Catherine Turco’s “The Conversational Firm,” is a book that gives readers a firsthand account of what it’s like to work at “Tech Co” (an alias for a fast-growing social media firm with over 600 employees). At one point, the company released a detailed “culture deck” to the public that defined its culture. However, many employees didn’t feel that the “deck” was a good representation and thought it was a stage performance more than anything meaningful. A situation like that can cause tension within a company, especially between executives and their employees.
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about how crucial organizational culture was to a company’s “branding.” However, it’s not a good look to showcase company culture inaccurately. Chances are, you already have some values laid out and a mission statement. However, you don’t want those carefully crafted words to just be words —you want them to have value, to have meaning. If you want to improve your employer branding and have happy and engaged employees check out some of the best ways to improve and maintain your company’s culture.
While this one seems obvious, it’s something a lot of managers slip up on. Suppose one of your organization’s core values is “Passion,” and every Monday morning, you come in and audibly complain about a project you have. In that case, chances are your employees won’t feel particularly inspired to be passionate about their own work. Besides embodying the core values yourself, work on being a role model employee—if you want your employees to complete tasks by their deadlines, complete your tasks on a deadline. If you want your employees to take responsibility for their mistakes, take responsibility for your own. An organization cannot have an ideal culture if their own leaders aren’t interested in maintaining it.
A successful company has leaders that have compassion and empathy for their employees and care for their success. One way to do that is by looking for signs of burnout or boredom with an employee's work. By looking out for your employees, you can help foster a culture where people feel comfortable and needed.
Think about it this way—every sports team has a culture. For example, UNC Basketball has created a winning culture. This is because of the help of a good but compassionate coach, a mix of seriously competitive players, and a combination of those who are less competitive but still are just as focused as everyone else. You want to create a culture in your company where each person has their own role in helping the company succeed. And you can’t do that without connecting your employees. It is crucial in the current remote work environment to continue to host team lunches, happy hours, or even just daily icebreakers that encourage non-work conversation. You likely already have an insanely talented team, all with different strengths, and if you want to lean into your company culture, you’ll want to connect them meaningfully. As the old saying goes, “There is strength in numbers.”
The golden rule is, “Treat others how you want to be treated.” In my opinion, the silver rule should be “Listen to each other.” Too often, an employee has dropped hints, signs, or even explicitly said that they are unhappy with their jobs, tasks, a project, a client, or a co-worker. If you want to create a culture where everyone feels valued, make sure to listen to your employees’ concerns. If they are unhappy with something, it will likely reflect in their work, whether they do so intentionally or not.
Nothing kills company culture like employees who are stuck doing unproductive and unengaging work. It’s hard to speak highly of a company when you feel like the work you are doing is meaningless. To keep this from happening to your company, consider a People Intelligence Platform like Peoplelogic. Peoplelogic has solutions for all of your teams, from Engineering to Sales, to make sure growth and productivity aren’t going stagnant and uses aggregate data from your platforms to help make decisions quickly and timely- saving your employees from doing meaningless or inefficient work.
Company culture can make or break a company, and the last thing you want to do is to be parading around a “culture” that isn’t reflective of what’s actually going on.
In this guide, you will find:
- OKR principles
- Formulas & scores
- OKR methodology
- Step-by-step guide
- Free OKR templates
- Common mistakes
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