Chances are, if you think your company needs a shift in company culture, you’ve done the hard part already. Taking a look at your existing culture and assessing the need for change is difficult and not for the faint of heart. So now that you’ve recognized the need for change here are a few tips for where to begin creating lasting, meaningful change.
Focus on communication
Communication is a big part of great company cultures, and is a pillar of successful organizations. If you don’t know how your employees are feeling or what they’re doing (and vice-versa) because no one is talking, creating a solid communication foundation is a great first step.
- Start a daily, company-wide briefing (if you practice SCRUM, this should sound familiar!). If your team is on the small side, give everyone a few minutes to chat about their successes and challenges for the day. If your team is larger, appoint a few people to speak on a shifting schedule so that everyone has the opportunity to be heard. Your team will better understand each other’s work day, and it fosters teamwork if someone can help with a challenge.
- Understand HOW your employees communicate. Have your employees take something like a DISC assessment, and share those results with your entire team. Your team will benefit from a better understanding of how their coworkers operate— it leads to better relationships and more effective, empathetic communication.
- Enlist the help of a survey tool so employees can submit anonymous feedback. This seems scary at first, but allows employees to give you some candid feedback that they may not be comfortable sharing face to face or over a chat. A tool like this builds trust, and addresses challenges that otherwise go unnoticed and lead to headaches down the road. We like Officevibe here at Kin.
What are we working towards?
Is your company mission clear? Do your employees know how their work ladders up to that mission? There is loads of research that shows that employees feel more satisfied at work when they understand how their work impacts the company’s mission, and ladders up to company-level objectives. The impacts of defining a mission and making sure your employees are aligned and working towards that mission reach far beyond employee satisfaction.
- Craft your company mission. Your mission statement should be what your business focus is. Mission statements are crystal clear and shared early and often. Kin’s mission, for example, is to improve the employee experience at organizations of all sizes.
- Set your company’s objectives. Company objectives are goals that the entire company’s work ladders up to. For example, one of your company objectives could be to increase revenue by $10,000 this year. Your employee’s objectives should, then, work towards that company objective.
- Help employees understand how their work fulfills your company’s mission by setting employee objectives. Employees should be able to draw a direct line from their own contributions to the success of the company. Using the example of the objective from above, an employee’s objective should be directly associated with work they’re doing to increase the company’s revenue (for example: “Streamline our credit card processing page”).
Take a break.
This may seem like a small step, but paid time-off is proven to have huge impacts in employee wellness, performance, and job satisfaction— all good things for great company culture. So, are your employees taking time-off?
- Take a look at your time-off utilization often, and see whether or not your employees are getting away from work regularly. Using too much or too little time-off can be great indicators of your employee’s overall wellbeing. Maybe your employee is feeling like they’re on an island and simply cannot give their duties to someone else for a few days, or maybe you have someone on the verge of burning out and they’re taking a lot of time away. If you don’t know what your time-off utilization looks like, we have a tool for that.
- Encourage your employees to take breaks, and practice what you preach. We’ve all been on vacation that gets interrupted with a work issue that derails an entire day. When your employees are out, make it a team effort to not contact them. It helps team members flex their problem solving skills and expose any gaps in your workforce. As a leader, when it’s your turn to step away from work, set a good example by truly being away from work; trust begets trust.
Recognizing the need for change in your company culture is the hardest part of this journey. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but hopefully these tips can be a step towards a great company culture.
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