Tag Archive for: Leadership

a team using people operations and Hr as a resource in their roles

What do you think of when you think of HR? 

The friendly co-worker always sipping lemon tea and bringing donuts? Thursday morning workshops squeezed into the schedule? The adorably decorated office visit to talk about benefits? Some might even think of impersonal conversations about rules and regulations. (It’s okay, you can say it.) We’ll let you in on a little secret: we don’t like those impersonal conversations either. That’s why we’re leaving them in the old HR.

We’ll tell you what we think of when we think of HR: people.

And as much as we love lemon tea, workshops, and decorated offices, we want employees to primarily associate HR with one thing: resources.

How will we accomplish this? We’re so glad you asked. Let’s dive into the new HR. 

What Do We Mean By People Partners?

People partners function as a system of strategic practices that will humanize impersonal processes and prioritize employees. By focusing on employee happiness and satisfaction, people partners improve employee development, engagement, and retention. 

Sounds like a win-win, right? Let’s look into the goals of people partners in greater detail. 

What Are the Goals of People Partners?

Connecting With Employees

The main goal of people partners is to strengthen the connection between HR and employees. At Culture Works, we believe that successful HR practitioners put their people first. 

Making HR a Resource Instead of Policing Employees

Some may associate HR with awkward conversations enforcing rules and policies. People partners shift these impersonal conversations into humanized processes.  The new HR will use these processes not to enable people, but rather to empower them. 

Operating With a Mindset of Growth

People partners place importance on the growth and development of employees. 

Coordinating with Employees of All Levels

HR practitioners utilizing the principles of people partners work alongside co-workers of all levels. Through these collaborations, HR practitioners have the opportunity to learn the business partners from each level of the organization. 

Impact Change through Purpose, People, and Process

We like to think of it like this:

Purpose: HR practitioners assess and identify goals as well as value alignment. 

People: People partners will help integrate, support, and guide performance accountability amongst the team. Further, HR practitioners familiarize themselves with roles and success indicators and align employees accordingly. 

Process: HR practitioners implement humanized processes to connect to employees and create change. 

Learn more about purpose, people, and process, here. 

How Are People Partners Different From the Old HR?

The old and new HR will have many differences, ranging from details in processes to broad responses to problems. Let’s go over a few examples.

  • The main focuses of traditional HR may include enforcing rules and reducing liability. The main focus of people partners, on the other hand, includes valuing employees and contributing to employee growth, engagement, and retention.
  • Old HR often responds to issues as or after they arise. People partners make an effort to proactively prevent issues through people, purpose, and processes.  
  • Old HR fills vacant positions at organizations. People partners place more emphasis on retaining employees.
  • Traditional HR may speak with employees about poor performance. People partners value role alignment and place employees in the best position for success. 

This is the New HR. Ready to Get Started?

Consider Culture Works. Our goal is to work with you for as long as you and your stakeholders need us!  We do this by operationalizing your culture, fostering the development of your leadership teams, and driving HR initiatives.  

We build Quarterly Game Plans that are focused on Culture, Talent, and HR initiatives and real results.

Learn more about our services, here.

Woman giving a high five to her colleague

Did you know that employees in high-trust organizations are consistently more productive, energetic, and collaborative than employees in organizations with a lack of trust? In fact, employees in high-trust companies report 74% less stress, 40% less burnout, and 50% higher productivity. Wowza!

However, building trust with employees isn’t always as easy as throwing monthly pizza parties or implementing casual Fridays. While these perks can temporarily boost morale, they aren’t likely to have lasting effects on employees’ happiness.

The good news is that business owners have many options to try and build a culture of trust in their organization. But before we get to that, let’s review what trust means in a workplace and how it can improve a business.

What Does Trust Mean in the Workplace?

In a workplace, trust means that employees:

  • Can connect to their colleagues
  • Contribute to the company, and
  • Are offered opportunities to learn, improve and grow

In a strong culture of trust, employees should trust their leadership and colleagues; and vice versa.

How Does Trust Improve the Workplace?

