Tag Archive for: teamwork

Recruiting Talent

As we head into 2023, companies face a range of challenges in their efforts to find and recruit talent in the current competitive market. No matter the name you call the events taking over our current market – the Great Resignation, the Great Reshuffle, the Talent Gap, and the Talent Shortage (did we miss any?) – we can draw a few clear conclusions: recruiting and retaining top talent is difficult and the situation doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. 

However, there are steps companies can take to recruit and retain talent. Let’s discuss. 

What Does It Mean To Be in a Competitive Market?

According to the Wallstreet Journal, in the United States, there are roughly 11 million open roles and about 6.9 million unemployed people who are actively seeking work. Further, spiking in October of 2022, employees continue to quit their jobs at a rapid pace. 

Julia Pollak, a chief economist at ZipRecruiter, stated this is “the lowest ratio of unemployed people to job openings we’ve ever seen and that is contributing to unprecedented tightness in the labor market.”

Let’s Talk About the Elephant in the Room: The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation resulted in 20 million people leaving their jobs in the second half of 2021 alone and shows no signs of slowing in 2022. In fact, according to Forbes,  over 40% of employees worldwide are considering leaving their current job this year.

What does this mean for companies looking to hire? Top talent will not only be difficult to attract, but hard to retain as well. 

Recognizing the reasons behind this spike in employee resignations can help companies to attract and retain talent in this competitive market. Let’s dive in.

How Do You Hire in a Competitive Market?

There are several things you can do to make your company the place where the most qualified candidates want to call home.

First, Prioritize Hiring the Right People

What do we mean by hiring the right people? We mean prioritizing taking the time and effort to find someone who is aligned with the role in terms of skills, experience and culture. 

Hiring the right people can improve employee retention, foster innovation, and save time in the long run.

Act Fast 

Candidates are getting offers in days versus weeks. If you wait too long before sending an offer, you may lose your chance at hiring an excellent candidate. Remember: if you really like them, you probably aren’t the only one!

Don’t Low-ball Candidates

In a competitive market, you need to make sure your offers are competitive. If you low-ball a candidate, they’re likely to go with another company that values them more.


Be Creative With Offer Packages 

In order to attract top talent, you may need to get creative with your offer packages. This means being open to negotiation on salary, benefits, and other perks like flexible work hours or remote work options. We understand that not all those who are hiring have a ton of flexibility in what they are able to offer their candidates, in this case, try to talk up the perks you are offering!

Prioritize Transparency About Compensation

Did you know 90% of managers say they don’t know how to have conversations about pay? Let’s change that. We recommend being as transparent as possible about what your company is offering– waiting to discuss compensation with a candidate until you send an offer letter is so 2015. 

Show the Company is Invested in the Learning and Development of Employees 

93% of employees say they will stay longer at a company that invests in their career development. By showing that your company is invested in helping your team grow, you can attract top talent.

Show Off Your Company Core Values 

Company core values are a set of guiding principles that reflect your organization’s vision, mission, and motivations. These values should drive your team towards common goals, outline their priorities, and help them navigate through difficult decisions. 

According to HuffPost, 94% of millennial employees want to use their skills for good. Further, over 50% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values. Wow! 

So what do these statistics tell us? 

Millennials aren’t just clocking into a 9-5 for a salary; they’re interested in contributing to change, upholding their values, and finding a position that means more than just “work.”

If an employee feels as if the company’s core values align with their own, they are more likely to join and stay with a company and be more productive and satisfied with their work.

Discuss what your company’s core values are and how the company is implementing them throughout the recruitment process. 

Learn why company core values are essential to success, here

How Role Alignment Supports Successful Hiring

When you’re clear about the role you’re hiring for, it becomes easier to identify the right candidates and sell them on your company.  But what is role alignment?

Role alignment is the process of making sure the responsibilities of a given role match up with the skills, experience, and goals of the person hired for that role. In other words, it’s all about fit.

Role alignment leads to higher employee engagement, satisfaction, and you guessed it – retention! 

Need a Little Help Hiring in a Competitive Market?

Taking the time to hire the right people will have a host of benefits in the long run. Finding the best fit may not be as easy as a gut feeling and a round of interviews. Luckily, Culture Works is here to help.

