The most important asset of your company is not your logo. It is not the product you create or the service you provide. It is the employees that clock in and out of work each day. Your employees grow your company, but they can also diminish your company culture.
Employees either affect your company positively or negatively in four major areas: Mood, Company Culture, Brand, and the Bottom Line.
#1 – Mood
We have all had those mornings where nothing seems to go right. Where we are running late because of a mishap with alarm clocks, coffee spills, traffic jams or all of the above. Setting us firmly in the ‘bad mood’ category for most of the morning. Starting the day with a negative mindset can begin a chain reaction that causes not only our work performance to suffer, but others as well.
Emotions are like a virus. They are contagious and can infect everyone around us.
Suddenly the coffee stain we’re wearing, everyone is wearing. Being around an individual that is emanating negative emotions is demotivating, demoralizing, and draining. Even though the cause of our ‘bad mood’ has little to do with the job, it is suddenly impacts the job.
Yet not all mood is negative. Spreading positive emotions can increase creativity and problem solving. Having structures in place that encourage employees to start their day on a positive note leads to better performance and enhances the company culture.
#2 – Company Culture
It’s not surprising that culture is at the top when it comes to ways employees affect a company. The company culture is the company’s values, attitudes, and behaviors reflected in the employee experience. Culture can affect job satisfaction, teamwork, and performance, and the people you employ impact it.
Like mood, culture spreads from one person to the next. Employees learn culture through their interactions with other employees. You can see where I’m going with this…
If negativity about the company is prevalent and complaints are voiced often in quiet corners of the office, a culture of negativity will take hold. Promising new employees, who can add value to your company, can quickly turn tail and run to a competitor with a healthier culture.
Ideally, you should strive to have a company culture that supports a positive environment.
#3 – Brand
Employees not only affect the culture and mood of your company, but also the company brand. No matter what position an employee holds in the company, from your front-line associates to the IT department, every employee can either build your brand up or tear it down.
In the world of social media, customer experiences are shared quickly and reach impressions into the thousands, potentially going viral. Hopefully, the experience was positive, increasing the value of your brand and turning that customer into an excellent word-of-mouth resource. But of course, that is not always the case.
While it is important to understand how your employee affects the brand through customer experience, it is also good to note that employees also have access to these social platforms. Think about how many employees your company has…
Your company also has that many spokespeople.
Everything that they say on the internet or in private conversations at the dinner table affect how your brand is perceived. Having engaged employees that understand the brand and how to live it are your best assets.
#4 – Bottom Line
What I didn’t outline above is that all three areas are powerful because they impact the company bottom line. Having high engaged employees leads to an increase in productivity which results in a higher profit. In 2012, Gallup researchers found that companies with highly engaged workforce are 22 percent more profitable. However, if the mood of the company is low, the productivity suffers.
Having a negative company culture that results in high turnover can also cost the company. The investment you place into retaining employees cost much less than replacing them. In a study conducted by the Center for American Progress, the expense of replacing an employee is about one-fifth of the employee’s salary.
Not only that, but the unseen dollars that customers don’t invest in your company due to the devaluation of the brand by an employee is significant. But if employees at all levels embody the brand, the value heightens.
The bottom line is that happy employees are not necessarily engaged and engaged employees are not necessarily happy. Finding the balance in your company is important. Encouraging starting the day off right, supporting a positive and productive company culture, and inspiring your employees to live the brand will pay off in the long run.
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