Culture, culture, culture. Undoubtedly one of the most heavily used terms that companies hear today. However, it seems for good reason: many companies still suck at creating an environment that fosters great culture. Yes, we said that. But why do they suck? Because it’s easy to talk about the plan for great culture, but considerably more difficult to put said plan into play. By performing a culture pulse check regularly you can quickly measure the impact, or shortcomings of, your company’s culture landscape.
It should be noted that a pulse check should never replace more in-depth employee studies. They are meant to serve as a quick tool to gauge movement over time. Small actions made each day add up to big impact over time. So, what are you waiting for? Start here, today:
1. Complete a company culture quiz to establish a baseline
Take this culture quiz to establish the baseline of where your company is today in the culture spectrum. This should give you a good idea of any opportunities or weaknesses to begin to focus on. Review baseline and create a plan for how to move the needle on your 2-3 focused culture points. Feeling completely overwhelmed by this idea? We’re professionals at helping companies make the most of their employees. Send us a message and let’s talk.
2. Choose 2-3 culture points to focus on
Identify 2-3 company culture opportunities that could use improvement. We suggest starting with low-hanging fruit the first go-around. Once you’ve got a handle on how to make an impact with the first set, move on to more challenging culture opportunities.
3. Meet with key company leaders who can serve as partner change agent
The truth is, even the best plan to overhaul company culture weak points simply cannot be achieved alone. You will need the buy-in and support of other key business leaders to achieve real results. These key leaders may change throughout the process depending on what specific goals or actions are taking place. You’ll also want to pay special attention to how your adjustments effect your employees in real time. Don’t let employee engagement suffer because of the changes taking place.
4. Measure impact by performing targeted culture quiz 2, 4, and 6 months out
Once you’ve put your plan into place, you will need to establish a follow-up quiz that focuses directly on the 2-3 points that you set out to impact. Administer the quiz to a wide variety of employees, at all levels, to truly measure the impact of your actions. Repeat this quiz 2, 4, and 6 months after putting your initial actions into play. You may see improvements, discover more culture points requiring your attention, or uncover an underlying issue you didn’t even know existed.
5. Begin again
Now that you’ve made it through the first cycle of change, begin the process again.
As lead your company through the culture pulse check process, it surely won’ be an experience full of rainbows and unicorns. Stay vigilant for feedback, opportunities, and keep your eyes peeled for these red flags signaling your company’s culture is off course:
1. Not-so-great company reviews
We’ve all seen them lurking around the internet. Those less than glowing company reviews may be embarrassing, but they’re likely a sign of an even larger problem. Potential job seekers can recognize the difference between a one-off review left by a disgruntled ex-employee versus that of an army of former employees that had a horrible experience with your company. Similarly, a 100% rating overflowing with gushing reviews looks just as sketchy.
2. Lack of trust and transparency
Given that adults spend the majority of their week at work, establishing a deep level of trust with their employer is paramount. Attempting to keep your employees in the dark, less-than-discrete closed-door meetings, or the ever-dreaded “oops I forgot to tell you that super important thing you needed to know before you get completely blindsided during this large meeting” moment.
3. Unhappy employees
They write reviews, you hear them chattering nearby during an interview tour, they quickly befriend your new star employee. Unhappy employees are the single most powerful culture signal that your company has a serious problem requiring immediate attention.
4. Inconsistencies aplenty
You call an job applicant for a first round interview, only to learn that your co-worker had already reached out to them. This is just one small example of how somewhat unassuming inconsistencies begin to alert job seekers that your company isn’t working as a cohesive unit. Think of problems like this similar to a snowball at the top of a hill; small, but as it continues to roll down the problems only compound into a gigantic round mess.
5. High turnover rate
Most of the culture red flags on this list correspond with a higher than usual turnover rate. It also happens to be one of the easiest red flags for potential talent to spot (and avoid)! Uncommitted employees lacking purpose and engagement are quick to jump ship and search for something better.
6. Perks ≠ Great culture
Let’s all repeat this together: perks do not equal great culture. You’re not pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes with that pool table or beers on Wednesday afternoon, so cut the crap. While those are neat little additions to your workspace, they do not equal a wonderful employee experience that is relative to building great company culture.
7. Obvious micromanaging, control issues
Your company is only as strong as it’s weakest link. When micromanaging and control come into play, you’re holding every single person in the organization back. Innovation, vulnerability, and creativity are the true powerhouses that set great companies apart.
8. No Talent Optimizer on staff
If you have a team dedicated to business development and sales, then why would you overlook your internal team that makes those goals achievable? Not having an Talent Optimization advocate 100% dedicated to aligning your people with your business goals is a big mistake. Learn together, grow together, bond together, and watch your company culture flourish.