At Culture Works, our team is focused on value and role alignment. Our team creates processes for your hiring manager to implement, that make the hiring process efficient and effective. We carefully review and screen each candidate, administer customized assessments, and deliver value and role-aligned people to fit your needs.Read on to learn more about what we do. Then, read on to learn why hiring the right people can lead your business to success in a recession.

wood blocks with core values text

Aligning personal and company values can drive a company towards success. Why? Personal and corporate value alignment helps identify an organization’s goals while improving employee engagement, investment, and productivity.

Purpose defines why your company does what it does; values determine how your company acts in pursuit of that purpose.

Personal and company values are similar in that they both help guide decision-making. However, personal values vary and are for individuals to uncover, whereas company values can be consciously chosen, operationalized, and set across the board.

Let’s take a look at personal and company values before we dive into how aligning the two can drive company success.

What are Personal Values?

Personal values guide an individual’s thoughts, words, and actions. These values help individuals grow, both inside and outside of the workplace.

Examples of Personal Values

Personal values can differ significantly among individuals. Some common examples of personal values include:

  • Loyalty
  • Spirituality
  • Humility
  • Compassion
  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Integrity, and
  • Selflessness

How Do Personal Values Impact the Workplace? 

Personal values affect how individuals show up and function in their daily lives, including in the workplace (duh, the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime!)

These personal values indicate what is important to each person and therefore, guide their behavior. These values will affect how employees respond to situations, interact with others, and approach leadership positions.

Further, these principles will influence an employee’s mindset and fulfillment in the workplace.

What are Company Values?

Company values are a set of guiding principles that reflect an organization’s vision, mission, and motivations. These values should drive your team towards common goals, outline priorities, and help them navigate difficult decisions.

Examples of Company Values

Companies should choose unique values that reflect their organization. Here are a few common values that many companies highlight:

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Drive
  • Communication
  • Sustainability
  • Fairness
  • Transparency
  • Honesty
  • Innovation, and
  • Accountability

How Do Company Values Affect the Workplace?

Company values distinguish the identity of the company, establish a sense of belonging, influence behavior, and shape the future of the company.

Read on to learn why your company’s core values are essential to success.

What Happens When These Values Are Misaligned?

Most often, there is a gap between companies and employees regarding values. According to research from Oxford Economics, 75% of executives stated their organization has defined values that are “communicated and understood.” However, only 33% of employees agreed.

If employees feel that values are not being communicated and understood, they are likely to feel disconnected from an organization. This can decrease employee motivation, engagement, and productivity… But this doesn’t have to be the case!

The good news: Employees and companies often share many of the same values. It all comes down to operationalizing and communicating these values to your team. After all, both the company and employees will benefit from seeing these values in action!

How Can Aligning Personal and Company Values Benefit an Organization?

To bridge the gap between how executives and employees see the implementation of values, an organization should recognize the importance of aligning these values.

Benefits For Employees

Aligned values can help employees feel a sense of belonging, support, and satisfaction in their roles.

Benefits for Companies

Value alignment can improve the cohesiveness of an organization’s branding as well as improve employee retention, engagement, and recruitment efforts (i.e. talent attraction).

Oxford Economics tells us that “public companies with extremely healthy cultures are 2.5X more likely to report significant stock price increases over the past year… and 1.5X more likely to report average revenue growth of more than 15% for the past three years.” 

It’s a win-win; companies want productive employees and employees want to work for organizations that share similar values.

How to Align Personal and Corporate Values Within Your Company

The short answer: Company values should function as more than hyperboles.

Research suggests that value misalignment is not a result of companies and employees having different values, but instead, that employees simply don’t see values implemented in the workplace.

Core company values should be purposefully chosen and operationalized in a way that is productive, efficient, and effective.

What steps can leaders take? Leaders can work to align values by:

  • Giving employees a space to identify their personal values
  • Inviting team members to discuss company values
  • Tying personal goals into professional goals
  • Valuing communication, and
  • Increasing transparency

Need Help Aligning These Values?

This task might seem a little daunting, but don’t worry – we want to help! At Culture Works, our values make us who we are.

We are a trusted resource working with companies to improve their processes, operationalize their company culture, invest in their people through leadership training, and bring purpose into everything they do.

