Are you positive? Positive that you have a great company culture, that is? There are a LOT of factors that go into creating positive company culture. Let’s look at some of the aspects of work that are improved by strong company culture.
- Office interpersonal relationships
- Employee retention
- Team communication
- Ongoing employee growth and learning
As you try to attract and retain the best and brightest workers in your business, you can be sure that potential employees are looking for a place where they will feel valued, and enjoy coming to work. That doesn’t always mean smiles and high-fives. Positive company culture means one where accountability, high standards and the ability to give and receive feedback are present.
There is a LOT of talk in the Human Resources space about company culture. But what does a positive company culture actually look like in practice? And does your company have a positive company culture?
What are the green flags that let you know your culture is headed in the right direction? Here’s a brief overview of what to look for:
You Invest in Your Team
In general, “you get what you pay for” rings true for company culture, especially with leadership investing time, resources and energy into their teams. But what does this look like in practice?
Learning and Development
Culture Works is a big advocate for consistently including Learning and Development (L&D) into the company culture. Investing in your team means more than buying lunch every month (although, who doesn’t appreciate a free meal!?). Quality L&D means investing in your employees daily.
At Culture Works, we start with purpose, people, and process. First: align with a higher purpose, then, get your people on board with how they bring value and are integral to the company’s success, and finally, implement processes that put HR and operations into action to make company culture repeatable and actionable every day.
Implementing HR processes is at the core of building aligned organizational culture and reaching your business goals.
Not all team-building exercises involve trust falls or baby pictures. There are many team-building exercises that don’t suck. Some examples include:
- Corporate Recess (incorporating play into work)
- Emotional Intelligence training
- Learning outings (hands on projects)
Team building and emotional intelligence days are becoming the standard in modern office spaces. But what does continuing education look like?
If a company is truly invested in employees and their future, then they are committed to that employees personal and professional growth and development. While on the job training works for vertical depth of knowledge, it takes outside learning to increase the breadth of experience.
Companies can offer to pay for classes or courses that will improve the employee’s skillset or understanding of the industry.
An example of a company that values continued education is Starbucks. Starbucks offers financial aid for any employee who is pursuing higher education.
Their website states, “We’re committed to the success of our partners (employees). Every eligible U.S. partner working part -or full time receives 100% tuition coverage for a first-time bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University’s online program.”
The result of their investment can be seen in their loyal employees, positive social media presence, and ability to retain workers when other industries are struggling.
Politics in the workplace have never been a great idea. This is, even more, the case now when we have seen political differences creating turmoil within office spaces across the country.
The best strategy to keep the peace is an absence of politics at work. This has become very apparent with the recent shift in vaccine mandates. Read our Founder, Kristi Pastore’s letter to companies who are managing the changes in mandated vaccines HERE.
Creating a “neutral space” does not mean that there is no room for conversation about company policy. It does, however, mean that those discussions will be more productive if they are held in a monitored, structured environment.
At Culture Works, we know that a scared workforce is an unproductive workforce. If the political views of coworkers are hindering anyone’s ability to perform their job, that’s a culture issue that can be addressed, remedied, and cleared for a more peaceful work environment going forward. Making sure that employees feel safe at work should be at the forefront of any company’s initiatives.
A healthy conversation in a scheduled meeting instead of gossiping at the coffee machine will make work a better place to be.
Retention and Role Alignment
What if we told you your prospects are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them?
If you’re looking to hire new employees, they will evaluate your company to see if it’s a good fit for them just as you are evaluating whether they are a good fit for you. One key component any new hire is going to seek out is the current company culture. Long-term employees are a sign of positive company culture as are Glass Door reviews, articles your employees post on social media, and whether or not you promote from within.
Role alignment means that a company sees an individual as more than just a cog in a machine. When a company values role alignment they may move an employee into a role that is better for that employee’s strengths. Role alignment means tracking an employee’s growth and development and adding or taking away responsibilities when it creates opportunities for growth for that employee.
The foundation of a business can crack if new hires don’t align with the company’s core purpose. Our team prioritizes role alignment in every recruiting engagement we participate in. Why? We’ve observed time after time that when your employees are aligned in their roles, they are more likely to succeed, be productive and provide long-term value.
A Flexible Work Environment
We live in an age of flexible work environments. Half the country is working off a hybrid work model, others are fully remote, and some are back to going into the office daily.
Creating a flexible work environment, however, goes deeper than where your employees are working from. Going into 2022, there will be an urgent need for more flexible work hours and other considerations.
We’re not saying let your employees work for one hour, then go surfing the rest of the day. Rather, if you’re on a Zoom meeting call with clients or employees who are working from home, there is a chance that a distraction that is unavoidable will come up.
This might mean a kid running into the frame or someone at the door who needs a sign-off on a delivery. There can and should be flexibility in these situations insofar as it doesn’t take away from the productivity of the meeting.
The biggest way to show you’re flexible in the workplace is if something like this comes up during a call, just take a moment to pause the conversation until everyone can be fully engaged again.
Does all this warm fuzzy stuff make you worried that your employees will be less productive? We’d challenge you to invite your team to Make Mistakes at Work. Read on to know why!