Workplace Culture

Cultivating a Healthy Workplace Culture

What do your employees and clients experience when they walk inside your physical or virtual company doors? Whatever their experience is, your company culture is driving it. Company culture is simply the way a company gets things done. Cultivating a healthy workplace culture takes intentionality and consistency in developing and living out your company identity, having a successful talent strategy, communicating well, inspiring and engaging employees, building high performing teams, and having a leadership development plan. There are additional strategies that impact company culture. The ones we listed are, we believe, the most vital.

Developing and Living Out Your Company Identity

A company’s culture defines the appropriate way for leaders and employees to behave within the company and when representing the company. Company culture outlines values established by company leaders. These values are communicated to employees and demonstrated by the leaders throughout the company as well as employees. In other words, culture starts at the top. It shapes employees’ awareness, attitudes, and engagement.

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) states, “Organizational culture sets the context for everything an enterprise does.”

Initiating a healthy company culture includes:

  • Defining company values that align with the business strategy.
  • Communicating the values to employees.
  • Displaying the values throughout the company.
  • Creating steps for leaders and employees to be accountable for exhibiting company values.
  • Talk about the values, when appropriate, in your company meetings.

These strategies bring clarity and accountability. To strengthen your company culture even more, recognize when employees display behaviors reflective of the company culture and how it impacts the company’s success. Demonstrated behaviors of company values are great influencers for other employees! When company values are not followed, address them swiftly and provide discipline if necessary.

Having a Successful Talent Strategy

Finding and retaining skilled employees is a significant investment of time, resources, and money. Companies cannot afford to retain a wrong hire.

The Predictive Index’s 2020 State of Talent Optimization Report showed that having a successful talent strategy can be a differentiator for your business. People are your most expensive and most valuable asset. Yet, according to the Talent Optimization Report, only 33% of business and professional services companies have a talent strategy. So where do you start?

Here are some things to consider when working on your talent strategy:

  • Analyze the company for talent needs:
    • This includes defining role requirements for all positions, existing and new.
    • Find the people who fit those requirements.
    • Take the necessary actions to make changes as needed.
  • Strategize how the talent will be incorporated into the company while considering the company’s strategic plan.
  • Assign and write down your goals for accomplishing the talent needs.
  • Execute and measure.

Approaching your talent strategy with the idea that it is an investment rather than timely and costly will help you overcome the roadblocks that tend to occur when any new strategy is considered. Remember to start small and take it slow. Investing time in researching and planning your talent strategy will pay off in the long run. Clear Leader Group (CLG) has the perfect tool for you to create and implement your talent strategy!

Communicating Well

Forbes Advisor released its findings for The State of Workplace Communication In 2023 earlier this year and noted that poor communication had a significant impact on employees in many areas. The respondents noted that poor communication:

  • Impacted productivity: 49%.
  • Impacted job satisfaction: Nearly 50%.
  • Affected stress levels: 42%.
  • Reduced trust both in leadership and in their team: 40%.

Communication continues to be a top issue across all companies and whether it is done well or poorly, it has a huge impact on overall success.

Companies that communicate well exhibit these traits:

  1. Clearly communicate the company values consistently throughout the organization and everyone is expected to demonstrate them.
  2. Are as transparent as possible in communicating changes in a timely manner and sharing the “why,” if possible.
  3. Have regular 1:1s between managers and their employees.
  4. Resolve conflict swiftly and effectively.
  5. Ask for and listen to feedback from their employees.
  6. Provide feedback – positive and constructive critique – to their employees on a regular basis.
  7. Ensure all employees know and understand their roles and responsibilities.
Inspiring and Engaging Employees

Gallup research shows that when employees know and use their strengths, they are more engaged (nearly six times more), have higher performance, and are much less likely to leave their company. Managing every employee the same way is like expecting them all to wear the same size shoes to work every day and be comfortable in them.

Treating employees the way they want and need to be treated paves the way to inspiration and engagement where they don’t just show up for work because they “have to” but also because they “want to.”  Chuck Swindoll captures this idea perfectly in his quote:

“You can buy a person’s hands and feet (tell them where to be and what to do) but you cannot buy the two things you MUST have for success, their head and heart. These things are earned.”

A person’s head and heart represent their desire to work, passions, creativity, grit, and more. These employees have what we call ‘discretionary effort,’ meaning they look beyond just having to do their job by wanting to do their job and do it well.

How does this happen? Our team uses science to uncover a person’s drives and needs. When we know what drives a person, we can predict their needs and their behaviors. When managers know and understand how to treat their employees, their employees will be inspired to do their job well and become more engaged. CLG has the tools available that will allow you to develop communications and delivery methods tailored to the needs of your employees. Get started on this strategy today by contacting us.

Building High Performing Teams

Most companies have a wide variety of employees. They are different not only in terms of seniority, experience, functional expertise, and skillsets, but also in their natural behavioral preferences. For example, some employees may be naturally detail-oriented and prefer precise instructions, while others may prefer to work under less rigid guidelines and rules. Some employees thrive in teamwork while others prefer to work individually.

Here are strategies to consider in order to maximize team cohesion and effectiveness:

  • Know your team strategy.
  • Understand the behaviors and natural strengths of yourself and your employees.
  • Celebrate your balancers – those who are naturally skilled differently than the other team members.
  • Create flexibility and the ability to adapt to change for teams.
  • Measure team performance.
  • Recognize and reward the team.

Once you have identified what you are trying to achieve as a team, you can align the team members based on their behaviors and strengths. If your team is already in place and pursuing a new strategy, you can use your knowledge of understanding what superpower each team member brings to the team to achieve your goals.

The most vital characteristic to building a high performing team is service.

Simon Sinek’s video about High Performing Teams is a must watch. Please take the minute and twenty-two seconds to watch it – it is worth it! He talks about the type of people who make it through Navy Seals training. To start with, Sinek says that the ones who typically do not make it through are the biggest, toughest, and most athletic. It has been found that some of the skinniest and scrawniest people make it through and when they are cold and shivering with fear, they tend to dig down deep and help the person standing next to them. Service is what makes the highest performing teams successful.

Having a Leadership Development Plan

Professional and leadership development is not just for executives anymore – and it never should have been. Your company and every employee will benefit from the investment in professional and leadership development.

Organizations that have made a strategic investment in employee development, Gallup finds, report 11% greater profitability and are twice as likely to retain their employees.

Gallup goes on to note that development at work satisfies two of the five essential elements of wellbeing by fulfilling a person’s drive for career and social wellbeing. Having a sense of purpose makes people feel great about what they do at work and enriches their personal lives as well.

More numbers from Gallup state that nearly 9 out of 10 millennials say professional development or career growth opportunities are particularly important to them in a job with career growth opportunities being the number one reason people give for changing jobs. Investing in your employees creates connection and engagement and allows them to visualize their career paths with (hopefully) your company.

Company culture issues equal lost productivity, employee disengagement, money lost, and even negative company reputations. There are many ways to change your company culture over time. CLG works with numerous companies helping them to cultivate a healthy workplace culture through all of the strategies listed above. We can help you, too! Our consultants are experienced and certified and have the tools to help businesses and people grow and succeed. You can book an appointment with us by contacting us here.

-Melissa Spangler

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