The Gallup Organization tells us that over half of American workers are not engaged in their jobs. Yikes!
So what’s behind this lack of engagement? One major problem, Gallup tells us, is that far too many companies have a “culture of paycheck” instead of a “culture of purpose.”
Company culture is often described as a set of “shared” beliefs and values handed down from above to employees.
At Hire Well Now, we’ve done thousands of employee satisfaction surveys for multiple clients across the country. And one of the most important things we’ve learned is this:
Your company culture is what your employees say it is, not what they’re being told it is.
So you want to build a positive culture? It all begins with a stellar employee experience.
Here are three things that can make or break your company culture when it comes to attracting and keeping the best talent.
#1: “It’s Only About the Bottom Line” vs. “My Employer Cares About Me”
You’re in business to make a profit. Your employees know that. Everyone knows that.
But if that’s the only thing you’re in business for, you’re in trouble. Today’s best workers seek out companies that can figure out how to value people and the bottom line.
And feel-good slogans like “We put people first” aren’t going to cut it, either. Pretty words mean nothing without tangible actions to back them up.
For starters, as a manager, you have to walk the walk. If one of your core values is “No jerks allowed,” that includes you, too. In other words, no cussing out employees for making a mistake.
The Journal of Organizational Psychology points out several characteristics of a people-first culture. One is collaboration. Employees perform at a higher level when they work as a team. Other elements include trust, open communication and strong alignment between operations and work environments.
#2: “I Never Get a Pat on the Back” vs. “I Feel Appreciated”
Far too many bosses seem to be allergic to uttering those two dreaded words: “Nice job!”
But guess what? If your performance evaluations are nothing but a litany of screw-ups, you’re doing it wrong. People need to know when they’re killing it, and where they have room for improvement.
Even the smart folks at Harvard Business School found that when people read positive statements about themselves, they become more creative, less stressed out and better at problem-solving. When workers feel appreciated, their performance improves.
By the way, there are lots of ways to offer praise, from informal compliments to newsletter announcements to annual awards for your top sales associates.
#3: “I Never Get Any Feedback” vs. “My Employer Helps Me Get Better at My Job”
Want to know what’s just as bad as never praising your employees? Never giving any feedback at all.
Many employers don’t bother to do evaluations because they assume the employee will be short term. But feedback and surveys can actually help you keep people longer.
Your people want a career path and a skill path at your organization. They need to know how they’re doing, and more importantly, how to get better at what they do. That’s even more true for the youngest members of your team.
As a manager, it’s your job to coach employees and contribute to their personal growth. Aside from their paycheck, skill development is a big part of the value they should expect from working with you.
The Next Step: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Ask
What kind of culture do your employees think you have?
Not sure? Then it’s time to ask them!
Your first step in overturning negative employee feelings is to understand what those feelings are, to begin with. Hire Well Now’s ePULSE™ Employee Engagement Platform takes a deep dive into company culture as it relates to your employees.
You’ll get real-time data on your strengths and weaknesses from their perspective. You’ll have the insights you need to build a culture that makes employees excited about their jobs.
Remember, when your employees are happy, they’re more productive. When they’re more productive, you make more money.
Contact Hire Well Now today. Your path to a better company culture starts here.