The 4 Key Parts of Building Great Organizational CultureFeatured
Organizational culture is one of the most important things in every company. It is what creates retention of amazing talent and at the same time it is what attracts this talent to your company. However, many companies believe a great organizational culture is created by placing a ping pong table in the lunch lounge or offering a benefit like free dry cleaning. The truth is, benefits are awesome, but if the root of the company culture is rotten, then no benefit or ping pong table will be able to fix it. There are four key parts to a great organizational culture. These include sticking to your values, prioritizing communication, fostering learning and growth, and the most important one, being human. If these key characteristics are in place, a great culture is created organically. Stick to your ValueValues are what your company stands for. Those that were created at the very beginning, but later became just words on an onboarding presentation or on a wall. Great organizational cultures live through their values every day. For example, if one of your values is selflessness, your company should create knowledge sharing spaces like lunch talks, mentoring programs, and cultivate a space of collaboration and camaraderie. Likewise, it is very important that your values be aligned all the way from top leadership to new hires. Leading through example is the best way of sticking to those values and spreading them throughout the organizational culture. Everyone on the team should be able to name at least three of your company values because, again, they are not learning them from memory, but they are able to identify them in everything they see and do around the company. Tying back to the example given before, your company values should be seen in every process of the company like performance reviews, conflict resolutions, etc. Finally, your product should reflect your values as well, because this is the best way to build brand credibility. Prioritize CommunicationCommunication is the most important thing in every life relationship. From your friends to your family, your partner, and, well, your workplace. Communication should be based on transparency and respect. Transparency allows us to communicate truthfully with the rest of the company and eliminates any uncertainty and insecurities our team may have. In return, your team will be transparent with you as well. Healthy communication creates a safe environment where your team is not afraid to give you feedback, and a great organizational culture thrives on feedback, because if there is no feedback, there is no way to improve. In addition, prioritizing communication also allows the creation of a safety net where creativity is fostered, where people dare to innovate, and where they feel their ideas are valued. Finally, with all of us working remotely, it may seem that creating a great organizational culture is even harder. It is here that communication is more important than ever. Check in with your team regularly and celebrate life goals like marriages, having a baby, MBAs, etc. Create remote afteroffice activities like happy hour, or team building activities like virtual Escape Rooms and more. These activities foster communication and collaboration. Foster Learning and GrowthGreat organizational cultures create spaces where the team can learn and gain more experience both, personally and professionally. Growth is one of the main things we think of when we accept a new job, taking into consideration which growth opportunities the company offers and how we can advance our careers. As a recruiter, I have seen that this is one of the main aspects about a company that attracts candidates and is the decision factor when it comes to accepting a job offer. To create a great organizational culture, companies must create knowledge sharing spaces and mentorship opportunities. It is important for employees to know their growth path in the company, what they will be able to learn and how they will be able to advance towards their goals. Having your team constantly learning not only decreases attrition and increases talent attraction but also benefits the company in having curious people who are able to implement new ideas and knowledge into every day work. Be HumanThe last but most important part of creating a great organizational culture is being human. It sounds so simple, yet everyday it seems more people are unhappy with the place where they spend their 9-5. At the end of the day, company should be a group of people working together towards a common goal. Check in with your team, be aware of how your team is feeling, pay attention to their important milestones, and empathize. Hold one-on-ones and check up on people on your team periodically. Start team meetings by asking their team about their weekend, how they feel, how they are, remember everyone has life outside of work, acknowledge it. Lastly, tying back to communication and growth, ask your team if they like what they are currently doing or if they feel challenged in their current position. This simple act demonstrates that the company cares and takes into consideration the team's feedback, that you are there to support them in their path and that they are valued. Creating a great organizational culture takes time, it is not something that can be done in weeks or even months. Great cultures are the result of constant work throughout the years. However, these four parts are essential to creating a great place to work where, after they are implemented, the team adopts it as its own and a great organizational culture grows throughout the company organically. Remember that people quit toxic environments and bad leaders, not jobs, so it is crucial that this starts at the very top in order for a great culture to stick.