When a company is experiencing high turn-over and low employee moral it will inevitably destroy the company’s brand. When the culture is failing employees are whispering about the latest bad leadership decision made by the boss. There are feelings of powerlessness to make decisions. Employees may operate out of fear of being belittled or fired. The gossip creates distrust that looms throughout every office, cubicle and hallway. I would hate to be a part of culture like this but I see it daily in offices with experienced, skilled, and talented professionals.
Having the best products and providing the best services in the marketplace will never heal the internal craziness causing talented employees to leave or to reverse the unhappiness of those who have stayed. Have you ever worked for a company that ignored the signs of a failing culture? Where positive results achieved from the ignorance? Creating a culture where employees enjoy one another, and have a workplace where they can thrive will result in profitability and productivity. The MBA Students I provide career coaching services to at Georgia State University are just as concerned if not more, about culture fit as they are compensation. We have entered the revolution of the most educated and skilled workforce who recognizes that they deserve to enjoy where they work.
In 2015, Entrepreneur magazine named Google, Zappos, Southwest Airlines, REI, Facebook and a few other firms “Fantastic Cultures” to work. My research of these companies has uncovered six reoccurring best practices on how to create a “fantastic” company culture.
- Communicate the Vision – the vision must be clear, concise, written and discussed regularly. Employees who know how his or her goals align to the vision are better informed to make good decisions. When everyone is connected to the vision and the end game is clear employees know they are an important contributor.
- Build Trust – foster confidence in employees by demonstrating management is invested in everyone’s development and performance. Employees who believe management “has their back” are loyal and trusted employees. Create an environment that fosters team achievement to minimize individual competition that foster distrust. When employees know that their managers and teams are a unit trust is given rather than earned.
- Empower to Lead – Allow employees to make task specific business decisions about their roles. Each employee should know his or her ideas and contributions are valued. When everyone is empowered to make leadership decisions; great ideas, efficiency, and exceptional services will flourish.
- Collaborating Creates Synergies – There is more than one way to do a thing. Finding the best way can result in more productive when teams collaborate. Teamwork is more than just working together to get things done, but more importantly it is about achieving results that are much greater than the sum of each person’s contributions. Collaborating builds trust, increases creativity and fosters open communication.
- Cultivate Pride – I have several friends and colleagues who work in all levels at The Coca-Cola Company. Each of them have a high sense of pride in the products and work environment. When employees believe in the brand, have great work experiences, and are growing professionally their affiliation to the company results in a sense of pride. They use the products and encourage others within their networks to use the products too – they have a bigger vested interest in the company’s success.
- Establish Core Values – when everyone on the team or in the company knows the core values and they contribute to establishing them their work will align to those values. Core values are the operating principles. Both management and staff are held accountable to the values. Without core values chaos will ensue and erode the aforementioned best practices.
The reasons for culture issues are many but what matters is what is being done to repair it. How can you contribute to creating a ‘fantastic culture’ in your workplace?