Chris Bischoff, senior stakeholder liaison at a reputation research agency, Reputation Matters, touches on three simple and effective ways that a company can encourage a healthy and productive organisational climate.
Communicate and motivate. Whether its salary bumps or retrenchments, communication always needs to be authentic and clearly motivated. “With the millennial generation making up a large proportion of a workforce, it is important to always motivate the reason behind any decision. Millennials, also known as ‘Generation Y’, need to know the ‘why’ in anything that is communicated. Ensure that all top level decisions are clearly and authentically motivated,” says Bischoff.
Understand your generations. The average workforce nowadays consists of three generations, namely baby boomers, Generation X and millennials; each of which have different communication preferences. We are also starting to see a fourth generation entering the workplace; Generation Z. Generally speaking, millennials being a tech savvy bunch don’t mind a WhatsApp message, while baby boomers prefer face-to-face engagement. While email remains the most frequently used format and channel of communication, creating a connection with employees that will lead to a ‘family’ like environment may require you to tap into the preferred communication channel of each generation. Working on an integrated internal communication strategy is key. “It is incredibly important for organisations to know the needs and preferences of their workforce. Especially with a diverse workforce, reliable and valid data is crucial,” says Bischoff.
Do the research, get the insight. “Organisational climate research is one of the most valuable exercises that a company can do to ensure that any internal risks are addressed before it starts impacting a company’s reputation,” says Bischoff. “We have developed our organisational climate survey (OCS) model to help companies understand what exactly influences their employees’ motivation and behaviour; what their operational needs and communication preferences are; and how they perceive their roles in relation to the organisation’s vision and roadmap.”
“Organisational climate is not just about your internal culture, it’s about understanding the workplace dynamics,” concludes Bischoff. “Having devoted employees that understand the vision is fundamental to the long term sustainability and reputation of the company.”