When leadership focuses on building trust with employees, there are several subsequent benefits–that’s why 96% of CEOs rate trust with employees a high priority.

These benefits can range from increased quality of work to employee retention. In fact, Harvard Business Review found that compared to employees in a low-trust company, employees in a high-trust organization report:

  • 106% more energy at work
  • 13% fewer sick days
  • 76% more engagement, and
  • 29% more satisfaction in their life

Sound good to you? Let’s review a few strategies that leaders can use to build trust with their employees. 

Recognize Successes and Wins

According to neuroscience research, recognition has the strongest effect on trust. Leaders can recognize excellence in a variety of ways. For starters, when providing recognition, positive feedback is the most impactful when it is:

  • Personal
  • Tangible
  • Specific, or
  • Comes from peers

For instance, employees may find a specific comment on their contribution to a particular project more meaningful than a vague “you’ve been doing great!”

Further, leaders publicly addressing successes not only celebrates the employees and their accomplishments but also can inspire other team members to pursue their own successes. In addition, the public discussion of a win gives the excelling employee a platform and opportunity to share their strategies, helping the team to learn and improve even more.

Provide Flexibility With How Employees Complete Their Work

Employees value flexibility and discretion with how they complete their work. In fact, a survey conducted by Citigroup and LinkedIn found that nearly half of employees would give up a 20% raise for greater control over how they work. 

By trusting their employees to manage their work, leaders display their confidence in their employees as well as provide a space for innovation.

Share Information Throughout the Organization

Did you know only 40% of employees report that they feel well informed about their company’s current goals and strategies? By widely sharing this information throughout the organization, leaders can help their employees to feel confident, stable, and part of the company’s future.

Prioritize Consistency

Business owners can reduce stress and improve productivity by creating a stable workplace for their employees. Leaders can create consistency through clear performance expectations and positive feedback practices. 

Encourage Coaching and Guidance

Research shows that leadership plays a crucial role in creating trust in a workplace through guidance and coaching. If business owners opt for a coaching approach over traditional management, employee performance and retention are more likely to improve on a long-term basis.

For example, a leader may choose to guide employees through mistakes and find solutions instead of disciplining them. This approach may lead to the employee feeling more comfortable asking questions and performing high-quality work in the future.

For more examples, read on in our article “What’s the Difference Between a Manager and a Leader?

Facilitate Purposeful Conversations

When management regularly engages in safe, open dialogue with employees, employee retention can improve. Why? Because challenges are addressed, discussed, and resolved early on.

Value Soft Skills

Nonverbal communication can help leaders further connect with their employees. For example, positive body language can create a welcoming environment—eye contact and nodding can imply interest and attentiveness. 

In combination with purposeful conversations and active listening, nonverbal communication can make leaders approachable and help to develop trust with employees.

Try Active Listening

Active listening builds trust among team members and encourages employees to voice their concerns, find answers to their questions, and communicate their ideas. Employees who feel heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform better at work.

Read on to learn more about unique ways to support your company culture through human connection.

A woman using a tablet

Planning on exiting your business? Let’s discuss the first step you should take when doing so as a business owner: revisiting your org chart. But you might be wondering, what is an org chart, and why is it important?

What is an Org Chart?

First, for those who need a refresher, what is an org chart? An organizational chart, or org chart, shows the internal structure of an organization or company.

This considered, org charts house a lot of information. Also, there are many different types of org charts. For example:

  • Hierarchical Org Chart: Hence its name, shows who’s at the “top” of a business.
  • Matrix Org Chart: Typically used when individuals have more than one manager.
  • Flat or Horizontal Org Chart: This type of org chart is simple with just two levels: management and the workers. There are little or no levels of middle management in flat and horizontal org charts.
Org Chart
Above is an example of a “Matrix Org Chart” from Lucidchart.com.

How an Org Chart Can Benefit Your Business

So, now that we’ve refreshed your memory about org charts, how can they benefit your business? As a business owner, there are many benefits to using and maintaining your org chart. An org chart can help…

Org Charts for your business

Illustrate a Clear Reporting Structure

For big companies especially, org charts are extremely useful in illustrating who is a part of the company, who reports to who, who manages each department, and so on.

