Amid continuing conversations about pay, higher than average resignation rates, and frequent career shifts, companies large and small are having discussions about how to make their workplace a better, more desirable place for employees.
What’s the deal with company culture?
There’s no doubt that company culture plays a factor in employee satisfaction. What’s more important to note is that an engaged workforce can have a huge impact on the business overall. A survey by CultureIQ found that companies with strong cultures saw a 4x increase in revenue growth. Furthermore, 66% of C-suite executives and board members believe culture is more important to performance than an organization’s strategy or business model, according to PWC.
Culture has been an HR buzzword for a while now, but what exactly does a company’s culture entail? Beyond offering competitive wages and benefits, culture refers to the belief system of a company and how its values impact decisions at every level, from business priorities to hiring and managing employees. Cultivating a positive workplace culture impacts everyone from business executives to the production floor and can make or break a company’s success.
Seeing positive workplace cultures in action
Every year, companies like Great Places to Work, Forbes, and Glassdoor highlight top workplaces across the globe. Results are based on employee surveys and reviews and allow workers to see proof of companies that live their values and prioritize positive treatment of employees.
The numbers don’t lie, and top manufacturing companies solidify their place with equal treatment of workers and inviting atmospheres. JM Family Enterprises is listed as the #2 Fortune Best Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production for 2021, where 95% of employees say they’re made to feel welcome at work. 3M also holds a place at #6 on World’s Best Workplaces and 92% of employees say they feel like a member of the team regardless of their position.
Being a member of the TalentLaunch network means that here at Alliance Industrial Solutions we know the importance of culture in delivering a thriving and productive workplace. Our founder Aaron Grossman developed the TalentLaunch pillars to guide our behaviors and business practices, which have crafted a culture where we all feel committed to the organization and its outcomes. The TalentLaunch model is based on the concept of a Redwood tree with the roots defining our core values and the air and nutrition defining our behaviors so our network can thrive.
We make it a point to live those values every day through our recruiting, hiring, and operations processes. These values trickle down to how we serve our clients and identify the right candidates for the job.
Cultivating culture in your business
Culture is tied to a lot of aspects of your business that, when lacking, can have a costly impact on profits. If you’re seeing high employee turnover and low morale, it might be worth taking a step back and examining your current culture.
You can start by conducting employee surveys to get a pulse on how your workforce feels in regards to culture. Collecting anonymous feedback may be a good way to learn more about the current state of morale on your production floor. When looking at results, ask yourself these questions:
- What are my company’s values and beliefs?
- Is everyone in the business living our culture?
- Do my employees currently feel valued at work?
If you’re unsure about any of the points above, don’t stress! Alliance Industrial Solutions has years of experience identifying the right cultural fit for businesses just like yours. We’ve learned a couple of things along the way, and want to share with you this guide for creating a stronger workplace culture.
#1 Identify your core values
If your company’s values aren’t clear to your leadership or teams, or if you don’t have any defined values at all, it’s time to go to the drawing board. Company values should resonate with every person in your organization and create a driving force for success. They should not be just a bunch of phrases on the wall in your break room. Consider goals and ideals that are consistent and also think about what needs to be changed. After internal discussion, create a task force to draft core values that will apply to the entire organization. Remember to include all employees in these discussions so you don’t fall victim to designing a culture only for the executives. That’s a common trap, as highlighted by PWC’s findings that 77% of senior management feel connected to the company’s purpose vs. just 54% for everyone else.
Once your values are well-defined, it’s time to increase awareness of what they mean. Hosting contests or giving out awards can be a good way to honor those living your culture while also showing team members examples of each of your values in the workplace.
#2 Host on-site or virtual events
Today’s employees value togetherness and you can help create a family atmosphere by hosting on-site or virtual events to bring your teams together. In today’s reality, work doesn’t have to be all grind all of the time, and companies that break from day-to-day operations produce happier, more productive employees. Whether it’s hosting a company-sponsored outing or providing lunch for the team, these events help your employees feel valued and connected to each other.
#3 Provide learning and development opportunities
Today’s workforce wants to feel valued and like they’re a part of something bigger, and offering learning and development opportunities is the perfect way to invest in their success. The benefits of development opportunities for your business are two-fold. You’re not only showing your employees you want them to be successful, you’re also upskilling your workforce to make you a more competitive player in the marketplace. Not to mention the associates you hire now are the future leaders of your company.
Consider mentorship programs or upskilling courses when deciding which opportunities are best. Pair new associates with seasoned team members to help them learn the ropes, or offer training and development courses during work hours. It’s amazing how much investing in your teams can impact engagement in the long run.
#4 Offer transparency and visibility
Keeping your executive team locked away and all business matters a secret has a tendency to make employees feel undervalued, unappreciated, and out of the loop, which in turn could increase turnover rates and morale. Everyone in your business is working toward the same common goal, and being open about the company’s successes and failures while using lessons learned to improve processes moving forward helps unite different teams.
Once you provide transparency into your entire organization, you’ll be surprised at how much can change your company’s morale and productivity. You can also increase engagement by providing feedback forms that make it easy for employees to express concerns or creating a focus group when considering large-scale changes.
#5 Promote diversity and inclusion
Many companies today are pushing for diversity and inclusion in their hiring and operations practices to ensure all perspectives are represented at all levels in the organization. A diverse workforce not only makes your business a more desirable place to work, but it also helps unite underrepresented workers and makes all team members feel valued.
You can start promoting a more inclusive workplace by opening the line of communication between production teams and leadership or creating employee resource groups. Companies with diverse teams also celebrate all cultural holidays and work hard to break unconscious bias in hiring/promotion decisions.
#6 Make work fun
Companies that offer a dull, boring atmosphere often find their employees are worn out and disengaged. Who said that teams couldn’t have fun at work? The good news is that production doesn’t have to stop for fun to begin! You can host weekly or monthly production contests and honor the top performer or play a little bit of music on the production floor to get everyone dancing.
You can also develop workplace rituals to help bring your teams together, whether that is giving them a high-five at the beginning of every shift or choosing walk-out music to play every time they come to work.
#7 Offer real time feedback to all associates, good and bad
Don’t wait until bi-annual or yearly reviews to offer feedback to your teams. Criticism and praise should be given throughout the person’s tenure to ensure they’re aware of all strengths and areas for improvement. According to a survey by SHRM, 89% of HR leaders believe feedback and check-ins have a positive effect on an organization. You should also make sure you’re tackling issues in real-time so they don’t get out of hand. Consistent feedback is a good way to keep your workers in check, motivated, and striving to achieve more.
#8 View your employees as people
The worst thing you can do for company culture is to make your employees feel like just another cog in the machine. Remember that your teams are people and want to be treated with respect in addition to having their ideas and concerns heard. When you provide an atmosphere where your workers feel like they belong, chances are they will feel more motivated to take ownership of their work.
Getting to know your employees is crucial. Know their names, celebrate their successes, and find common interests with them. Talk to teams when you get the chance, thank them when deserved, and keep all lines of communication open. Don’t be afraid to show your personality either, your teams want to know that you’re a human too!
This guide should be a good starting point for improving company culture at your business. However, we know that your culture is only as strong as the associates you hire. Trust Alliance Industrial Solutions to provide you with the right teams to help your business thrive. Let’s get in contact!