A company’s culture is its personality. It’s what differentiates one company from another. It dictates how a company operates both directly and indirectly since it determines how employees respond to the way leaders spearhead a company and what initiatives the company has to motivate its employees. It also affects all the objectives of the entire company as a whole, as well as its action plans. The team culture in the workplace also sets the dynamic of the entire company. It’s not at all surprising when the topic of company culture comes up during employee applications or exit interviews. Having a clear notion of the company’s culture can help an employee determine whether they fit in the company or not — as well as how the company takes care of its employees. It then becomes an integral factor in choosing whether the company is worth working for.
With the talent market becoming more competitive than ever, business leaders and employers need to realize that a majority of the reasons why people quit their jobs has something to do with the company’s culture whether it’s due to lack of upward mobility for their own career development, they’re not feeling engaged through learning new skills, and others. This means that in reality, all these reasons are within the company’s control.
Now, with the varying needs of industries, it’s inevitable for different companies to have different types of corporate culture. No matter what type of culture a company might have, here are a few things that all companies can do to create a culture that employees want to stay in:
Taking the first steps with changing company culture
Changing the company culture starts first and foremost with an assessment. Deciding to change the culture within a company isn’t just some simple solution brought up to solve one single problem within the company. Rather, changing the company culture becomes necessary when the company needs to solve a multitude of problems concerning the system of the company itself. Is the attrition rate of the company taking a turn for the worse? Are more employees complaining about dissatisfaction with their work? Perhaps there are more and more cases of conflict between co-workers. While there’s no single formula that merits the need to start making changes within the company with regards to its culture, these are good indicators that the company needs to work on its culture. After noticing these problems, the company needs to look within itself to determine what needs work and only then should they decide to move forward with the transition.
No matter what type of corporate culture your company might currently have, shifting cultures definitely won’t happen overnight. Whether the shift is badly needed or called for due to industry changes, it’s expected that there will be friction during the process.
It could come from older employees who refuse to stray from the tried and tested — or it could come from those who simply don’t understand the need for the change in the first place. Still, it is important to keep an open mind and see things from their point of view, allowing leaders to be able to better explain the call for action.
To ease the transition, it is important to meet with the leaders of the company, especially those who work closely with their constituents and define the new desired values and behaviors. Processes and strategies moving forward would work best if they are aligned with the new desired culture. It’s ideal for the company’s brand to be aligned too. Guide the company’s employees by selecting measurable objectives. And of course, to motivate the employees, it helps for business’ leaders to be at the forefront for advocating such changes.
All in all, shifting your company’s culture will take time and might not immediately show its outcomes but if done right, the benefits of changing will definitely become apparent. Leaders might see it in their employees’ productivity and overall satisfaction at first, and then in the company’s retention rate.
Examine your vision, mission statement, and company values
A company’s mission and vision statements serve two roles. It gives anyone from the outside looking in a picture of how the company wants to be perceived. It also serves as a destination and standard for the company’s employees.
Company values, on the other hand, serve as a guide for employees while they conduct everyday activities involving the company. But while the mission and vision statements of a company are easily reflected in its goals, objectives, and action points, the company values might not be easily practiced within the company culture.
While all these three together should determine the identity of the company, a closer look at its company culture might reveal various habits, attitudes, and other phenomena that clash with the company values, creating dissonance and dissatisfaction in employees.
In an ideal business, these statements and the company culture are all aligned. All employees are attuned to the objectives and values of the company. However, situations aren’t always this perfect.
To get a picture of whether the team culture in the workplace is aligned with the needs of the company, one should look into how the employees perceive these statements, especially the company’s core values. Do they find the company values relevant to the mission and vision statements? Do they use the company values as a guide when it comes to business decisions? Can they relate to said values? If not, then it’s definitely worth your time to examine the values along with what‘s going on in your company that creates the misalignment between your company’s chosen objectives and its employees.
Are the statements out of date? Especially with the business’ current goals and role in society? In the industry? Or are the employees simply having a hard time relating to the core values of the company? If so, business leaders should either revise their company values to better reflect the current goals and objectives of the company or encourage their employees to go back to the company’s core values through reorientation and further training.