Our services provide the processes to operationalize culture in your organization:

  • Intentional Culture Works for businesses
  • Collaborative Culture Works for employees
  • Healthy Culture Works internally in companies to facilitate organizational change, and
  • Values-Driven Culture Works to make productivity soar and reduce churn

Read on to learn how people partners are the new HR.

employer implementing learning and development techniques to their team

Learning and development (L&D) programs are essential to the success of any organization. L&D, also known as training and development, aligns employee goals and performance with the company. The aim is to provide employees with the necessary skills and resources they need to flourish in their roles. 

Unfortunately, many companies may struggle to experience the positive benefits of these programs on a long-term basis. In fact,  Harvard Business Review estimates that only 10% of the $200 billion spent every year on corporate training and development in the United States delivers real results.

The good news is leaders can use purposeful strategies to better implement L&D into their business. These strategies focus on creating an environment where employees can learn, practice, and apply their skills. 

Let’s take a look at what strategies aren’t working and discuss more successful methods of implementing L&D into your business.

What Strategies Aren’t Working to Implement L&D into Businesses

According to research presented by Harvard Business Review, companies face a few challenges in implementing L&D into their businesses. These common challenges include:

Training that Takes Place Outside of the Organization

Learning and development trainings tend to occur outside of the organization. This makes it difficult for the employees to translate the skills learned in the classroom into the workplace. 

When we work with clients to implement L&D programs into their organization, we ensure that these programs are integrated into the workplace. A learning and development initiative should be a main part of your company’s strategic initiatives. 

Training that Requires Employees to Invest Their Own Time

Learning and development training that requires employees to invest their personal time are less likely to be successful than trainings that focus on building these skills during work. When leaders expect their team to fulfill their regular work responsibilities and compromise their personal time, leaders are not setting their employees up to successfully grow these skills. 

Training With Minimal Follow-Up

When leaders implement minimal follow-up after the training, the responsibility to retain and use the new skills is placed on the learner. Leaders should maintain responsibility for learning and development in order to experience the best results.

Successful Strategies to Implement L&D into Your Business

According to Forbes, learning and development training helps organizations to gain and retain top talent, build employee satisfaction, boost morale and improve productivity.  Let’s dive into how leaders can implement L&D to experience these benefits on a long-term basis.

1. Contextualize the Learning

Research has shown that learners are less likely to apply what they learn if it is taught in a different context than it will be applied. Many traditional learning and development programs are held outside of the workplace, which leads to issues translating the skills into the new context. 

One strategy to combat this issue is to create customized training programs. In these programs, instructors target specific topics on a team or individual level. This can help learners to apply and implement these new skills into their daily work.

2. Break Learning and Development Trainings into Portions

Research suggests that dividing training into smaller increments can help learners retain and apply information. Leaders may experience more positive benefits of learning and development programs if they break up training into small, structured portions. 

For example, leaders can encourage learners to participate in short online courses that can be easily integrated into their work schedules. These classes should be prioritized and completed while employees are on the clock to avoid shifting the responsibility of the training onto the learner.

3. Measure Progress and Benchmark Performance

Your L&D strategy should include clear objectives and performance indicators. Leaders should consistently measure progress by utilizing these indicators. In reviewing the performance of the L&D strategies, leaders can review:

  • Employee retention and satisfaction
  • Cohesion among teams 
  • Employee growth 

However, it is important for leaders to remember that learning is an individual process, and each learner may provide different results. While leaders should check in with individuals, they should consider measuring progress based on teams or levels within the organization.

4. Provide Helpful Reminders

Leaders can offer short, helpful reminders for their teams to use the skills from the learning and development trainings. These reminders, which can take the form of an email or push notification,  should be contextual, friendly, and just a few sentences. These nudges can be as simple as “this project would be a great opportunity to try!”

The purpose of these reminders is to keep the ideas from the training at the front of the learner’s mind as they navigate their day-to-day responsibilities. In each reminder, leaders should consider referencing a specific behavior and including a call to action. 

5. Follow Up and Reflect

To effectively employ learning and development strategies, leaders should encourage learners to reflect on how the skills and tools they have learned can be used in the workday. Leaders may also choose to set aside time for learners to reflect after the training and then on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

Leaders can follow up after learning and development trainings in a few different ways. For instance, leaders can check in with individuals during 1:1 meetings or the team during group meetings. Leaders can guide discussion with questions such as:

  • Did you use x skills this week?
  • If so, how did you use these skills?
  • If not, how might you use these skills next time?
  • Are there any tools or resources you need to use these tools in the future?

