Culture means different things to different people. Some feel if employees are provided “perks” or great benefits, it will keep them happy and engaged. Unfortunately, companies begin to lose great employees because they didn’t spend the time get to know them or implement ways to understand what is really important to them. Culture is about how someone feels about the work they do, the company they work for and the people they work with everyday. What can you do?
Create an environment of open conversation, allowing employees to share their ideas and concerns. Prior to the meeting, let them know what the meeting is all about and make sure they understand, it’s their time. Reassure them that their feedback will not have negative consequences. Create a list of open-ended questions to ask and keep track of their responses. Follow-up with them on their feedback so they know you took action. Most importantly, listen more than talk.
As leaders, we make a lot of decisions. Many times without involving the very people they affect. Provide an environment that allows employees to participate in the decision making process.
A good way to do that is by creating committees. Give each group one topic to tackle. Have them come up with ideas that can improve a process or implement a new idea and present it to the management team. It’s a great team building exercise too!
Hire Based on Culture
When an employee leaves, it can be tough on other team members but also tough on the organization. All of the knowledge and experience leaves with them.
Take the time when interviewing candidates to uncover who they are and how they will fit within your team. They could look perfect on paper but may miss the mark when it comes to culture. Having a great culture doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time, but implementing this into your hiring process will begin to build a great culture.
Communication has always been a big complaint by employees. As much as you think you share, it’s not enough. Sometimes you can’t share everything, however by talking to employees on a regular basis, you will find out what interests them, issues they are experiencing or what concerns them.
Implement daily standup meetings in every department. Every team could use a quick group meeting to talk about issues they are experiencing or a problem they see. The entire team will be made aware of issue and potentially solve it right then. Monthly company meetings are another great way to share information. Appoint team members to share wins or talk about a project.
We need high performing teams so we can hit our goals. This starts with understanding the people who work for us. Employees who feel respected, listened to and recognized, are happier at their jobs and will perform at that high level you expect.
Show them you care about them as humans. Ask them about a big project or on a personal level, where they went on vacation. Implement ways to recognize them. Create a “Shout-Out” board for everyone to see. Employees can recognize each other, then take a vote on one that is outstanding. Recognize that person or team in a company meeting. Give them a little something special for their hard work.
By implementing a few small things, you can see big results.