(Could we say “who” any more times!?)

By using an organizational chart, your company increases its efficiency; employees know exactly who to go to as needed.

Make Onboarding More Efficient

The onboarding process can be a thorn in your side as a business owner. There are so many people for your new hire to meet and remember! Creating an org chart can make your new hire more comfortable and help them put names to faces quicker.

Visualize Reorganization

The fact of the matter is that most of your employees won’t stay in the same role forever. Whether you have individuals shifting from department to department or from role to role, investing in quality org chart software can help you visualize your business’s reorganization with ease.

Delegate Work

A top notch org chart can help employees see their workload clearly. Additionally, an org chart can be helpful to identify when/if department heads need support. For example, are they managing a team of seven when they only have the bandwidth to manage five or six? An org chart can clearly paint this picture to help delegate work.

Increase Collaboration

When you have an awesome org chart, it’s something that can be shared all throughout your business. It then becomes a practical company-wide tool for planning and collaboration. An org chart can be especially helpful when it comes to scaling for growth, restructuring, and workforce planning.

How Org Charts Support Exit Planning

So, what the heck does an org chart have to do with exit planning? Well, we’re glad you asked…

Having an org chart helps you plan for exit. All of these benefits we’ve listed above—illustrating a clear reporting structure, increasing onboarding efficiency and collaboration, etc.—help support a smooth exit strategy.

After all, leaving behind your business takes forethought, and how could you leave behind your business without first identifying its internal structure?

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to exit planning is making sure your business won’t crumble when you leave. Having a powerful, scalable org chart in place is one of the many ways that you can help prepare your team for exit.

Want to Learn More?

So, you’re on your way to having an awesome org chart in place, plus you have a great team of employees! But how does your company fare culture wise? Here are five signs you have a positive company culture.

How to ensure successful culture integration post-M&A

The M&A process is an exciting but lengthy one. It can last anywhere from months to years depending on the size of the company involved. During this period, the merging of two company cultures can create culture shock, damaging productivity, profitability, and morale. Let’s talk about how to avoid that!

Entering into a merger can be challenging for both companies. Whatever the reasoning behind the merger, one thing is for sure—change is coming. According to Harvard Business Review, between 70 and 90% of mergers and acquisitions fail. A culture clash is often to blame for this extremely high number. 

Due Diligence

Preparing for a merger or acquisition requires time and planning. A large portion of this time is dedicated to conducting due diligence. Not sure how to go about your due diligence? Check out our due diligence checklist to ensure a smooth transition during an M&A

Due diligence happens during the process of an M&A — But what about the potential culture shock post-M&A? 

Leadership can help bring together the best of both cultures.

Employee engagement doesn’t have to suffer when you merge two different cultures. The leaders of both companies hold the power to protect employees and help them successfully share their cultures. One strategy is a weekly leadership meeting in which everyone steps back from the chaos of the merger to highlight the advantages of both cultures and strategize on ways to bring the best of each culture together to create a new, optimized company culture that works for everyone.

Creating a successful company culture requires an investment from everyone on the team and is essential to retaining employees and keeping them engaged in their work. Here’s how to get started.

Redefine your company’s core values.

Your culture and your purpose are defined by your core values. Merging two different sets of core values can be challenging. In many cases, the acquiring company attempts to keep its core values and share them with the other team.  This frequently results in a sense of disenfranchisement by the acquired company’s employees and results in reduced morale, productivity, and in turn, profitability.  A more egalitarian approach incorporates a process in which the leadership, often facilitated by an outside coach or consulting team, finds the best elements of both sets of principles and works to merge them, creating a new set of core values that speak to the merged company.

Training and development.

As you work to merge two different cultures together, it’s important to engage in team-building activities and ongoing training for all levels of the organization. 

Another aspect of the development of your team is ensuring your team members are aligned in their roles. Role alignment is essential to the success of your new merged business. When employees are aligned in roles that match their strengths they will be more engaged and excited about work.