6. Provide Additional Resources to Support Employee Growth

Employee growth doesn’t have to stop at the end of the training or when they click off that last assigned online course. Leaders can support their employees in growing through reimbursement programs, webinars, books as well as other resources. 

Need Help Implementing L&D into Your Business?

At Culture Works, we value the opportunity to help businesses implement learning and development programs into their company culture. Our team of experts is ready to partner with your team to build greater organizational success. Contact us today to learn how we can help your business implement these programs and contribute to positive company culture.Interested in more information? Read on to see how learning and development can transform your company culture here.

employer reviewing how to perform layoffs the right way

Layoffs are an unfortunate, but often a necessary choice for businesses for several reasons. Some may include an economic crisis, a change in business strategy, or a general reorganization. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2009, during the height of the Great Recession, 2.1 million Americans were laid off. As the American economy is at risk of entering another recession, companies are beginning to take measures to prepare. Companies may turn to layoffs as a means to survive during the economic downturn. 

Company leaders may not realize that layoffs do not only affect only the people leaving the organization, but carry long-term effects on the company culture, such as lowered employee productivity, retention, and satisfaction. 

However, employers can implement specific, purposeful strategies to navigate layoffs and preserve company culture.  Let’s begin by discussing how these changes can affect the team.

How Layoffs Affect the Team

Employees that stay at a company after layoffs experience a 20% decline in job performance, a 36% decline in organizational commitment, and a 41% decrease in job satisfaction. Why? Because layoffs can cause employees to feel as if they have lost control, stability as well as trust in their management. 

 Let’s review some strategies to combat these issues.

Strategies to Navigate Layoffs

While layoffs will never be easy, companies can take steps to make the transitions as smooth as possible for their employees. 

Find a Way to be Fair

One of the most common complaints from employees following a layoff is that it wasn’t fair. By fair, we mean that employees did not understand the criteria or how the leadership decided which employees stayed and which were laid off. 

Company leaders should take the time to create a system for determining who will stay and who will go in the process of making layoffs. These criteria can be designed to clearly identify employee roles, traits, skills, or knowledge that will help the company reach its goals as well as align with company values.

A fair selection process, especially one that is communicated to the team, can help employees better understand the reasons for layoffs and set them up for success moving forward.

Be Respectful

Leaders should approach layoffs with intention, respect, and compassion. This approach can result in significant benefits for your employees and your company.

Layoffs will inevitably cause negative reactions amongst employees. Respect can help to soften these reactions.

For example, companies may choose for leadership to personally speak with employees about the changes. Leaders should avoid impersonal actions such as sending out a generic email detailing the layoff decision. 

Prioritize Transparency: Talk About It

Leaders should consider having an open dialogue about the layoffs. Why? Because after the announcement of layoffs, gossip and hurt feelings are inevitable. By making the effort to speak to their teams, leaders are taking the opportunity to control the narrative of why these changes are happening. 

According to PR Newswire, more than 86% of employees stated that their loyalty would be affected if a company “fails to be transparent regarding slowing company growth, hiring freezes, and layoffs.”

Consistency is Key

Layoffs can cause a workplace to feel inconsistent or unstable to employees. Leaders can prioritize consistency by maintaining consistent expectations, communication and behaviors across conversations. This can help employees to feel more stable in their workplace and help to boost productivity. 

Provide Choices

Employees are likely to feel out of control during the process of layoffs, whether they stay or leave the company. Leaders can combat this issue by providing employees with as many choices as possible, even the little things.

For instance, allowing employees to take select office supplies or select their last date of employment can show care and allow exiting employees to feel more in control. Further, this display of extra care will boost morale and trust for the employees staying with the organization.

Show Extra Care

In the event of a layoff, small actions can make all the difference for both the employees exiting the organization and the employees staying. Leaders can show extra care by providing all employees with information about unemployment resources, job search resources, communication, and support. The care leaders show to exiting employees will matter to those staying with the company.

Is There a Wrong Way to Make Layoffs?

Harvard Business Review defines “bad layoffs” as “layoffs that aren’t fair or perceived as fair by employees and that have lasting negative knock-on effects.” 

For example, companies should avoid performing layoffs with the goal of achieving short-term cuts instead of implementing long-term strategic change. When used as a quick means to support a short-term goal, these choices often prove to cause more issues than solutions. 

