to grow and plan for the future.
  • Fewer Sick Days
    As alluded to in the introduction, employees are more likely to persevere and come into work when there’s a great company culture. They’ll feel that they’re a part of a greater whole and will empathise with their colleagues having to pick up their slack in their absence. In some cases, employees won’t want to call in sick because they actually love their work.
    Plus, a good culture will result in less workplace stress, resulting in fewer sick days from mental burnout.

How to improve your company culture

  • Goals
    Define, or redefine, your organisational goals and objectives so employees know what they’re striving for and seeking to achieve. Ideally, employees should have input into these goals, as they’ll have a greater sense of ownership over them.
  • Listen
    Listen to employees’ suggestions and concerns and do your best to address them. This makes staff feel heard, which in makes them feel valued and boosts morale. Better still, frequently asking for staff feedback further shows that you value their opinion and benefits company culture.
  • Transparency
    When staff are kept in the dark, they don’t feel like their employers trust, or respect, them much – which doesn’t lend itself to a great company culture. Conversely, being as open as you can about the company’s successes, failures, plans, and direction engenders trust and a greater sense of unity.
  • Flexibility
    Allow for as much flexibility in working arrangements as you can, which could include remote working and flexitime. Being adaptable to employee’s needs and personal situations shows that you both trust and value them.
  • Rewards
    Rewards show employees that the company’s good fortune is intertwined with their own. That the better the business does, the better they do. Or put another way, that their efforts and contributions matter, are noticed and appreciated, and will be rewarded.

Now, while this usually involves bonuses, there are other, non-monetary ways to reward your employees more frequently. This includes gifts and vouchers, prizes, and exciting workplace and team-building events.

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