Company culture – and the importance of having great culture – has been making the news for a few years now. Great company culture can help you attract and retain top-notch employees and, as you look for the next batch of leaders, it’s important to note that the Association for Talent Development recently found that millennials desire a strong company culture more than anything else when deciding where to work.
So how do you know if you have a good company culture or not? Whether or not your culture has actually been defined, it’s important to talk to your employees at all levels. What do they think of your company’s values and expectations? What do they know about your company’s culture? Is everyone throughout your business operating within that culture or are there issues?
Once you have a good handle on your company culture, you can decide if you need to make changes or not. If you do need to make changes, here are three places to start:
Transparency doesn’t just mean sending accounting reports to your employees – it means regularly updating your entire team about the current state of the business, the future of the business and how you plan on closing the gap between those two places. You have to trust your employees with this knowledge and believe that, because they want your business to be successful, they’ll help your company to reach that next benchmark. In your goal to be transparent, it will also be empowering to encourage your employees to share their ideas on how to improve the company or your products or services with you.
Communication is two-part, the way you communicate with your employees and the way your employees communicate with each other. Employees wants to feel like individuals – not cogs in a machine – so making time to learn about your employees and giving them opportunities to succeed is vital. Although the individual day-to-day discussion about their goals might be a conversation with their manager, depending on the size of your business, you need to set aside time to touch base with your employees. It’s also important that your employees can work together efficiently, especially as working remotely becomes more common. Tools like Slack, Yammer, Trello and Zoom are awesome, but it’s important that using them becomes part of your company culture. You can’t have only half of your team using the communication tools you put into place.
You don’t have to pat every employee on the back every time they do something well, but if they do something exceptional, recognizing them can go a long way. Forbes recently researched the importance of recognition and found that companies with a recognition culture have a 31-percent lower turnover rate. The trick here is that, if you’re only listening to and recognizing the employees who boast about their performance throughout the office, you’ll breed resentment among the rest of your team. Consider setting up a program where people can nominate a coworker for a special recognition or rely on your manager to help you see standout performance.
Need help making changes? Find your local Growth Coach online at http://thegrowthcoach.com/find-coach/.