Through training and development programs, team members who are not role aligned can discover their optimal roles and, in the process of reconfiguring the companies in the merger, change roles to be more productive and set up for success.  

Check-in with employees regularly. 

During a merger, it is essential that leadership and HR communicate regularly with all employees to ensure their concerns are being addressed. This can be done through informal check-ins, and/or formal employee engagement surveys. Monthly performance reviews can focus on an employee’s individual contributions to the overall company goals and assure them that their role is secure in the transition


One of the top reasons mergers and acquisitions fail is a lack of communication. When communication is lacking between managers and employees, employees are left asking questions: Why is the company merging? How will I be affected? How will I be supported throughout this merger? Am I about to lose my job?

Lack of communication with your employees may leave them confused and unmotivated to work hard for the newly merged company. Keep employees updated on the context of the merger, the timeline of what’s next, and other frequently asked questions related to the merger. Like restructuring the Org chart.  

Employee engagement before and after the merger.

Analyzing employee data before and after the merger can help you better understand how your organization has been impacted by the merger. In doing so, you can identify areas of your culture that may need work.

Employee retention

Employees will likely feel on edge during this major transition. They may be faced with fears of losing their jobs, being asked to re-apply for their job, or drastic company culture changes. Losing employees during the merger will negatively affect profitability. So focus on communication, incentives, clear goals, and strategies to keep your team engaged and in the know.

How to Create an Employee Handbook

(You need a lot more than in a traditional handbook!)

There are many terms thrown around the HR space: employee handbook, manual, pamphlet, and review. Same, same but different.

Although there are various terms used, they all have the same goal for your business—security and prevention.

At Culture Works, we receive a lot of questions about employee handbooks, manuals, whatever the heck you want to call them!

Some common questions we receive include:

  • What is an employee handbook?
  • Does my small business need a handbook?
  • What should be included in my employee handbook?
  • What should I avoid while creating an employee handbook?
  • How often should I restructure the handbook?

So, let’s take a closer look into why employee handbooks are essential for any business, and how they can transform your business’s workforce planning. 

What is an Employee Handbook? 

Simply put, an employee handbook is a book or online PDF containing employee and employer guidelines to reference for all job-related information.

No matter the size of the business, an employee handbook is a necessary tool. (We understand that as a small business, you wear a lot of hats for the company, but this doesn’t mean an employee handbook should take the backburner).

In general, an employee handbook is reviewed and signed when a new hire is onboarded. Although the handbook is primarily used for onboarding, it’s important to acknowledge that an employee handbook is not only a resource for employees but is also a resource for employers as well.

Additionally, having a thorough, up-to-date HR handbook can reduce your business’s insurance costs. Clearly, there are many pros to having an employee handbook, regardless of business size.

What Should be Included in an Employee Handbook? 

An employee handbook is normally a large document with guidelines covering the following topics:

  • Equal Opportunity Guidelines
  • Company Culture
  • Paid Time Off (PTO) and Holiday Time
  • Job Expectations
  • Company Mission Statement
  • Company Policies
  • Work Performance Expectations
  • Who to Contact if an Issue Arises

Surprisingly enough, employee handbooks are not required by law. They are, however, as we’ve noted, very helpful and highly recommended.

Most HR representatives consider the employer’s handbook as an active document, which means that throughout the year, notes can be added and reviewed when policies and employment laws change.

What Should I Avoid When Creating an Employee Handbook? 

Creating and maintaining employee manuals in California is more difficult than in other states. This is because policies and guidelines are constantly being adjusted. 

It’s almost impossible to keep up, which is why adding notes and using the employee handbook as an active document is a helpful practice to follow.

Ideally, an employee handbook should be written by an HR consultant or professional, or an employment attorney. Although there are tools that can help employers build a handbook, it’s better to practice to collaborate with a professional. 

Forbes lists common mistakes that are made when creating an employee handbook, and they are worth paying attention to. Key takeaways include:

  • Not having a process for reconstructing the handbook
  • Using the handbook as a form of control
  • Failing to notify employees if there are changes to the handbook
  • Using only a template 
  • Vague language

Again, your company mission and values should align with the handbook.

