No magic bullet exists to create the best place to work. Sure, compensation, incentives and benefits play a part. Yet as recruitment and retention of first-class employees become more difficult in your part of the country, evaluating and creating a strong company culture is imperative.
“It’s not just about a paycheck. Today, people see workplaces as a community,” says Bob Grace, a partner at The Leadership Effect, a St. Louis-based leadership development firm. “Employees want to work at a place where they can marry up their skills and abilities with an organization.”
Culture is hard to define, but your employees notice it.
“It is about the little things you do when nobody is looking,” Grace says. “You can and should write down your values, but people really pay attention to what you do.”
As your business grows, it’s important to be aware of your business’s culture, says Michelle Painchaud of Painchaud Performance Group, a human-performance consulting firm in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
“As you move into the strategic level, you sometimes lose touch of the culture,” Painchaud says.
Perform a culture audit.
“People will fake culture when you’re around, so you want to know what the real culture is in your business,” she says.
At a minimum, Painchaud says, aim to conduct a culture audit every two or three years.
Ask your team these culture questions
Just like financial goals, you should measure your business’s culture. To get started with an audit, Michelle Painchaud, of Painchaud Performance Group, suggests polling your team with some simple culture questions.
1. What do you like most about being an employee here?
2. What do you like least about being an employee here?
3. What is one word you would use to describe our company’s culture?
4. As an employee, what does the company do to help you feel valued?
5. Describe the organization’s leadership.
6. Do you feel the team works together to accomplish goals?
7. Do you know the vision and mission of the organization? If so, what is it?
8. Do you have all the tools and training you need to be a high-performing and engaged employee?
9. What do you need from us to provide you with more feedback, coaching and guidance to ensure you’re successful?
10. If you were the owner of this company, what three things would you do to make it the best place to work?