Hey, haven’t we discussed this before? This is a Vitru lookback article, where we build off learnings from years and trends past. Sometimes we’ll discover that our workplace trends were right on the money; other times we may see that our musings around talent management and company culture predictions were a little off. Either way from team alignment to personality assessments, here’s a look back at some of our greatest content.
Today we tackle a no-BS approach to building culture.
Company culture is organic. It’s not bought, it’s not manufactured. A true company culture is grown slowly and naturally by the people who work for it, and is unique to every company. Actions, decisions and personalities come together to produce something greater than the token ping-pong table to mean something real to customers and employees. So how do we cut through the bullshit and create a culture worth something? An entire company overhaul is not the quickest way nor is the best. Simple steps, even acknowledging the role it plays can start to turn around your company in ways you never thought of.
“Determine what behaviors and beliefs you value as a company, and have everyone live true to them. These behaviors and beliefs should be so essential to your core, that you don’t even think of it as culture.”– Brittany Forsyth, VP of Human Relations, Shopify
Just Say No to Butts in Seats
As much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions. A well-oiled team of A-Players can be disrupted fast with the bombardment of an outsider. An outsider, no matter how big a role, automatically brings personality traits, work habits and professional goals that impact the culture. Every team member is either strengthening or poisoning your culture, and you don’t want to be stuck sans antidote.
Know your culture inside and out to align the hire with it culturally, not just to put a butt in a seat. Not sure? Susan Fontana, a regional vice president in the Boston office of Manpower, recommends hiring a potential employee on a temp-to-hire or temp-to-permanent basis in order to evaluate the individual on-the-job, essentially creating a “trial-period” to see if the company is a good fit for the employee and vice versa.
When you’re desperate to fill a role you are very rarely going to make an excellent hiring decision. When you try to sell a job as all candy canes and unicorns, someone’s going to end up with a horn in their rear. It’s just not realistic. You may be doing something you love (I am!) but it’s still going to be hard work if you want to do it well and continue to improve.
Look for a Long-Term Relationship
A culture is more than a way to invigorate and retain employees. The values and personality of a company affects how your employees deal with a key stakeholder in your business: your customers. Overall service experience gets its roots from culture itself.
Are you noticing more flighty communication habits, or the level of quality slipping? Well, your clients are too. Start nipping the little things now and plan on how to refocus your team soon. Slow the funnel, look at the numbers or call a meeting to thoroughly go through the issues before proceeding forward with business-as-usual.
“Ask your customers to be part of the solution, and don’t view them as part of the problem. “-Alan Weiss, Author “Million Dollar Consulting”
No Shame in This Game
Do you have employees of 3+ years that haven’t yet liked the company facebook page? A true social employer brand seeps out of employee interaction and promotion. I recently had a CEO come to me and ask how to get his employees involved on social media. I was flummoxed. While some may decry it as fake and forced, I insist that my employees jump on the bandwagon of social. After all, if they don’t believe in your culture, why are they there? If your employees balk at sharing work things (on work networks like LinkedIn or a company twitter handle) then you need to ask yourself, why?
“If you’re not ashamed of your paycheck, you should be on social media talking about your workplace.” – @MarenHogan, CEO of Red Branch Media
If they are, maybe they should find another place to work. Assessing for this early on will help avoid confrontations. Other ways to ensure your employees will wear their company pride with…pride? Mention this responsibility (and privilege) in your job advertisements, online and during the interviews.
Treat Employees Like Clients
A team grown from a strong culture can do incredible things. It can outperform the competition, lower turnover, boost morale and generate good will. A brag-worthy company culture doesn’t happen overnight, but little steps placed one-after-another quickly add up to miles and miles. Try this: For every client gift, dinner and recognition, make sure you do the same for your workforce.
Peers and camaraderie are the #1 reason employees go the extra mile– not money.
True team-alignment goes deeper than a battle-cry. It takes data, maybe a bit of luck and frankly, hard work. Let Vitru show you how your culture is broken down and build up through the personalities and work cultures of your employees. Cut through the bullshit to build something that matters with our free assessment tool, Vitru Compare.
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