When Should You Review Your Employee Handbook? 

The simple answer? Always.

Again, most HR representatives see the handbook as an active document. This means that throughout the year when policies and general guidelines change, notes can be added and reviewed.

An employee handbook is most helpful when constantly added to and reviewed. This way, the handbook will stay perfectly up-to-date without annual revisions, which is important if an issue arises. A handbook is a great reference point.

A Final Word

As an employer, it can be helpful to see the employee handbook as a resource, not just another box to check off the list.

It should essentially be seen as a big information source. There is a lot of information to keep track of as an employer. If an employee gets called to jury duty, for example, do they receive paid time off? Check the employee handbook.If you’re a small business and haven’t officially created an employee handbook, it would be helpful to contact an HR professional to assist in the process. Read our blog, “Small Businesses: How to know when you need HR” for more information.

What’s the Difference Between a Leader and a Manager?

As Julias Campbell says in Remember the Titans, “attitude reflects leadership, captain.” This reigns true for the workplace as well. Leadership is the driving force of your company’s culture. 

One question we often receive from clients is, “What is the difference between a leader and a manager?” Let’s dive into the differences between the two, and the impact they have on the organization. 

Manager vs. Leader

As you have probably seen in any workplace, leaders have people who follow them and get behind their ideas and initiatives. While a manager simply has people who work for them. The biggest difference between the two is the influence and impact they have on the people with whom they interact.

As a business owner, ensuring you have managers who have strong leadership qualities is essential to your success.

Some of the most influential characteristics of a leader include:

  • Honest and Integrity
  • Inspiration
  • Communication Skills
  • Strong Vision
  • Ability to Innovate

The characteristics of a strong manager that you also want to be on the lookout for include:

  • People-focused
  • Project management
  • Execution of a vision

A manager who has a blend of the two sets of characteristics has a real opportunity to drive change and create a positive workplace culture. 

BoredPanda provides great illustrations that sum up the differences between a leader and simply a boss. The common theme between all the images is the difference in processes and the rhetoric used in the office.

Taking Leadership Beyond Management 

At Culture Works we understand that leading a team, an organization, or just a single person can be challenging. Creating success for your company as a leader requires a well-thought-out and actionable plan. 

Here are the foundational steps you can take to step closer into the leadership role:

First, begin with defining your purpose.

Create a vision and purpose for yourself and your team. Effectively communicate this purpose with your team and other employees at all levels. This creates a cohesive company spirit that makes everyone feel included.

Next, show that you are passionate about your purpose and vision.

Enthusiasm is contagious. If you show you care, your employee will care more in return. If people see that they are important to implementing the company’s vision, they will feel important and appreciated.

Show your employees the example of what they should be doing, by doing it yourself.

If you hold yourself to a higher standard than those around you, your employees will rise to the standard you set.

Maintain flexibility in how you reach your goals.

While your goals should be fixed, the way you attain them can change based on circumstances. Stay determined and focused on achieving goals, while changing course when necessary.

As you begin to create these goals for your team, be sure to consider the decisions that will create sustainable success.

Quick fixes and wins do not build momentum or increase employee engagement. Planning for long-term success will allow your employees to feel safe and secure with their employment.

Have a dual focus as you navigate through your company’s decisions.

Be sure to keep the big picture in mind always, but pay attention to the small details that build the big picture. Create your business strategy by using those small details.

Want to know more about how you can take your leadership or your team’s leadership beyond management? Read more on our taking leadership beyond management blog. 

hiring trends in the new year

The hiring process has changed over the last year and will continue to change in 2022. 

Culture Works believes that intentional hiring can be achieved in the new year with the use of role alignment and culture operations

These are some of the tools that Culture Works uses with clients, but what other hiring trends are coming in 2022?

Proactive Recruitment

A buzzword that is being thrown around in the HR sector is “proactive recruitment.” Well, it turns out that proactive recruitment is more than a buzzword, it’s also a practical tool to utilize.

