By Executive Coach Karen Nutter
Corporate culture has been a hot topic for several years, and top CEO’s have started investing in measures aimed at attracting and retaining quality employees by offering such things as in-office espresso bars, private chefs, and unlimited vacation time. But, corporate culture is more than just great perks, it is a direct representation of company values.
A poor or unhealthy culture increases employee turnover and burnout, and decreases productivity and profits. And while it starts at the top, in order for a company to have a great corporate culture everyone in the organization must take part. Everyone must understand and uphold the values that frame the culture. So, how can you determine if your corporate culture is healthy, or in need of an overhaul? Start by answering these four questions:
Is Your Team Happy?
You can’t have a good culture if you don’t have a good team. And, you can’t have a good team if your team members don’t feel respected, empowered, and cared about. When employees are happy, they are more productive and less likely to burn out.
Do a review of each member on your team: How is their attitude? Do they have a healthy work-life balance? Are they enthusiastic about their job? How often are they out sick? What would make them more fulfilled? No company can afford an unhappy team, and even one negative employee can cause the whole business to suffer. So, invest in happy employees if you want to see a positive ROI.
Is There Open Communication?
When everyone on the team shares the same respect for the corporate mission, vision, and values, the business thrives. Employees need to be able to trust their colleagues and managers, and a culture of transparency helps establish and build that trust.
Do you have brand ambassadors who effectively disseminate company goals, change, success, and challenges? Do you ask for input from the entire team? Do you celebrate success instead of focusing on failure? If you aren’t open to new ideas, dialogues and discussions, there’s a chance your team may soon be jumping ship.
Are Your Core Values Known And Upheld By All?
Your corporate culture won’t thrive if your team doesn’t know the rules, or if no one enforces them. Unfortunately, company values are often written but not necessarily empowered. How often have you seen a company tout values such as “quality” and “customer service,” and then treat you poorly when you return a defective product or bring your car back in for service because it wasn’t fixed properly?
What are your company’s core values? Do you practice them every moment of every day, or only when it’s convenient? Does your team exemplify those values, or are they just words on the wall?
Are YOU Setting A Good Example?
No matter where you are on the ladder, each person on the team must uphold the values to create a quality corporate culture. People are drawn to positive and steady people, and they emulate their behaviors. If you aren’t walking the walk, it doesn’t matter how much talking you do, because actions speak louder than words.
Do you treat your colleagues, employees, and customers with the high level of respect and empathy they deserve? Are you motivated and excited about the work you do? Do you encourage and inspire others to do and be their best? Exhibit the actions and attitudes you want others to emulate and see how it affects your corporate culture.
Your corporate culture can make or break your company’s success, so take inventory of where things are at and then empower your team to help you fix what needs fixing, and celebrate that which is working. Over time, your employees, investors, and customers will take notice.