Google Survey Connects Workplace Flexibility to Morale – No Surprise There!
The tune among senior executives worldwide remains the same: High levels of collaboration and workplace flexibility foster innovation and raise productivity. In a recent survey by Google, 73% of these leaders agreed with this idea.
Yet organizations struggle to consistently allow that liberating level of operational freedom. The urge to control process and output with quality and compliance standards is too great. Even when a new idea gets a chance, and works out, it then gets embedded into the workplace mindsets and challenges to its supremacy are stifled.
It’s ironic, isn’t it? Success today is often the enemy of future creativity, unless your culture embraces constant creative destruction as a core value (which is really hard for successful companies to do!)
The survey also find a correlation in the minds of the respondents between workplace freedom and employee morale:
88% of respondents who strongly agreed that their company “fosters a culture of knowledge-sharing and collaboration” also strongly agreed that employee morale and job satisfaction are high.
The survey did not directly connect productivity rates to employee morale and satisfaction, but those two factors do drive engagement, and employee engagement does have a direct impact on productivity. Engaged employees work harder and do their jobs better because they are more invested in their own outcomes.
The writer of the article, Erika Morphy, did not specifically state that talent retention is driven in part by levels of morale and job satisfaction, but noted that survey respondents did report that “the most serious threats to organizations in terms of people management are:”
- Failure to attract enough talent (25 percent)
- Inability to retain the best talent (18 percent)
- A disengaged workforce (14 percent).
All of these factors are directly impacted by how your organized is rated as a “best place to work.” Talented people hear about flexible, collaborative cultures and want in. People already in and working collaboratively want to stay, and remain engaged because they have some much more control over how they work (ownership!)
In the end, the survey found what I see all the time: Senior executives who can let some control go and let people work flexibly to achieve the organization’s needed outcomes organically solve their talent retention and productivity problems.
When you look at your own organization, what balance do you see in leadership between the urge to control on one hand and, on the other, the comfort to let employees innovate their own work patterns?