Proactive recruitment is exactly what it sounds like. A company might actively talk to candidates who are already hired in another role at another company. It sounds risky, but the main hiring trend of 2022 is that anything goes. The remote work culture has additionally made proactive recruitment more tangible in the workforce.

Remote Work is Here to Stay

LinkedIn did a worldwide analysis on the job market and determined that the most sought-after jobs in the new year are remote.

This can be explained for many reasons. One of the biggest draws towards remote work is that location doesn’t matter anymore! A couple of years ago, the “Are you willing to relocate?” section of job applications might have been a scary thing to check off. Now, relocating isn’t required as often.

How Does Remote Work Affect Employee Benefits for the Future? 

Business Insider warns future job seekers to look out for “too good to be true” scenarios. This means that a company may offer a tight-knit community full of happy hours, free lunches, and other one-off perks.

While these offers are tempting, there are sometimes factors about the workplace that are not ideal to work in (despite the tempting happy hour offers).

Some questions to ask about benefits and company culture in 2022 might include:

  • How does this company address burnout? 
  • How does the company implement work-life balance? 
  • Do employees feel they are working in a safe environment? 
  • How is communication handled in the office? 

These questions are a starting point for understanding what companies are painting themselves as—compared to how they actually operate.

How to Narrow Your Search (AKA Avoid the Black Hole of LinkedIn!)

The remote workforce often means remote recruiting and hiring.

If your company posts a job offer, chances are hundreds of applicants are going to see the job posting on LinkedIn. So, how do you narrow down your talent search in the age of “one-click” job recruitment?

On LinkedIn’s blog, they highlight the best practices to use as a company using LinkedIn for hiring. Some of their main focuses for LinkedIn specifically include:

  • “Convert your company followers into new hires
  • Align your search and pipeline in one place
  • Search for new talent based on the profiles of your current top performers
  • Once you’ve found people who seem like a good fit, send them an effective InMail message” 

These are all great tips for after people have applied for a job through LinkedIn, but the time is just as valuable as your own. How can you make the process as simple but effective as possible? Some great guidelines to follow include:

  • Writing job descriptions that are detailed and very clear
  • Use the Search Insights Feature available for recruiters
  • Always, always respond, even if the response is a rejection of their application

The communication process through hiring has shifted. If a potential hire has spent an hour crafting a cover letter and application, and they never hear back regardless of the outcome, then there is less credibility tied to your business based on word-of-mouth.

Market Yourself to Potential Employees

If your company doesn’t have a marketing strategy, you’re already behind. 

While your competitors are marketing themselves to clients and future employees on various social media platforms, you have stayed in the same networking circle.

People love and value the human side of a company.  So, if your company isn’t ready to step into hiring an outsourced marketing agency, there are small steps you can take to start attracting high-value hires.

One of these steps is sharing client and employee testimonials and stories on LinkedIn or any social platforms your company has. This builds a trusting brand that new hires will be looking for when applying for jobs.

Top Skills to Be on the Lookout For

Okay, now you’re active on LinkedIn and have put effort into marketing yourself to potential employees — What’s next?

There are top skills that are being sought after in the 2022 job hiring market. These skills revolve around an individual being adaptable to situations and roles. Along with being adaptable, these following traits should be considered as a hiring manager listed by Hire Digital:

  • Technology 
  • Problem-Solving
  • Project Management
  • Digital Marketing
  • Team Player in a Remote Environment

Are you positive your company has a positive company culture? Oftentimes the positive phrases plastered over a company website don’t ring true for current employees. Learn more by reading the five signs you have a company culture on our blog.

How to Incorporate Company Culture into your ‘Corporate Gift Giving’

Let’s be real: Gift receiving is everyone’s love language.

It’s the Holiday Season!

The Holiday season is just around the corner! As a company, you don’t want to wait until the last minute to figure out your corporate gift-giving plan.

It’s important to understand that there is a way to incorporate your company culture into corporate gift giving (yes, gifts for employees and clients!) Corporate gifting is a great way to continue connecting with your employees and clients during a busy season to show that you care, value your partnership, and are thinking of them.

