A quick recap: A shift in the workforce caused by rising levels of millennial talent is shifting office culture as well. Organizations are starting to understand that, in the words of Simon Sinek, “Customers will never love your company until the employees love it first.”
Not defining your culture early on puts your organization at risk, including creating policies and programs based on other employers versus your own work environment, hiring employees that don’t fit, communication problems, management styles that threaten employee engagement and retention, and more.
On average, 70 is the number of employees a company employs when they realize culture is important. For many, by the time this number is reached, office culture has already formed, and it’s up to leadership and management to determine the viability in its current state.
Put culture first by taking a step back and making time to evaluate and define your workplace culture to determine what factors contribute and take away from your desired culture.
Surveys and Assessment Tools
Assessment tools and surveys can help you gauge your culture and reveal gaps between the culture you currently have and the culture you want to create. There are multiple resources and tools available that will help you assess the current situation at your office, including Gallup, CultureIQ, CultureAmp, Zugata, and others.
Quick Tips on Where to Start
For smaller companies that may not have the budget and resources larger companies have, defining your company culture can start with three questions:
- Why does our company do what it does (i.e. Why do we exist)?
- What do we believe (i.e. What are our values)?
- Where do we want to go (i.e. What is our vision for the company)?
Next, become the example. Interact with customers the way you want your team to, communicate openly and honestly, and hold yourself to the same expectations you want from your employees. These decisions set the tone and pace for your employees and communicate the team dynamic you would like to cultivate at your business.
Google your organization. Employer review sites like Glassdoor, Indeed and Comparably can provide powerful insight to your current employees’ feedback. This can open up a dialogue with your leadership team about key issues that require examination and potential changes.
The good news is, culture is a work in progress. It can and will change, especially if you place the same importance on it as the other foundations of your business.