Tag Archive for: Positive Company Culture

Human Connection Company Culture

The topic of human connection is more important now than ever.

Many of us are returning to the office. It’s been a while … Some of you might be thinking, “How the heck do we do this again?!”

Harvard Business Review writes that returning to in-person work can be tricky. “Whether you’re excited or anxious about re-entry, you can expect being around other people to require a lot of energy that you probably haven’t had to expend in a while. Why is in-person interaction such a drain, and how can you muster up the energy to reconnect with your colleagues?”

Harvard Business Review recommends getting back to the basics of human connection.

In this blog post, we’ll detail 10 unique ways to support your company culture through human connection during this time.

What is Company Culture?

First things first, what is company culture, and why is it important?

Company culture is defined as “how you do what you do in the workplace.” This includes both the formal systems and the informal behaviors in the workplace, as well as:

  • Work environment
  • Company mission
  • Leadership style
  • Values
  • Ethics
  • Expectations
  • Goals
  • And more

Typically, company culture is something you can feel (even as an outsider!).

10 Unique Ways to Support Your Company Culture through Human Connection

There are many ways you can improve your company culture. Prioritizing human connection is one of them. Here are 10 unique ways you can support your company culture through human connection.

  1. Kick Off the Week with Some Positivity

Chances are your company has some sort of touch-base at the beginning of the week—whether remote or in-person. 

A great way to foster human connection is to kick off the week by sharing a “personal win” and a “professional win.”

For example, maybe one of your employees went skiing over the weekend and didn’t break a bone. That’s their personal win! Their professional win could be something along the lines of meeting an important deadline or managing their time well during the previous week.

Kicking off the week with some positives helps team members get to know one another on a more personal level and start their week on a positive note. It’s also a great way to share and celebrate accomplishments!

  1. One-on-Ones

Prioritizing one-on-one meetings helps build rapport between leadership and employees. During these one-on-ones, whether bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly, you have the opportunity to learn more about your employees’ goals and experiences within your business.

It demonstrates to your employees that you care.

  1. Get Your Team Out of the Office

If distance allows it, get your employees out of the office. Take them out for a walk, coffee, drinks, the options are endless.

Fresh air and a change of scenery can help build trust; compared to having conversations in the same old meeting rooms.

  1. Encourage Conversations about Goals

Ask your team members about some of their personal and professional goals. What are their challenges and desires? How can you support them?

Some examples might include gaining the courage to speak up more in meetings or to better prioritize their time. Keep these conversations honest and light.

  1. Celebrate the Wins (Big and Small!)

In an article published by Forbes, they discuss the importance of creating a company culture where employees come together to connect and celebrate the hard work that’s been done.

It doesn’t matter if the win was big or small—it deserves acknowledgment!

  1. Ask a Community Question

Maria Leggett of Forbes recommends asking a ‘community question’ each week.

“Ask about a favorite vacation place, a most memorable trip, or even a funny story that happened at work. Describing the craziest call you ever received at the office can generate great responses and tell you a lot about how people handle the unexpected.”

This is a fun, easy way to foster human connection, thus improving your company culture!

  1. Practice Listening

Like, really listening … Active listening is a skill that, surprisingly, many of us don’t naturally have. When you’re in conversation with someone, it can be easy to get caught up in your own thoughts and distractions, thinking of what you’re going to say next—especially if you’re tense.

Active listening is a skill that can go a long way in creating authentic human connections. When you practice active listening, you’ll be able to hear what is actually being said, as opposed to misunderstanding, anticipating, or assuming.

  1. Encourage Sharing

Not quite like show and tell, but almost! As an employer, you should encourage sharing personal stories and interests. Consider talking about a new trending show on Netflix, who you’re rooting for in the Super Bowl, or an upcoming vacation at your next meeting.

This will help get to know your team members on a personal level.

  1. Polish Your Onboarding Process

The onboarding process can be overwhelming—which is why it’s important for executives to take the time to meet with new hires across the business, regardless of department.

This is especially important in the era of remote work, where employees can feel a bit more isolated than in-person.

  1. Practice Empathy

The tenth and final tip is to practice empathy! As the old adage goes, “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes.” This adage stands as a reminder to practice empathy.

When in conversation with someone, consider where they might be coming from. What is their perspective? How is it different from yours? How can you validate their experience?

Harvard Business Review recommends you “consider what barriers you may face in trying to understand the other person, like assumptions you may be making about them, what you need from them, or your own reactivity…. [By] cultivating a level of self and other-focused compassion, [this] can aid in navigating conflict or disagreements more gracefully.”

A Final Word

There are many ways you can increase human connection within your business to bolster company culture; above are simply 10 ways. Interested in learning more? Read on to learn more about how learning and development (L&D) can transform your company culture.

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. 

how to set new year's resolutions to foster company culture

You’ve made it to the new year, congratulations! There are often a lot of goals and New Year’s resolutions that people make for their personal life. The good news is, there’s a way to set goals in the office that foster company culture.

Setting team goals for 2022

Maybe your office normally sets goals each New Year. How realistic are the goals normally? 

We love the optimism of shooting for the stars, truly. But maybe “Fly to Mars with Elon Musk” isn’t as doable this year. It helps as a team to create a combination of goals that are tangible and goals that are long shots. Creating a balanced list means that there will most likely be moments of checking a goal off the list— which feels great— to learning moments. 

One important aspect of setting team goals is speaking in simple terms. The simpler the goal, the easier it will be to reach that goal and check it off the list! 

Keep in mind that simple language does not mean vague. Another factor to consider is to keep goals specific. For example, simply stating “In 2022 I want the team to get closer” is hard to navigate because there are no tangible ways to measure the success of a goal. One way to switch the language to be more specific could be, “In 2022 we want to have 10 different team bonding days marked in the calendar.” 

See? Much more manageable. If you need help figuring out what team bonding exercises to do, read our blog, “5 team-bonding exercises that don’t suck.” 

Creating a Collaborative Culture

So, what happens after you make the perfect list of goals for 2022? A list is only as strong as the collaborative effort that continues on with those goals. 

Forbes discusses how to create attainable goals, with the main tips centered around: 

  • “Tangible goals means real results
  • Accountability
  • Follow Approach-Oriented goals
  • Identify pitfalls
  • Set yourself up for success.”

Let’s dive deeper into how these tips can be implemented into your team. 

Accountability in the workplace

As mentioned above, tangible goals will lead to real results. But how does accountability play into reaching a point where real results are accomplished? 

Accountability is key. 

If the set goals are simple and clear for everyone, then accountability will be easier to implement. For example, using the example above of the goal “In 2022 we want to have 10 different team bonding days marked in the calendar.”

Well, If it’s halfway through 2022 and there has only been one team-bonding activity, with no more planned in sight, then a conversation can be had between the team about how to still make that goal achievable. 

Identify internal challenges

The learning process is a part of any goal. As a team, it’s important to identify the internal challenges that could be limiting the ability to achieve the New Year’s resolutions. 

Taking a step back and looking at the processes that are set in place is a great way to start looking at internal challenges. What is holding the team back from achieving their goals? It might be resources, time, culture fit, and everything in between that impacts human nature. If the internal challenges are identified and addressed, then a positive company culture is more likely to follow. 

Are you positive your company has a positive company culture? Learn the “Five Indications of a Positive Company Culture” on our blog.