In the past, companies might have missed the mark with cheesy mousepads, so let’s step it up! This doesn’t mean your gift has to be expensive. All it takes is some thought and planning.

The Psychology of Gift-Giving

Let’s first chat a little bit about the psychology behind giving and receiving gifts. There are many benefits to corporate gift giving—tangible and psychological.

Picture this: you’re a stressed employee around the holiday season. Work has piled up and there are personal distractions causing more stress than usual (family dynamics are SO fun during the holidays, right?)

Then, you receive an unexpected gift from your boss. Odds are, your day will move forward a lot more positively because of the gift, and more importantly, because it’s an act of appreciation.

From Boss to Staff

One primary way that corporate giving is incorporated is from a boss to an employee. While most companies do include holiday bonuses, there are a few other tokens of appreciation that can help you align company culture and corporate giving.

Again, don’t miss the mark with a mousepad with your company logo on it… Gifts like these come off as a last-minute thought and don’t show true appreciation.

A more thoughtful suggestion is a leatherbound notebook. A notebook can be used for planning work or as a personal writing tool. Either way, if your company focuses on the continued education of employees, this is a great way to show that their mental health is also important to the company.

If you’re unsure about what to give, try and listen to office chatter, hear what they might need or want. It could be something as simple as their favorite bottle of wine or chocolate!

Another great idea: If your company has a favorite place around the corner to get lunch, a gift card is a great, practical gift.

Gifting to Clients

Sending gifts to your clientele is a different story. You might not know them on a personal level like an employee, but don’t fret—there are still ways to show your appreciation.

One thing to avoid is sending tacky merch with your company logo. They already hired you, you don’t need to try and sell them anything.

Perhaps a personalized bottle of wine, fancy cheese, or something else that is specific to your expertise? Gifting something useful is a win. Because let’s be honest, how many branded stress balls have you received, that you still use or even have? Our guess is none.

Another idea is to add personalized touches to client gifts. For example, if you opt for the wine bottle, a wine opener with your client’s logo or name on it would show that extra level of effort and appreciation.

Company Culture

The act of corporate gifting can also provide the opportunity for team bonding. Worried about having boring team bonding exercises? Learn five team bonding exercises that don’t suck, here on our blog

One example of a bonding exercise that doesn’t suck is a ‘white elephant’ event with a set price limit. This brings the office together for a laugh and takes away the pressure of getting gifts for multiple coworkers.

What Culture Works is Grateful for This Year

It’s the season of gratitude, and the Culture Works team wanted to express what they’re thankful for. Read on to hear their responses, and get to know the team a little better!