Cultivate and promote a learning organization
One of the biggest reasons an employee stays in a company is for the opportunity to learn and grow that the company provides. Linkedin’s survey has it even ranked higher than getting a raise or being promoted when it comes to inspiring employees to stay. These opportunities to learn and grow are what makes work more meaningful as well as equip employees with the necessary skills for their career development in an ever-evolving industry. Businesses can address this priority by encouraging learning within their organization and providing avenues for further training. These avenues include but are not limited to training workshops, seminars, even online courses, and webinars.
Employers don’t even have to look outside their company to create more learning and development opportunities for their employees. Employers can also provide mentorship and coaching programs that connect veterans and higher-ups with newer employees. This helps satisfy the employees’ need to learn, while also ensuring the transfer of knowledge within the company.
Alongside these learning opportunities, companies can also promote essential skills to create a learning team culture in the workplace. These skills include but are not limited to communication skills, collaboration, decision-making, and versatility. Hand in hand with available learning opportunities, these skills help mold employees into adaptable agents who are less likely to become overwhelmed with the rapidly changing demands and trends within the industry.
Lastly, companies can now use corporate LMSs (Learning Management Systems) to deliver learning content for their employees whether they opt for personalized courses, tailored to the needs of the company and its employees or for ready-made online courses accessible to the company’s constituents with just a click of a button.
Use technology to improve the employee experience.
The beauty and curse of technology is that it bleeds into everywhere. Information has now become readily available for most people with internet connection inside or outside the office. However, the company can use technology to its advantage by utilizing relevant technological advancements to create more efficient processes and procedures within the company. Are there better equipment or programs that ease the job of your employees, while creating faster and more accurate results? Then consider investing in these new advancements in technology to keep your company competitive.
Technology has also revolutionized the way employees communicate. With various tools such as Slack, Trello, and many more, information and real-time status of deliverables that are valuable to the team are made readily available to anyone who might need them.
This creates a culture of transparency and accountability wherein more collaborative teams are given the chance to provide their own input and suggestions. This way providing and receiving feedback from managers and to employees alike are made easier, giving them more avenues for communication, and proactive corrective measures.
Technology has also vastly improved training and learning within the company as LMSs are made available, as well as independent online training courses and modules.
With all of this in consideration, technology can give the company culture the flexibility that employees crave as working outside the confines of the typical office hours becomes possible. This would appeal to the whopping three-fourths of employees which a 2018 Upwork Future Workforce Report found to describe themselves as more productive when working at home. As more employees lean towards companies that can offer a good work-life balance, using technology to shift the company culture into something wherein this is possible would be ideal.
Become an agent for positive change
Millennials are losing faith in businesses with regard to their ability to create a positive impact on wider society. Only 37% of millennials believe businesses make a positive impact on the world, and 26% said they don’t trust business leaders as sources of reliable and accurate information. This creates mistrust between employers and employees as businesses lose sight of what’s important to Millennials and even Gen Zs alike.
Deloitte’s 2019 Millennial survey paints a great picture of the dissonance. For example, while 27% believe that businesses should be creating efforts to improve or protect the environment, only 12% believe that businesses are actually doing so. Likewise, 33% of the surveyed participants believe that businesses should enhance the livelihoods of their employees but only 16% can say that businesses actually manage to do so. This dissonance prohibits employees from finding meaning from their work. While the lack of meaningful work doesn’t make it into the top reasons why employees leave their jobs, it certainly affects how people choose the next companies they’ll work for. A PayScale survey found that the highest voted reason that attracted most people to a new organization is the opportunity to do more meaningful work.
What businesses can then do is start a conversation with their younger employees and enact plans that both meet the needs of the business and society, as well as acknowledge the employees’ own personal concerns. Becoming an active agent when it comes to positive societal change not only re-engages and inspires loyalty in a company’s millennial and Gen Z employees, it also makes for good branding and public relations.
While difficulties cannot be avoided, it’s important for business leaders to take a step back and look at their current company culture and call for a change if needed. It’s important for business leaders to be reminded that the reason why people work determines how well they work. At the end of the day, a company’s culture can set the motivation for its employees which can ensure its success or eventual downfall.
Looking into improving your company’s culture? You can start by using technology and integrating a learning experience platform to improve the training experience for employees and employers alike.
SkillBean provides companies in the Philippines a learning experience platform that allows employers to monitor and track employee learning development, aid in succession planning, and sourcing out potential in-house trainers, by providing a detailed profile complete with their learning history, progress, and behaviors.
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