Need Help With Your Company Culture?

At Culture Works, we understand that sometimes layoffs can’t be avoided. These changes don’t have to negatively impact your company culture on a long-term basis. With the right strategies and structures in place, we can operationalize the elements of your company culture that drive productivity, retention, and results. 

Learn more about us and what we do, here. 

Then read on to why hiring the right people can help your business in a recession (and prevent layoffs in the future) here.

employees practicing company core values in their workplace

The last two years have brought a slew of changes for employers. These changes include remote work on the rise, the Great Resignation resulting in millions of employees leaving their jobs, as well as an influx of millennials and Gen Z joining the workforce.

Many of these events can cause employers to feel disconnected from their employees. Don’t worry, we have a solution to focus and reconnect teams with their company culture – it’s been on a poster in the HR office this whole time! 

That’s right, we’re talking about your company’s core values. Read on to learn why establishing and emphasizing company values is essential to success.

First, What Are Company Core Values?

By definition, company core values are a set of guiding principles that reflect your organization’s vision, mission, and motivations. These values should drive your team towards common goals, outline their priorities, and help them navigate through difficult decisions. 

What Are Some Examples?

Companies should choose unique values that reflect their organization. Here are a few common values many companies highlight:

  • Integrity
  • Fairness
  • Transparency
  • Honesty
  • Innovation
  • Accountability
  • Respect
  • Drive
  • Communication
  • Sustainability

How Do Company Core Values Lead to Success?

Company core values tell both customers and members of the organization who you are. By communicating these priorities to your employees, you are not only allowing them to accurately represent your brand to customers, but you are showing them what qualities you value in them as well.

Values Distinguish the Identity of a Company

Companies that understand themselves can thrive in a variety of ways. For example, a company with a distinguished identity can excel in marketing its unique brand voice to potential customers, recruiting new employees as well as retaining its existing team members. 

Employees Prioritize Values in Choosing Their Jobs

According to HuffPost, 94% of millennial employees want to use their skills for good. Further, over 50% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values. 

So what do these statistics tell us about millennials in the workforce? 

They aren’t just clocking into a 9-5 for a salary; they’re interested in contributing to change, upholding their values, and finding a position that means more than just “work.”

If an employee feels as if the company’s core values align with their own, they are more likely to stay with the company and be more productive and satisfied with their work. 

Values Establish a Sense of Belonging

Especially with businesses transitioning to a hybrid or remote work model, companies should be taking extra steps to make their employees feel like they belong. Core values can help employees connect without in-person interactions by giving them a common goal. 

Values Influence Behavior

When values are clearly defined and integrated into company culture, employees can be inspired to meet these expectations. 

Values Help with Hiring

Core values may help employers decide which candidates to hire based on who aligns with or prioritizes the same values. 

Values Shape the Future of the Company

Companies may keep core values in mind when making decisions about the next steps. 

Why Operationalize Your Company’s Core Values

Your company’s core values shouldn’t just be on a poster in your HR office. 

It’s time to build, revamp and operationalize your company’s core values. This will allow you to review if and how your core values are present throughout the daily operations of your company. Additionally, operationalizing your core values can expose where your business could benefit from strengthening and implementing these values. 

Need a Little Help with Your Core Values? 

Don’t worry – this is what we do best. At Culture Works, our values make us who we are, and we are a trusted resource working with companies to improve their processes, operationalize their company culture, invest in their people through leadership training, and bring purpose into everything they do.

Our services provide the processes to operationalize culture in your organization:

  • Intentional Culture Works for businesses
  • Collaborative Culture Works for employees
  • Healthy Culture Works internally in companies to facilitate organizational change
  • Values-Driven Culture Works to make productivity soar and reduce churn

Learn more about us here or read on for more information on leveraging learning and development to improve employee retention.

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.

Employee Managing Self with time management tool online

How to Manage Time, Wellness, and Self: Part Three

With an increasing number of companies transitioning to a hybrid or fully remote work environment, self-management is an essential skill to have in both personal and professional life. 

Through learning to manage yourself,  you can increase your productivity, flexibility, and quality of work. Additionally, successful self-management can lead to stronger emotional intelligence and self-awareness. 

What Does Managing Yourself Mean?

Self-management is a set of strategies and practices designed to direct your behaviors and emotions into a productive course of action. 