 What Are You Grateful for This Year?
AmberI am thankful for my kids, and the inspiration they bring to me to be a better person every day. My home, there’s no place like home. And my health, so that I can enjoy so many special moments in life.
AlexisI am thankful for my growing family and the time that I get to have with my daughter. Thankful for my health and wellness and those around me that support me. I am thankful for all the new experiences that I will have as a new mom.
ClaudiaI am thankful for my amazing husband, family, friends and community, and the health of those around me. I am grateful for life itself and the personal growth that comes from traveling to new (and old) places. Last, but not least, having an awesome job where we get to impact so many people!
CourtneyI am grateful for life. I love the life I live. I am healthy, and I have healthy kids and a supportive and loving husband. My family lives close and are all healthy and loving and involved. I try to take in all the small things. Breathing the ocean air, looking at bugs with my boys, taking nature walks, and snuggling. I am grateful for all the little moments that make up life. 
CymbreI am grateful for my health and my family’s health. I am grateful to wake up everyday and have the ability to positively impact the people I encounter.
DianeI have always been grateful for my health and the health of those around me. We can never take that for granted because without it, we cannot experience and share in what this beautiful life has to offer – we need to care for everyone and everything in this world!
HowieI am grateful for my amazing family and friends and always being surrounded by loved ones. I am grateful for music, colors, and the ocean. I am grateful for laughter and for the challenges in life that shape who I am. I am especially grateful for my incredibly loving wife who always reminds me to be grateful.
Jenn There is so much to be grateful for. I am forever thankful for the health and happiness of the people I love. Every day is a gift and I am so blessed to spend them with my family, friends, and loved ones.
KarlaThere is so much I am both grateful and thankful for year-round, but especially around this time of the year. My blessings consist of my sweet and loving family, fur babies, friends, work-family, and always, God.
KateI am most grateful that I get to wake up every morning to a family that is happy and healthy and work that I am passionate about. I have wonderful people in my life that keep me laughing and give me perspective and I will never take that for granted.
KristiI am grateful for time with my mom and family, having the best husband and son in the world, the most amazing best friends, and the best team I’ve ever been honored to work with and drive our purpose!
LeaI am immensely grateful for the continued health and safety of my family and friends.  I’m also thankful for the small pleasures in life: a hot cup of tea, a good book, the smell of the ocean, and fresh doughnuts.
MargieWhat I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving is my good health, my loving family and friends as well as having an awesome job . . . All of these provide for a happy, fulfilling, and peaceful life for which I am deeply grateful!
MichelleI am thankful for the most amazing family. I have the most supportive blood and chosen family who are gracious and wonderful humans.
SabrinaI am grateful for the love from my children, the support from my friends, and the air in my lungs.
SimoneI am grateful for where I am at in my life and everyone who is a part of it. My husband, family, friends, and co-workers make each day’s journey more exciting, fun, and purposeful, and I am extremely thankful for that. 

At Culture Works, we love our team! Interested in learning more about them? With the holiday season coming up, now is the perfect time to read about their favorite holiday traditions (including secret mistletoe and boozy dreidels!)

How to Nail your Remote Company Culture

If you think that working remotely as a company automatically means that positive company culture is out the door, then think again. 

There are steps that you can take as a company to ensure that your employees feel heard and understand that they are valued, even when working from home (WFH). 

Defining your Purpose

At Culture Works we believe that defining your company’s purpose is one of the most important foundations for a positive culture. 

Would you be surprised to hear that your company culture is actually defined by your purpose

There’s a statistic that states, “¼ employees are either indifferent or don’t know much about their company’s mission.” 

The numbers speak for themselves, and if an employee has no level of commitment or passion towards the company’s purpose, then fostering a positive work culture will become a more difficult feat. 

If employees are working from home and don’t fully understand the company’s purpose, then the odds are they aren’t going to seek it out. This is the role of the higher up’s to implement constant purpose-driven actions. 

One way to define your purpose is to ask yourself some questions: 

  • How fulfilled are your employees?
  • How does your work impact others? 
  • What’s the meaning behind your work? 
  • What was the original goal of the company — has that changed?
  • Are you spinning your wheels or losing money because of a lack of intentional culture?  

Although those are some big questions to tackle, it’s necessary to define your company’s purpose and improve the remote work culture. 

Defining your Culture with a Hybrid Work Model

Defining your culture through Zoom has proven to be a challenge for many companies. Theresa Larkin from Zoom posted a blog highlighting ways to maintain company culture through a hybrid workforce. 

One of the key tips as many companies are returning to a hybrid model is to “create equity between on-site and remote workers.” 

Some of the ways listed to create a common ground and culture include: 

  • “Create space for hobbies and activities
  • Communicate through a company or team-wide channels
  • Host fun activities
  • Keep everyone informed on your whereabouts.” 

These are some tangible action items that will hopefully jump-start the defining of your company culture. 

Role Alignment in a Remote Workforce

Understanding each employee and their skillset on a deep level will help the whole team dive into positive company culture, this can be done with value and role alignment. 

Forbes speaks of role alignment highly claiming that role alignment can be “getting everyone on the same page” as a long-term goal, or even “understanding everyone’s role.” 

While companies commit to staying remote or moving into a hybrid model, there are bound to be changes in employee roles. People adapt and change, and as a higher-up, it’s important to keep company culture at the core of change. 

Do you dread making mistakes at work? You should actually embrace them! Learn more about why you should make mistakes at work here