Pulse November/December 2021 | Page 43

sound guidance on effective communication because of its outsized impact on employees ’ perception of workplace culture . A significant majority of those who say their workplace culture has improved since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic cite communication as the reason why . Conversely , 51 percent of Americans whose workplace culture has worsened during the pandemic point to poor communication — ahead of changes to their workload — as the top reason why .
Different Perspectives Of the groups SHRM surveyed , working Americans were the least likely to indicate that their workplace culture has improved since the pandemic began , while a much higher percentage of executives ( 72 percent ) said the same . For their part , 38 percent of people managers and 21 percent of HR professionals reported an improved workplace culture in that timeframe . As with the gap between workers and managers regarding communication practices , these starkly different viewpoints on the progress organizations have made regarding culture may indicate a cause for concern .
If executives believe that work-

“… when we focus on working Americans who rate their culture as poor or very poor , we find that 78 percent indicated that they have thought about leaving their organization .”

place culture is improving , but other members of their organization do not , it may be likely that the disconnect will lead to the same levels of employee dissatisfaction and turnover that have persisted throughout the
as noted above , can go a long way toward getting leadership and other employees on the same page . One effective way to strengthen communication between these groups is to hold regular , informal stay interviews to determine where employees could use more support or what career path they envision for themselves . Even an old-fashioned idea or suggestion box specifically dedicated to issues that affect workplace culture could be another good way to break down communication barriers and bring important issues to executives ’ attention . Finding methods of communication that work for your team is crucial for every group in your spa or business . After all , as Basel says , “ Although executives might be the most optimistic about their workplace culture during the pandemic , I think it ’ s more important to note that everyone agrees that communication was the catalyst behind that improvement ”.
Work can also be done on the front end , of course , to minimize the likelihood of a bad cultural fit between business and employee , notes Basel . “ HR professionals understand the importance of hiring the right candidate for pandemic . Improving communication , ( CONTINUED ON PAGE 42 )


THOUGH A POOR WORKPLACE CULTURE AFFECTS EVERYONE , SHRM ’ s research found that women and non-white racial groups felt the effects more keenly . “ Our research found that people who identify as Black are most likely to indicate that they leave work feeling exhausted ,” says Rocki Basel , PhD . Not only were Black Americans ( 76 percent ) more likely than Hispanic ( 58 percent ) and white workers ( 54 percent ) to leave work exhausted , but they were also more likely to report that workplace culture makes it difficult to balance work and home commitments ( 51 percent ) compared to their white colleagues ( 26 percent ).
Similarly , 64 percent of women reported being exhausted when they leave work , compared to just over half ( 54 percent ) of men , and 36 percent of women agree that their workplace culture makes them irritable at home , compared to only 25 percent of men .
“ These differences mean that there is work to be done to create an effective workplace culture for everyone ,” Basel says . “ Organizations need to examine the employee life cycle to find and eliminate bias .”