Preventing Culture From Becoming an Office Buzzword

There is one thing that can make or break your company’s recruiting habits no matter how enticing your jobs might seem. With social websites such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed gaining more traction each day,  the culture of a company is considered basic public knowledge now. If any part of a company’s culture is lacking, potential employees will know, and it will either push them away from the position or give them the upper-hand in negotiating. In order to avoid this pit of destruction, many companies have prioritized the word culture around the office; however, telling everyone to have positive culture is much different than working to enforce it.

In his book, The Connection Culture, author Michael Stallard said, “Managers are increasingly being asked to improve the culture and employee engagement but they aren’t clear about what that means.” Having vague values and beliefs for your organization’s desired culture is not only ineffective, but it often leads to “culture” becoming a buzzwordthat few people take seriously. In order to prevent this from happening, the leaders of an organization must ensure their culture fits all of these requirements.

A Company’s Culture Should be Simple and Actionable

Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte and Forbes contributor, said you should be able to write your culture down in a few words, and if you can’t, then it’s too complex for your employees to understand. If your high-level employees aren’t clear on what your culture is, then it’s impossible for them to enforce it on current employees and recruit candidates who fit in with it. By simplifying the culture your organization is aiming for, you will increase the adaptation of it.

Your Employees and Your Culture Should be Compatible

Once a clear culture has been established, it’s important to make sure you’re bringing in candidates who mesh well with it. It’s important to consider more than a potential employee’s experience and skills, as his or her personality will also be a deciding factor of how compatible they are with your organization’s culture. You can rely on any sort of screening tool to determine this, as some companies use personality tests and others use a much simpler approach, such as Southwest Airlines who allegedly ask candidates a joke during their interview to see if they’ll fin in with their fun culture.

Your Leaders Should Exemplify Your Culture

Having trustworthy and model leaders is necessary when an organization is trying to adapt their culture. Additionally, in order to maintain a positive culture, organizations that are focused on creating great leaders spend 3 times the average cost on leadership development courses. Organizational leaders have the power to make a huge impact on lower level employees, so an investment in improving their leadership skills is an investment in the bettering of the entire company.

You Should Have an Empowering Performance Evaluation System

According to Mr. Bersin, over 60% of companies surveyed said they are steering away from the ‘forced ranking’ and ‘up-or-out’ performance evaluations, and adopting less anxiety-inducing performance reviews. Carefully reviewing how your organization coaches and evaluates employees could lead you to finding the reason your culture isn’t sticking. Creating a positive and responsive performance review will reduce employees’ stress levels, and create a more inclusive culture across the company.

If culture has become a buzzword around your office, and you need help figuring out why, contact us today to learn more about our Optimizing Take Back Your Life!: Personality and Productivity course, which will give you an inside look in to the different personalities individuals have. This insight will allow you to determine which types of personalities are most compatible with your culture.