When it comes to progressive and growing brands and their employees, culture is king. “Company culture” has quickly risen through the ranks of business buzzwords and with good reason. Unemployment is at a rare low, and in a job-seekers market, companies have to stand out more than ever. It takes a special kind of work environment to not only attract but retain top talent. A curated culture in the office can be the difference between a productive, cohesive team and expensive turnover and low morale. But what exactly makes a good company culture?
Executives and leaders are rushing to embrace the idea of culture in the workplace, but they don’t always understand what it means or how to create it. Not surprisingly, asking employees themselves can shed some much-needed light on how to spruce up the synergy in a business. At Listen360, we’ve been working with employee feedback for over 10 years with companies like Orangetheory Fitness and Sport Clips. Our findings boil down to 3 main areas that make a company culture exceptional.
Most companies have some sort of mission statement, and odds are, yours does too. How many employees can recite it? How many of them can relate to it? Your goals, message, and tenets should not only convey your intentions towards your customers but should include the type of relationships and aspirations you hope to achieve within the company.
Employees don’t want to hear where you want them to take you, they want to know where you’re all going together. Establishing a mission statement that encompasses the advancement of the company, the individual, and the brand family–which includes customers–is important to morale and a sense of purpose.
Your employees work hard, and recognition will go a long way. Naturally, when asked what would make them happier at work, employee polls listed compensation, but a lot of intangible and idealistic things showed up as well. Sharing positive feedback from customers–especially about specific employees–will boost morale and even improve interactions with customers. Many successful brands use some variation of a “scoreboard,” and share wins throughout the company to promote the accomplishments of various teams.
Respect and recognition from superiors polled very high among employees asked about improvements in the workspace, so keep this in mind when deciding how to best recognize them. Sometimes, merit and worth come from feeling heard and feeling like a contributor. Practicing better listening skills, asking for ideas from all parts of the company, and actively collecting feedback about the work environment all show that you care and value your employees.
Right up there with respect and value is a sense of purpose. Engaged, loyal employees feel like they can build a career and a life within your company. Each individual has interests, talents, and aspirations, and it’s important to learn and support these. Providing the resources necessary for employees to not only succeed in daily tasks but to fulfill personal development can be the difference between a 10-year tenure and someone looking for the next best gig.
Developmental workshops, special projects, and open brainstorming meetings can shake out exactly what your employees want to do and what it will take to get them there. Maybe one team member has a penchant for videography or graphic design. See if you can work that skill into a marketing campaign or some sort of internal application. Room to grow and plenty of support will have a drastic effect on the company as a whole.