Over the last few years, company culture has been a hot topic in corporate America. Companies geared towards Millennials tout game rooms and espresso machines, and most companies are having serious discussions about how to create the right atmosphere. Ask any manager trying to recruit talent, and they will tell you that culture matters. A few bad reviews on an employment website, and talent will look right past your company for one with a “great culture.” So how do you create the right culture to attract top talent? And more importantly, how do you get your current employees, and most importantly, your leaders, to buy into that culture?
Getting Your Employees to "Buy-In" to Company Culture
Before you can create a winning company culture, you need to define what your company culture is now. What attracts new hires to your company? And what keeps veteran employees with your company? Both of these are essential aspects of company culture, and the only way to find out is to ASK.
Round up the newest hires in several different departments and ask some questions about what made them want to work for you? What do they like so far? What would they change? Now, do the same with your veteran employees. Their answers will give you some insight into your current culture and what could be improved.
Finding your Culture Sherpas
Now that you have a place to start, get your culture team together. Ask for volunteers from a cross-section of your company who want to help with your company’s culture brand. What is most important to your employees? Group outings may be leaderships idea of creating culture, but if your employees would rather more flexibility is scheduling their workday, endless outings are not going to be the magic wand that improves culture. What are the "hot button" items that your team needs and desires to be happy?
It's All About Buy-In
Once you have established the culture you want to create and your culture team has mapped out the steps to get there, now comes the hard part. Creating buy-in. In a recent webinar I attended, the speaker made the shocking pronouncement that company culture is a myth. Wait, what?! His point was that each market, location, and manager will create a slightly different culture, and each employee will react slightly differently.
So, what is vital to create a company culture that will transcend differing locations and personalities? Clear guidelines and buy-in. If one manager is all-in and tries to create a great work environment and another manager shrugs and says, “it’s a passing phase,” and ignores culture suggestions, their teams are going to have very different experiences and takes on company culture. Creating a culture that company employees, leaders, and team members see as meaningful is key to having changes implemented.
A great company culture based on the needs of your whole company is vital to creating inspired, productive employees and retaining those employees. It’s worth the effort!
Learn about The Center for Sales Strategy's Company Culture here!