3 factors that improve workplace culture

June 25, 2020

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A healthy work culture is becoming an increasingly important decision-making factor when choosing where to work. Not only does an organisation’s culture affect how their employees function in terms of their productivity and engagement levels, but it also affects the company’s growth in the long run. In a 2019 Malaysian Work Culture report by WOBB, employees aged 18-39 (who make up the majority of the workforce) highly value company traits such as career growth, social connection and progressive culture.

As offices increasingly move towards remote working, the key identifiers of workplace culture that could have been marked by a beautiful office space, lunch perks, and a ping pong table become, well, less important.

Here's our take on three factors that play an important role in improving an organisation’s workplace culture for all (including) remote teams.

#1 Transparency and collaboration

Organisations with strong social connections encourage healthy bonds and relationships between colleagues within the company, while those with progressive culture are organisations that encourage empowerment and autonomy with their employees. Both factors are closely linked to a company’s workplace culture.

Transparency promotes open communication between employees and management. It helps to establish trust between both parties, promoting social connections. Also, employees whose opinions are being heard and valued tend to feel more positive about their organisation. 

The aim of collaboration is to prioritise the working processes and accountability of employees. In other words, employees are given a fraction of an individual responsibility that counts towards the shared success of each project. Benefits of a company with strong collaboration come from innovation derived from different perspectives and higher employee satisfaction.

#2 Onboard new candidates thoughtfully

Mednefits employee onboarding deck

In Malaysia, the average non-wage cost of an employee is RM530. Non-wage costs refers to hiring, training and maintaining the welfare of employees.

In a 2018 survey conducted by WOBB, 40% of the respondents reported never receiving any form of training from their employer. Much more can be done to improve the onboarding experience for new employees.

There can be two aspects to focus on onboarding - the company corporate onboarding and also the training that comes with their roles and responsibility. Some companies may conduct only the training but leave out the corporate, and vice versa. The corporate onboarding gives new employees insights on the company's history, how it all started, background knowledge on the org structure, and displays of its corporate values. This will make the onboarding experience more engaging and highlight the overall impact your new member is contributing towards. And most importantly, now that many of us are working remote or scattered across different spaces, remember to welcome team member(s) on a video call so they can match names to faces.

#3 Prioritise medical benefits 

Employers in Malaysia are not required to provide medical insurance, since all residents in Malaysia are already provided with universal public healthcare. However, many public hospitals are overcrowded with a higher number of patients as opposed to private healthcare providers. Hence, there has been an increasing trend of Malaysian workers who ranked benefits such as medical coverage and insurance as their top priority in an organisation. 

Most Malaysian companies do provide private medical benefits plans for their employees. When it comes to choosing the right medical benefits plan, an employer has to consider various factors such as cost, coverage and demographics of the workplace. (We created an e-book on this topic in greater detail).

Allocating a portion of the organisation’s HR budget into employee medical benefits is important in attracting the right talent. Having an attractive medical benefits plan can attract and retain top talents in an organisation - but on a fundamental level, providing employee medical benefits is a way to improve workplace culture to demonstrate that the employer cares for the health and well-being of their employees.

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