Companies today talk a lot about their culture and the types of people they hire. In fact, you probably have a sense that your organization is all about its corporate culture, values, and personality. But what do these terms really mean?
Defining your company culture is an important part of attracting new employees and retaining a skilled workforce. A cohesive brand will attract qualified candidates and will also help retain them once they are hired. While the purpose of your company's culture shouldn’t be to dissuade good candidates from applying, there are ways to ensure that your brand is defined in a way that fits with your organization’s culture.
1. What are your core values?
The first tip to crafting a truly effective culture is to make sure that your PEOPLE, PRACTICES, and PRODUCTS are all in line with your values. We live in a day and age in which people are looking for more than just a paycheck. Companies that can cater to the needs of their people are often rewarded with exceptional customer service, increased productivity, and better candidate retention. When a company culture leads by example to create meaningful change and inspire its employees, both the company culture and brand as a whole hold value for potential candidates and customers.
2. Create a culture committee.
In a day and age when multitasking reigns supreme, it's easy to see how the role of culture can be overlooked. Just as there are best practices for creating an employee experience, employing a strategic process for crafting your culture is the key to demonstrating to your candidates why they should want to work for you. A culture committee plays a key and central role in creating a long-lasting corporate culture strategy. And it all starts with a clearly established mission.
One of the first steps in this process is to sit down as a group and determine what working at your organization looks like. This committee should be a small representation of your entire company. You want to encourage honest feedback in a timely manner. Ask your top performers to put their culture glasses on. How are we doing? Does our end consumer feel the same culture our leaders are trying to project?
3. Host a weekly team meeting.
Constantly keeping in touch with your organization's directors, managers, and leaders allow you to gain insight into how they want your organization to be viewed. This is the time for you to listen and learn. What does your leadership team want? How can you provide them with the resources they need? Why is your business important? Take time to interview members of your leadership team and find out. Are there themes? What are your internal expectations?
These are great topics to bring up at weekly team meetings but do not forget about the crucial one-on-one time. If you create a culture of communication it will help foster the organic growth of your culture. Remember, we all THRIVE off feedback so please make sure you are listening as much as you are coaching!
4. Measure, manage and improve your culture.
Organizations spend millions of dollars each year building their employer's brand through advertising and recruiting. But, how well are those dollars spent? Are you getting an accurate picture of how all the departments within your organization see your culture? Have you surveyed your employees to get their perspectives? If not, now is the time to take this into consideration.
You can organize a meeting between HR, branding and communications teams, senior leadership, and representatives of departments or groups outside your department, as appropriate. The key is to gather perspectives on the employer brand that are grounded in the experience of your employees, no matter where they work.
5. Competitive analysis- Take a glance, not a deep dive.
Now that you have a clear idea of your culture, you should now take a look at how it compares to the competition. What do they do well? Where are their weaknesses? What could you do differently to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack and increase employee appeal? Market research can help you understand how your branding stacks up against the competition, and which core values resonate the most with the current and prospective talent pool.
If you are working with an agency, ask your partners how you stack up against the competition. One of the key factors we cover at HC-Resource on our discovery calls with a potential client is culture. We are all moving through unprecedented times, the brands that are continuing to grow are always putting culture first.
Ultimately, there are many aspects of a company's culture that can be defined. However, you have to understand that your culture is something people don't necessarily realize they're experiencing until they see it demonstrated in your business practices, interaction, and management styles. Implementing the steps above will help solidify your company culture, ensuring that your business grows into a well-oiled machine that your employees will be proud to be a part of for years to come!