Company culture is a powerful way to complement your business strategy. It can boost retention rates, enhance productivity, and create a more powerful drive towards growth. In fact, in a recent survey, 67% of respondents claimed company culture to be even more important than strategy and operations.1 But, for company culture to truly thrive, leadership teams need to be equipped with the knowledge and understanding of how to align their workforce with business goals while providing them with a sense of deeper purpose. So, how can you enhance leadership views on culture to positively impact employee experience? By focusing on a few critical factors.
Company culture is what shapes the behaviors and attitudes within an organization. It can include everything from compensation and benefits, technology, communication, development, training, feedback, management style and various networks within the company. It’s how a business operates, how employees interact and how individuals are motivated to work towards long-term goals.
Although one could assume that culture really isn’t any different from simply performing job duties, it tends to foster a stronger, more personal bond amongst employees that acts as intrinsic motivation. In fact, according to a recent study, businesses with a healthy company culture are about 1.5 times more likely to experience revenue growth of more than 15 percent over three years and more than 2.5 times more likely to report notable stock price increases over three years.2 Although it requires some effort to define and sustain, company culture is worth the investment.
One of the best ways to foster a strong company culture is to make sure that your leadership team is equipped with the tools and the understanding necessary to lead by example. To help you get your leadership team, and the rest of your workforce, excited about company culture, consider the following tips.
Before you can help your leadership team get excited about company culture, you must decide how you want to define it. It should be the embodiment of your organization’s mission and core values, which can sometimes be difficult to establish. When developing your culture, seek perspective from a diverse group of employees to obtain input. Spend time noting those perspectives and revisiting them as you continue to grow. Look to desired behaviors that align with business goals and desired outcomes. Consider different behaviors that would inspire you on a day-to-day basis. Then, pair these answers with your long-term goals to try and determine the best company culture for your needs.
Leadership onboarding may need to emphasize additional onboarding considerations in addition to the considerations of employee onboarding. Specifically, you may want to put a bigger emphasis on the company culture alongside your core values and mission. From an employees’ standpoint, their leadership team is a direct representation of the organization and should embody company culture. Therefore, many businesses may want to integrate intensive education and onboarding activity revolving around company culture during those first few months.
However, as many people know all too well, time and the pressures of day-to-day tasks can muddle the big picture. Leadership refreshers in the form of training, meetings, and leadership-building activities are a great way to help ensure that your team is prepared to mirror certain behaviors, company values and organizational culture to their teams. Ideally, leaderships should undergo learning and development to refresh their understanding of company culture every three to four years. Any time your business decides to update core values or mission, undergo rebranding or adapt internal culture, a meeting should be held.
Keeping everyone up to date on best practices can help your leadership team adequately reflect company culture to their subordinates or colleagues. This can provide leadership with more information on how to support their team and the best ways to communicate. By integrating company culture best practices into your day-to-day operations, your organization will start to feel more cohesive.
88% of professionals find that the actions of their leadership team affect the overall company culture of an organization in some degree.3 This means that you need to be diligent about how your leaders are communicating with their employees, how they handle stress or potential failures in the workplace and how they allocate their resources amongst their team. Their actions tend to have a ripple effect amongst their staff, which could either make or break your company culture.
Leaders should acknowledge a mistake and discuss options to handle the situation differently in the future. They should not be blaming their team for their shortcomings, which is why performance reviews amongst leadership are just as important as those held for employees. When leaders are held accountable to their actions, it shows their employees that they have integrity, which is important for many employees within an organization.
Your leadership team should feel confident and comfortable enough to look at their behaviors and take responsibility if they’re not acting in line with your company culture. To help support this process, practice self-awareness and consider rewarding leaders who work with emotional intelligence and accountability. If a team is struggling to accomplish a goal or meet a deadline, leaders should consider their own actions to see if they could make improvements regarding communication, modeling behaviors and mirroring the company culture.
Professional development includes more than just fine-tuning skills. You should consider incorporating opportunities for leadership teams to learn how to highlight your company culture in creative ways. Consider attending networking events with leaders of other companies, so your team can network or lead engagement on social media channels or provide opportunities for them to participate in speaking events within the community. Learning how to communicate on behalf of the organization can help both personal and professional development align with your company’s core values.
A strong management team leads by example. If you want your workforce to resonate with your culture, consider planning regular company-wide volunteer days at an organization that aligns with your mission. This can help establish the importance of your company’s values and show your workforce that everyone has a part in bringing those values to life. However, you’ll want to make sure that when volunteering, leadership and employees are working together. Otherwise, this may create an even larger divide where your team may feel marginalized both in and out of the office.
This type of volunteer event can also help improve employee relationships with their colleagues and their leadership team. Stronger relationships tend to translate to higher employee engagement and satisfaction, which can lead to increased productivity, stronger retention and better overall performance.
In addition to volunteer days that align with your company’s values, consider adding other companywide activities that give your team a chance to bond. This could include regular events, holiday parties or even quarterly team building events, both in-person and virtual. In doing so, you can provide a less formal environment for employees and leadership teams to bond, which could help further inclusivity within the office. Just be mindful of when these events are scheduled to avoid the opposite effect.
Building a strong company culture isn’t going to happen overnight, even if you have the most dedicated leadership team in the world. You will want to show every employee that your actions align with your values and mission statement, not just once but every day. This is going to require some time alongside dedication from the appropriate members of your organization. In fact, company culture is one thing that should always be evolving and improving, so try not to focus on time-restrained deadlines. Instead, consider giving your leadership teams the tools they need to help nurture your company culture among their work force. You don’t have to do everything at once, but putting in the effort to improve every day can lead to tremendous long-term benefits.
As company culture has gotten increasingly important, many organizations are looking for ways to make improvements fast. However, it may be hard to reset a culture that’s been cultivated for years. Instead, focus on improving the employee experience and getting your leadership excited about instilling your core values into their everyday practice. Although some aspects of improving company culture are free, others may require an initial investment. However, it’s a small price to pay for the long-term benefits that will follow. To help you improved company culture, partner with TriNet.
With TriNet, SMBs can gain access to premium benefits alongside a variety of voluntary benefits. Learn more about how TriNet can help support your journey towards improving company culture today.
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