For instance, managing yourself can involve regulating your:

  • Time
  • Motivation
  • Stress
  • Decisions
  • Personal Development 

Let’s review some effective self-management strategies to help you build each of these skills.

Practice Being Self Aware

Practicing self-awareness is an excellent starting point in learning how to self-manage. Observe and access your own characteristics, such as work habits, how long you can stay focused, your most frequent stressors, and emotional responses. Use these observations to recognize your strengths as well as habits that need improvement. 

Organize Your Space

Organize your space to improve functionality and streamline your daily tasks.

By sorting your space, you can help improve your time management as well as prevent a few stressors from appearing. For instance, maintaining updated organizational systems for the files on your computer can result in you taking less time to search for a specific document or resource – isn’t it always in that folder you swear you checked twice already? – and frees your time for a more productive project. 

Other solutions may be:

  • Maintaining an agenda on your electronic devices or a physical planner
  • Trying a time management app or tool
  • Investing time in sorting your desk and workspace (leave digging through your drawers for your charger right before a meeting in the past!)

Create Routines

Design consistent routines that can help you to manage your time and tasks. You can try strategies such as:

  • Blocking your time in by breaking your day into time slots
  • Timing your tasks and adjust your plan accordingly
  • Breaking your tasks into subtasks
  • Identifying priorities
  • Taking the time to write down your schedule

Set Clear Goals

When creating your goals, consider using the SMART goal method. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. 

You can use your current projects to work towards these goals, such as improving how well you navigate on a particular software or becoming comfortable with public speaking in front of your colleagues.

Make Your Own Deadlines

Before you get too excited– we’re not saying to spontaneously decide the presentation due at the end of the week is actually due next week. Instead, we suggest creating your own deadlines within stages of a project or throughout tasks. This can hold you accountable in your time management practices and drive you toward reaching your goals. 

Develop Healthy Responses to Stress

When you start to feel stressed, try to respond in a healthy way, even if it begins with just pausing and taking a breath. 

Find responses that work for you; some find exercising or taking a walk around the block to help relieve stress, some take a few minutes to meditate or do breathing exercises and some may carve out time in their schedule to participate in a hobby they enjoy. 

 Practice Self-Care

Set aside time to rest and practice self-care. Self-care can take the form of eating healthy foods, participating in activities that bring you joy as well as making a cognizant effort to disconnect from work. Through these efforts, you can recharge your energy and will often find yourself more productive when you reconnect to work. 

Focus on What You Can Control

We can plan everything; collaborate with an excellent team at work, set strong objectives, and manage our time well ahead of the project deadline – but things always come up and change the plan. 

In the event something pops up and hinders your current plans, consider pausing, taking a short break, and deciding how to best navigate the situation before proceeding. 

We may not be able to control our circumstances, but we can control our response. 

Evaluate and Adjust 

Consider checking in with yourself on a weekly basis. You can use this time to identify areas you can improve as well as come up with plausible solutions to work towards these improvements. 

For instance, instead of setting the objective of spending less time on your phone, try blocking out “phone time” and “no phone time” in your schedule. 

You’ll be more likely to keep this specific goal instead of trying to avoid going on your phone altogether. 

Additionally, keep in mind that you may have to adjust your practices and goals while you build your time management skills. Be patient with yourself and remember: 

“The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” – Helmut Schmidt.

Ready to learn more?

Read on to learn how to support your company culture through human connection.
Connect with Culture Works to learn how we can provide the processes to operationalize culture in your organization and why we do what we do.

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.

Employee Managing Their Wellness in the Workplace

How to Manage Time, Wellness, and Self: Part Two

To manage personal wellness, individuals need to make conscious efforts with the goal of improving physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. 

While often associated with yoga classes, seminars, and green juice smoothies, personal wellness should be more a long-term, evolving process than a short-term, achievable goal. Although we admit, we do enjoy yoga, seminars, and green juice smoothies – Who says you can’t have both?

Wellness isn’t only significant at home or in the workplace. You should consider and adjust both aspects of your life in your journey toward personal wellness. 

So, we’re here with the second part of our three-part series. Today, we’re discussing strategies to manage your personal well-being in the workplace. 

What is Wellness in the Workplace?

