People want to be good at their jobs. They want to go into work every day with a sense of ambition and excitement. They want to have goals that they look forward to achieving. Unfortunately, high levels of cultural entropy often stand in the way of good work.
Cultural entropy is the amount of energy that an organization wastes on unproductive endeavors. It’s a measure of the conflict, friction, and frustration that exists within a business. The higher your company’s cultural entropy, the less work you’re getting done and the more your profits are suffering. Factors that effect cultural entropy include high levels of stress, bureaucracy, negative internal competition, fear of repercussions, and internal conflicts. High cultural entropy can be caused by the management, or it can arise from dissonance within teams.
Using Assessments to Reduce and Eliminate Cultural Entropy
The first step to reducing cultural entropy is to identify the primary sources of dissonance within your business. Employee assessments can help you get a better understanding both of your workers and of how your workers view the management of your business, getting to the root of problems that you may not even realize exist. Assessments help executives get a broader view of how their businesses actually work, not just how they are supposed to work. Issues affecting workplace culture directly relate to cultural entropy, so finding out what these issues are through assessments is essential.
Taking Steps to Improve
Improving workplace culture is never an easy process, but it can be accomplished with open communication, clear goal setting, and communal participation. When your business hits a bump in its efforts to reduce cultural entropy, remember that companies with strong workplace cultures are not only happier places to work, they’re more profitable, as well. In fact, a recent CBS report found that the companies listed in Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For outperformed the S&P 500 by 5.76% and outperformed the Russell 3000 by 5.39%. Gallup also found that unengaged workers cost US businesses between $450 and $550 billion every year.
Clearly, it pays to have happy workers. Take the time to find out what would make your workers feel more engaged and satisfied, and your bottom line will respond accordingly.