Five Important Questions To Ask Yourself About Your COMPANY CULTURE
Employee engagement and company culture go hand in hand; a positive culture drives engagement, while a negative one can destroy it. But have you ever thought about the impact that your culture has on your ability to attract the right talent and the right customers? Like it or not, your company culture means everything when it comes to the success of your bottom line.
How Your Company Culture Is Defined…
Your company’s culture is defined by the values, beliefs, and experiences that a team co-creates when they come together at work. Everything from how information is shared with employees, how decisions are made, how people interact with each other and how the company shows appreciation, exemplifies your company’s culture. Is your culture the kind that keeps employees engaged and helps drive business success, or is it the kind that drives people away and prevents them from finding true joy and productivity in their work?
One of the most powerful exercises I do with the teams I work with is a Team Culture Survey, where I ask everyone on the team to respond in writing to a series of questions about their company culture. Whether this is done anonymously or not is irrelevant – it’s about giving everyone on the team a voice, an opportunity to respond:
- What is important about the culture of our business?
- When our clients come to our office, what do they experience when they walk in the door?
- What sets our business apart from our competitors?
- What are we “famous” for?
- What are the biggest internal threats to our organization’s existence?
- What’s working well with the team right now? (Successes – “wins”)
- What is not happening in our team right now? (Where are you feeling “stuck?”)
- What does the business need?
What inspires me most about a team’s individual responses to these questions is the common themes that emerge, which speak volumes to the strength of the company’s culture. Teams with a strong company culture answer these questions in unison, as if they sat down together to complete this exercise. And teams with a struggling company culture are fragmented, with brief and/or few responses. I know before I pull a team together live via Zoom to talk through the responses whether or not the company culture is strong, or whether it’s struggling. And creating a Team Culture Statement together, talking through the team responses in full transparency, staying curious and giving everyone an opportunity to share and expand on the responses, is the only way to help a team articulate their truth, their values and their beliefs, their “WHY”. This exercise can transform a team and allow the team to co-create a culture that will support them and help them thrive.
Here are 5 Questions to ask yourself about your company culture:
- Does your company have a clearly articulated purpose or mission? And most importantly, do your employees know what that purpose is and the role they play in bringing that purpose or mission to life? This is a critical component to long-term employee engagement.
- Does your company have a set of beliefs and values that are honored? This is the cornerstone to your culture. If you haven’t taken the time to identify these things through input from your team, it will be impossible to articulate your culture. And without a clear set of beliefs and values, it can be hard to make important company decisions when it comes to people and strategy.
- Do you have a standard process for attracting the right talent and developing your people? Aligning talent and creating a professional development plan for everyone in your company deeply impacts the company culture. No one wants to work for a stagnant company where their talent isn’t being leveraged and there is no opportunity for growth.
- How are decisions made, and changes managed? Can your people count on you and other team managers for guidance, training and support? Strong leadership with clear guidelines at all levels of an organization sets the tone for managing the many shifts and changes that take place in every organization.
- How are you measuring employee engagement? There is no way to determine if your company culture is positively impacting your business and customers if you don’t have measurement processes in place. This goes way beyond performance reviews, this is about ongoing feedback and dialogue about the company culture being honored.
The bottom line is that all employees want to work in an environment where their talent, skills and beliefs align with their work, so they can find joy and fulfillment in their career. When you have a strong company culture and know what you stand for and WHY these things are important, you will begin talking about them with clients, colleagues and potential new team members. And most importantly, you will see productivity soar through the roof because of improved employee engagement. It’s about alignment and purpose. And when you get it right, it’s like magic.
This is the first of six in a series of Leadership Lessons that I will be posting over the next few weeks…
Whether you are looking for coaching or you would like help with a team event…
call me direct at (425) 241-4855.
I look forward to talking with you!