What makes some work environments more successful than others? Any manager would love to find the magic ingredient that makes team members work harder, smarter, and more effectively. Well, according to a new study, kindness might be the key.
Researchers from the consulting firm Great Place to Work analyzed several hundred small- and medium- sized companies, and more than 52,000 employee surveys, in order to create the 2016 Best Small and Medium Workplaces lists for partner Fortune. Along the way, they also gained a better understanding of the factors that boost performance and revenue. Through analysis of responses to the 58 questions on The Great Place to Work Trust Index Employee Survey, researchers identified these workplaces and the characteristics that help some stand out. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key takeaways from this research.
A caring environment is linked to above-average revenue growth.
Researchers sought to determine the strongest drivers of revenue performance by analyzing the relative impact of the 58 questions from the survey. Once the analysis was complete, two factors stood out. The statements “people care about each other” and “management hires people who fit in well here” were directly tied to above-average revenue growth. When workers feel supported and cared for within their workplace community, they shine.
Newcomers can have a big impact.
Hiring like-minded folks seemed to be an essential factor in environments that support above-average performance. This was evidenced by the high ranking of the “management hires people who fit in well here” factor. It goes to show that difficult coworkers can upset a strong and successful team. Managers should be conscious of this when selecting new hires. Workers should also be mindful of the importance of this and work hard to integrate new team members into an already strong group.
These findings are supported by other research as well.
Other studies have come to similar conclusions. A caring community (or lack thereof) plays an important role in productivity. A recent study by Google found that “psychological safety” or, how comfortable people feel sharing their thoughts and opinions, has a tremendous impact on performance. Similarly, recent research has found that energy and engagement are a predictor of how long workers stay with their company.
It’s important that both staff and managers understand the ways in which the bottom line depends on workers’ connections to their jobs, their workplaces, and their coworkers. Investing time and energy into strengthening these elements will likely pay off for everyone.
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