The term “Company Culture” can often be used as a catch-all phrase for the practices by which a company operates. It defines a set of core values, their mission, and ultimately determines the direction in which an organization is going as it grows.
On a more visceral level, company culture is about the way people feel about the work they do, and about the place they do it in. A healthy company culture is cultivated through the actions of the set values, and should ultimately make employees enjoy what they do, because a happy employee is a productive employee.
The return on creating and maintaining a healthy work culture is worth the investment of a practical tangible strategy that is implored across all departments within an organization is tremendous. However, it doesn’t just happen without a strategy in place. Here are the key factors that will help you assess where their company culture stands, and how to make sure it’s working for the betterment of the organization at large.
- Take an External Inventory First, Then Go Internal.
Sentiment analysis is key. It is important to look at your organization from the outside, in. What people are saying about the company culture? Use online tools to evaluate how strong the culture is, and furthermore, how people talk about it. Do they talk about it from a positive sentiment or a negative one across all social media platforms? There’s a misnomer that prospective employees are only looking at Glassdoor or Indeed to gauge workplace culture of any organization, but there is a community within social media where that people share information about employers, and the truth is that share of voice is getting stronger and more prevalent in the marketplace.
- Look at Company Culture from the Perspective of Engagement
If a company is applying engagement and pulse surveys strategically and effectively, they should not only be focused on just the score, but also on where the most consistent threats lie within the culture of an organization. Identifying your biggest weaknesses will ultimately be your greatest strength. It’s key to evaluate how the results differ quarter over quarter, or year over year. There are big ups and downs happening especially now with changes in how we work, and the mistake that companies often make with engagement surveys is simply looking at the scores, without evaluating their individual significance. What you should be assissing is that if you are in the 85 percentile or above, this would indicate a healthy and profitable culture, but if you’re in the 70 percent range or below, then there’s work to be done.
- Assess What Makes Up Your DNA
To elaborate even further on the point above, while engagement surveys are a vital indicator of where a company culture stands, often, it’s just a false check. Engagement surveys don’t tell us what a given company is really good at, and how effectively they deliver on that. However, having an Employee Value Proposition and Employee Promise, and measuring on how consistently you deliver on what you say you’re going to deliver on, is. Over the years, companies have made the mistake of trying to check off this multilist of being excellent at everything and have fallen short. That’s why knowing the ethos and DNA of your company, and what you’re going to stand for and deliver on is better than any survey ever will be. This is done through a strong Employer Value Proposition.
- Recognize Who Your Cheerleaders Are
Looking at your employee net promoter score is a solid indicator of how loyal your employees are, and how willing they are to act as ambassadors who would recommend and refer to your organization both as a place to work and a place to shop or do business. If you’re doing well on those things, then your company culture is an active tool in driving profitability and revenue market share.
- Don’t Just Talk the Talk; Walk the Walk.
There can be a lot of frustration within an organization because of how the results are not utilized in a constructive way to implement change. As an example, if scores have fallen dramatically, many employers make the mistake of deciding not to share this information with the company publicly, the company which only causes further disengagement, and a lack of trust. You’ve asked them to take their time to give you feedback, then don’t take the time to share what it means for them as an employee.There’s a feedback loop that needs to be provided and committed to, and employers have to deliver that consistently, because employees aren’t forgiving when it comes to a lack of transparency.
- Like Everything Else In Life, Actions – and Non-Action – Has Consequences.
With a lack of a clear strategy that defines what your business stands for, organizations often end up in a scenario where they need to crisis manage potential employer brand threats that can cause significant reputation issues. These effects span not only to employees and prospective job seekers, but also to consumers, and that can be extremely costly to recover from. This prevents an organization from having a clear path that defines the kind of successful behaviours, programs and leadership that they will want to have in place.
- Think: Big Picture
It’s important to have a big picture strategy and vision of who you want to be. Identifying who you are today, recognize where the gaps are, and create tactics to get you where you’re headed.
- The Outcome of a Great Company Culture is Only Positive
They often talk about how great leaders are the ones who help create a clear vision for a company. Even taking a look at COVID-19: engagement levels initially went up for most employees because leaders were involved, talking to their employees, and clearly communicating what needed to happen. A leader should be able to clearly articulate who you’re becoming and what will be in it for everybody else who gets behind that. Employers have a bunch of ambassadors and people that are working to promote you, and we’re seeing that the share of voice that talent drives in the market space is almost as valuable as the brand marketing in the corporate advertising. When you have a very clear culture that is easy to articulate, employees will consistently strive to deliver better. When that vision isn’t clear, and you aren’t delivering anything in your bag, you’re not going to get the most talented, loyal, and driven people
- Make it a Team Effort
From an organization perspective, a lot of the problem with not being able to establish a great company culture is because the organization relies on Human Resources to own the success of it. As a subsequent result, the rest of management tend to take far less ownership of how they’re being measured, and fall short on their promises.
It’s imperative that all managers go through the necessary training it takes to identify what Employer Brand is, what their Value Propositions are, and how people can deliver on it more consistently, constructively and give recognition to their teams where it is due. One manager who’s not on board can cause a whole sentiment share of voice in the marketplace that can really negatively impact your reputation. It is important to consistently and publicly communicate this information, as this will beget accountability.
- Keep it Up, and When Necessary, Optimize.
Implementing and maintaining a company culture is not a one-time activation. It’s an always on activation, that a company should articulate every week. Consistently reiterating a company’s culture is an opportunity to potentially share great stories and wins that will ultimately create good morale for employees. This is not just about the HR team using their findings for themselves, but using it as a tool for the growth and investment of their employees and leadership as a whole. The goal is to shift the thinking from being about telling everybody what has happened, to what that opportunity may mean for their own career path.
To learn more and to keep a tab on company culture best practices, or for additional research insights or inquiries on how to build an award-winning employer brand, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Stacy Parker at 647-308-2352.