Walking the talk. A Deloitte survey showed that 84% of senior leaders thought they were regularly communicating the company’s beliefs and values … however, only 67% of employees felt that was true. There was another gap between executives and employees who believed that senior leadership acted in accordance with the company’s core values and beliefs. Are you living your company culture?
We can debate whether culture drives engagement, or whether a company’s positive communication practices build up its culture … but does it really matter? Workers who feel valued at work, recognized for their contributions and included on how they fit within the company future will feel connected and engaged. Genuine and authentic leadership, manageable workloads and competitive pay and benefits cement the connection.
As a small business owner, you constantly juggle several balls in the air while changing hats all day long. We understand your need for a playbook of simple techniques that demonstrate company culture and encourage engagement. There are no Jedi mind-tricks being attempted here, and none of these implementations will succeed unless backed up by genuine intent. Give your employees credit for being able to perceive if there is a big disconnect between your company’s stated values and the actual day-to-day actions of management. If leaders are hypocrites and self-centered, then the organization will have a culture of employees looking out for themselves.
If your small business is serious about retaining productive employees, strengthening your team and building a great workplace, start with improving your communications. Here are 10 communications techniques to create meaningful connections with employees.
- Write an open letter to employees – define your core values in a letter to employees. Post the letter in the workplace and add to the Employee Handbook.
- Link business objectives to your core values and talk about both. If obtaining an important new client is your business objective, connect the new business with your values. For example, if innovation is a core value, the new big client may allow you company to expand its product line to a new industry or introduce new features to your service offering.
- Lead by example – make sure leaders are walking the talk.
- Create a company award to recognize employees that live by and communicate your company values. Name the award after an employee who does a great job living company culture.
- Hold a regular all-hands employee or town hall meeting to keep employees informed about four things: review financials, review new business/accounts, recognize achievements and general company news. Consider holding at least once or twice a year.
- Obtain a company internal communications portal or engagement App (such as Slaak, Staff Connect, the Employee App, etc..). For remote field employees that do not use a computer, a mobile app is an excellent way to stay connected. Employees can check the App for new & events, connect with co-workers, access training and receive push notifications about company updates.
- Use social media to build collaboration and connection with your team and create a powerful platform to build your brand and attract new employees to the company. Document employee events, recognize employees, announce community involvement, and show off new and innovative tools and equipment.
- Create new company promotional products (that employees like) and add core values to the products.
- Add a core values tab to your company website.
- Inject core values to all important HR-related processes. Add interview questions that determine alignment with the core values, include core values in your job descriptions and acknowledge examples of core values in performance evaluation.