In the war for talent, attracting and retaining top performers remains high on the corporate agenda. However, in an era when company culture is an oft-cited reason for leaving a job, building a streamlined culture remains critical, says a new study.

Close to one third of employees note their workplace is complex and difficult to navigate, according to new research LINK? from the brand strategy firm Siegel+Gale. However, by simplifying, organizations achieve greater productivity and engagement.

Simpler workplaces — those where employees easily get their work done and feel productive and fulfilled doing so — engender more advocacy, innovation and retention, according to the study.

But what constitutes a simple workplace? Organizations that communicate clearly from the top about their purpose, values and business goals tend to fit the bill.

“The creation and preservation of a strong workplace culture is a differentiator for attracting and retaining top talent,” says Brian Rafferty, global director, business analytics & insights at Siegel+Gale.

Complex workplaces are more likely to be larger and older. The bigger the organization becomes, the greater the chance of inconsistency, misalignment and overburdening of the workforce. Additionally, older companies tend to have more established processes.

Smaller companies with fewer layers of management can streamline approval processes, provide more transparency into business objectives and foster more communication with supervisors and senior management.

While the study notes a company’s size or employee age are unlikely to change, reducing complexity at work is possible. Make it easy and rewarding for employees to do their jobs.

“Create a culture of simplicity with clear, open communication that ties employees’ roles to business goals, it notes. “When you streamline processes and connect the dots for employees, they start to see a bigger and better picture. “

"In an era where your people are your brand, the study shows how simplicity boosts organizational culture to drive business value," Rafferty added. "The research shows the benefits for businesses, large and small, to simplify life at work.”

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