For businesses that are searching for today’s ‘holy grail’ of innovation best practices, the UCW LEADicator analysis disclosed many solid results.
Taking ‘corporate culture’ to mean the values, beliefs, ways of doing things and traditions of an organisation, the research found, as anticipated, a very strong connection between the culture measures of ‘being open to change’ and ‘being innovative’. This means that for a business to be innovative, it must also be open to change and this includes being open to challenging past ways of doing things.
Of specific importance here is the connection found between being open to change and a structure that facilitates collaboration and systems of communication that are both useful and timely, as well as a workplace climate where employees gave high ratings to feeling respected.
Another important finding was confirmation of a basic principle of organisational life – that organisations of all forms do not exist in separate silos of existence and operations that move forwards in a straight line and machine-like fashion. Organisations are ‘organic’ in that different activities are interconnected to varying and often changing patterns.
For example, the research showed that any business plan calling for greater employee teamwork must incorporate the fact that ‘teamwork’ is tightly intertwined with measures of timely communication, conflict management and being open to constructive criticism. This may seem obvious, but the data confirmed that weakness in any one of those connections will decrease levels of teamwork.
Businesses today are rightly focused on what a psychologically healthy workplace looks like and the need to ensure both emotional and physical health. The benefits here include greater employee job satisfaction and morale, less workplace conflict, fewer employee absences due to illness and a greater ability to both retain and attract employees. But what our research confirmed is that there is a very strong correlation between a psychologically healthy workplace (a reflection of organizational culture) and key measures of a workplace structure, including the coordination of activity and timely decision making, as well as key factors relating to human resource systems including timely and clear communication. Doing one thing alone to improve workplace wellness will not succeed.