Company culture is reclaiming center stage, but with more gravitas than ever before.
Back in 2009, when the country was in the throes of a recession, the topic of company culture was tabled because survival was at the forefront. Fast-forward 10 years, and we are living a different reality.
Culture has returned as a key concern, but the nature of workplace cohesion has evolved.
Here are five ways to build a thriving culture that will attract the best possible talent:
1. Focus on culture “adds.” Instead of looking for “culture fits,” look for candidates who will bring diversity of thought and background. To do this, you must understand your company’s values and what makes your culture special—or what, specifically, you want to change. Getting the right people on board can not only help your culture and morale, but also boost your company’s bottom line. Happier employees—those who connect and align with a company’s culture and mission—are more likely to deliver better customer service, creating a domino effect that promotes favorable word-of-mouth and client referrals.
2. Make sure senior leaders are on board. Creating an inclusive, positive company culture doesn’t just happen; it builds over time with overt, active support from top executives.
3. Start the employee journey off right. What is the experience of a job candidate when she or he enters your company’s front door? How is an offer extended? How is a rejection handled? On their first day, how do co-workers receive that person, and what kind of follow-up occurs after one month, three months, one year? The answers can solidify your culture for a new hire. Today’s top employees want to know they’re contributing from day one. Without a solid commitment to managing an employee’s journey, you can lose great staffers within the first few weeks of their employment.
4. Mobilize and empower mid-level leaders. Communication and culture training are essential for those in mid-level positions, who will forge first impressions for most new hires. Institute ongoing training for mid-level managers on how best to communicate, onboard and manage according to your corporate values and ideal internal culture.
5. Communicate consistently. Lack of consistent communication undermines engagement. Conduct a midweek touch-base meeting, send a weekly email about office happenings, or hold a town hall. Lacking information, people will make up their own stories. Instead, be up front with your staff. They will love you for it, and your culture will thrive.