Your company’s culture isn’t as strong as it could be. At least, not if you subscribe to the principle of continuous improvement — the idea that it’s always possible to do better.
In an employee-driven market, ensuring a strong business culture is even more important. Attrition happens slowly, or not at all, until it doesn’t — until the trickle becomes a flood and you’re left wondering what happened while scrambling to protect what’s left.
Follow these four cultural signposts to make your company more resilient:
1. Establish A Culture Of Inclusivity, Starting At The Top
You’ve been told before that you need to walk the walk, but maybe you haven’t listened yet.
Now’s the time to listen. As entrepreneur and investor Kris Duggan writes in TheNextWeb, “diversity campaigns and inclusivity efforts will only take you so far if they’re not an integrated part of your company culture.”
Pointing to Uber’s years-long struggles under former CEO Travis Kalanick, Duggan noted that paying lip service to DEI is almost worse than doing nothing. “True transformation [at Uber] will occur when individual leaders embody values of diversity, inclusivity, and collaboration,” he wrote — and not a moment before then.
2. Foster A Sense Of Shared Purpose
Shared purpose is just as important as true inclusivity. Your team doesn’t have to be an army of clones — actually, it shouldn’t be. But each team member does need to have the same overarching goals and values. They have to understand the purpose of the organization and buy into achieving that purpose, whatever the stakes.
3. Call Out Employees For Recognition Frequently (But Make It Count)
Your employees, especially younger ones, desperately want you to recognize their achievements.
This looks different depending on your industry — “employee of the week” badges and solid benefits are fine for a service-industry leader like Chipotle but not for investment banks or law firms.
Ask your employees what they want from your HR department when in doubt. Then make it happen, within reason.
4. Be Transparent From The Top Down
Opacity kills momentum.
If your team doesn’t understand your leadership team’s decisions or feels as if the “deal” changes without warning, it will not be as productive as you’d like. And even if it’s able to keep up the illusion of productivity, it’s not going to buy into the vision you’re selling.
Keep sensitive discussions close to the vest, by all means. But make sure everyone who works for you has all the information they need to do their jobs and understands their place in the scheme of things.
Get Everyone Rowing In The Same Direction (And Keep Them There)
From the executive suite to the temp team, it’s vital that everyone who works for your company has the same broad expectations, values, and goals.
They don’t all have to think precisely the same — groupthink is a sign of a weak corporate culture, in fact. They just have to be rowing in the same direction.
Getting your team there is hard. Keeping it there is even harder. But the alternative is no alternative at all.