Wellness in the workplace refers to the mental and physical health of employees in the company. Therefore, your efforts to improve wellness may include elements intended to support healthy behaviors as well as reduce risks to both mental and physical health. By addressing these risks and practicing healthy behaviors, you can improve your work life as well as prevent more serious health issues in the future. 

How Do Companies Improve Employee Wellness?

Companies may take a number of approaches to improve employee wellness. For example: 

  • Wellness Activities
  • Free Medical Screenings
  • Health Coaching
  • Health Club Memberships
  • Stress Management Practices
  • On-Site Fitness Programs or Facilities
  • Accessible Kitchens or Healthy Food options
  • Company Wellness Competitions
  • Wellness Education: Programs, Courses, Online Resources

In addition to utilizing the wellness resources provided by your company, you can also implement several strategies to manage your own wellness in the workplace. Let’s dive in.

How to Manage Your Personal Wellness

For many people, wellness can be difficult to prioritize amongst packed schedules, demanding projects, and a busy personal life. However, investing in your personal well-being can help you build healthy habits to better navigate these obstacles. 

Prioritize a Proper Sleep Schedule

According to Fort HealthCare Business Health, reducing your sleep by as little as an hour and a half for just one night could result in daytime alertness being reduced by as much as 32%. Further, reduced sleep can also impair your brain’s ability to process and store information as well as problem-solve. 

The adult body requires approximately six or seven hours of sleep per night to function correctly. Prioritize sleep by first deciding what your schedule will be including a goal time to wake up and a goal time to go to sleep. Consider implementing strategies to help you keep this schedule, such as:

  • Setting alarms to remind yourself to get ready for bed
  • Designing a calming nighttime routine
  • Turning off devices at a certain time
  • Skipping naps (we know, we know! But naps can make it difficult to sleep at night and lead to drowsiness or grogginess, especially if the nap is after 3 pm.)
  • Create a quiet and dark environment to sleep

Take Steps to Manage Your Stress

Work-related stress can cause you to feel unhappy with both your job and your personal life. The good news is that there are a few strategies you can use to manage your stress and improve your personal wellness. 

Find Your Stressors

Try to pinpoint your stressors by asking yourself what exactly is making you feel stressed and why? You may choose to keep a journal to record your thoughts as well as information about stressful circumstances. This technique can help you to learn more about your specific stressors so you can better prepare for and respond to similar events in the future. 

Develop Healthy Responses to Stress

Common poor responses to workplace stress may include stress-eating and shutting down. These habits can be tough to break so we suggest slowly transitioning into healthier options– seems a little counterintuitive to stress yourself out about not responding to stress correctly, right?

Instead, replace these habits with healthier alternatives. Consider a quick walk around the block in the sunlight, a meditation break,  or even just a couple of minutes of breathing exercises to allow yourself to slow down, process, and figure out the best way to navigate the situation.

Set Aside Time to Recharge

Brains and bodies require rest to recharge and function efficiently. To recharge, you should be taking time to completely disconnect from work–no thinking about work while making dinner, no tinkering with a project while watching tv at night. When you come back to work after recharging, you’ll likely find yourself feeling focused and productive. 

Socialize and Communicate

Isolation and a lack of communication can negatively impact your mental health and well-being, both in your work and personal life. Socializing can sharpen cognitive skills, reduce stress as well as contribute to your sense of happiness and well-being. Set aside time to spend with your friends and family and try to keep these plans. 

As for socializing in the workplace, communication can foster relationships among colleagues and ensure you are getting the support you need. 

Learn more about supporting your company culture through human connection, here.

Be Patient With Yourself

At Culture Works, we want to remind you that personal wellness is a constant process and deliberate effort; don’t be hard on yourself if you struggle to pick up these habits right away! Be patient with yourself in your journey toward personal wellness.

“Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection.” — Kim Collins.

Stay Tuned for Part Three!

Stay tuned for part three of our series, where we’ll discuss how to manage self.

Do you have a positive company culture? Find out by reading our article “Five Signs You Have a Positive Company Culture.”

5 team-building exercises that don’t suck

Here, stand on a table and fall backward into my arms: 5team-building exercises that don’t suck

Picture this: your manager walks into your office, tells you to be in the common room in 15 for ‘team-building’ exercises. What’s your first instinct? Speaking from experience, run! 

What if we told you the days of dreaded, forced team-building exercises are over? Believe it or not, it’s possible to make team-building a positive experience for everyone involved. We know… ground-breaking.