To create a product or an experience people love, you must first create a company that employees can love. Company culture flows from the inside of a company outward, where it can attract or repel an audience.
You may already have a strong set of ideal values, beliefs, and practices you communicate to employees. How do you know if your company culture and employees’ personal culture is aligned?
Here are a few signs your company culture is on the right track:
1. Employees can relate their job to your company’s mission.
When employees describe how they feel about their job, what do they say? If they seem methodical or completely detached from their job task, it might be a sign they don’t see how their work fits into the bigger picture. However, if they describe feeling good about their projects because of how they affect others, internally or externally, they recognize they support a cause beyond just a job function.
2. You trust employees to make decisions.
Need to send Sarah to the store to pick up decorations for your company’s booth at an event? No problem, she’ll know exactly what to get. Jim needs to adjust his schedule tomorrow to take care of some errands? Sure. You don’t need to worry if he’ll complete his work.
Employees often learn how to make decisions by watching other employees and even managers make their own. Their colleagues use what they know is true about the culture and what has been a norm in previous situations to surmise the right decision in a new situation.
For example, if a customer has a bad experience, instead of calling a manager, employees should know they can refund a customer’s money, or give them a certificate for a free item as an apology. That’s communicated in the company’s culture—do whatever it takes to recover customers and get them to come back. If you feel comfortable empowering your employees to resolve customer issues, it’s a sign you trust your employees to make the right choices with the company’s best interest at heart.
3. Employees are engaged and eager to help.
Jim occasionally asks if there is anything else he can help you with whenever he finishes his work early. Frida is always the first to jump in when someone in the office experiences tech problems.
Keep an eye out for moments when your employees come to the rescue of one another. Is it hard to get employees to volunteer for tasks that may be outside of their job description?
For instance, if you notice employees staying late or arriving early to help out with setting up or cleaning up for a company event, it’s a sign they’re engaged in the company. They’re with you, and they want to do what they can to help you carry out company goals—even if it means clearing dirty plates from the conference.
4. Productivity increases.
Are you noticing employees completing their work more quickly these days? Maybe what used to take a full day is now only taking half of the day, and in their free time, employees are researching for ways to build a better product or make their tasks more efficient.
As employee engagement thrives in a strong company culture, performance will increase. In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Business and Management Invention shows company cultures which increase job satisfaction positively influence performance.
If you aren’t already, use a performance management program to track employee performance. Performance metrics will give you the insights you need to confirm the strengths and areas of opportunity you suspect for each employee.
5. Employees work well as a team.
It’s difficult to find a team that communicates well with one another. Sometimes, poor communication results from a lack of the proper tools. Provide the right tools for your employees to execute the practices your company values.
For example, your company culture might value transparency and open communication. Use a platform that allows your team to update one another on project statuses, ask questions, and manage tasks.
If you notice employees don’t have trouble communicating honestly and collaborating with one another to solve problems, it shows they understand and demonstrate that value.
Typically, it’s not hard to tell when your company and employees are experiencing a cultural misalignment. Dishonesty, negativity, and apathy will abound when employees don’t share an organization’s values, beliefs, and practices.
But the reverse is true, too. Employees who share a company’s culture help it grow exponentially.
If, for the most part, your employees seem engaged, helpful, productive, and happy to work with one another, be grateful and watch your company grow.