Four Ways to Improve Company Culture in One Year

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It’s no secret that culture can make or break a business. Culture can be tricky and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. It’s more than a list of values ​​on the wall. It’s how your leaders and teams present themselves every day, how you work together, celebrate and hold meetings. It’s how you make people feel throughout their career lifecycle – from the application process to hiring, promotions and departure. Culture is a set of actions and behaviors that your collective team lives and nurtures on a daily basis.

I’m certainly no culture expert, but I’ve learned a lot over the past year about what a healthy culture looks like for our team and the importance of helping us achieve our goals. In fact, we know that internally, company culture impacts employee retention and satisfaction and is linked to productivity in the workplace. Externally, corporate culture can also influence customer satisfaction and retention, etc.

During my time at Pushpay, and the past year in particular as CEO, we’ve certainly faced our share of challenges with varying levels of employee engagement – particularly amid the pandemic, and now we’re heading towards the great resignation. Most of you can relate, can’t you? Let’s be honest, the last two years have been difficult. Really, really hard. They challenged us in ways we never imagined, and as leaders they demanded more mental and emotional energy from us in order to lead well in the midst of rapidly changing social needs. and commercial.

As with many companies, we have noticed a drop in morale and corporate culture. As an organization that previously thrived on in-person connection, many of the traditions and rituals we had in place didn’t translate as well virtually. We had to rediscover ways to bring our dynamic culture to life so that people feel connected to the core of our business. Culture quickly became one of our top three initiatives for 2021.

When we started the journey to move the needle, it was really important that our leadership team had clear alignment on the values ​​and standards that impact day-to-day operations. Employees thrive in companies where they share similar beliefs and can uphold company values. We leveraged data from our employee feedback tool, Culture Amp, to identify where our time and action should be focused – and we got to work.

Here are some ways your leadership team and leaders can shift the culture and create an environment where employees feel valued, fulfilled, and welcomed.

Related: How Embracing The Great Redefinition Will Help Your Business Thrive

1. Provide transparency to your employees, customers and key stakeholders

Transparency in the workplace creates an open door policy, helping to build trust between management and employees, stakeholders and customers. Transparency encourages clear communication and collaboration, enabling the entire team to engage and invest in the organization’s goals. Transparency also relates to employee ratings and feedback. Creating regular cadences for reviews and feedback allows leaders to highlight successes while using time to share “areas of opportunity” to discuss improvement tactics.

Transparency is not just about giving and being open to feedback. It’s about having systems and rituals in place to be able to cascade information and provide support (and resources) to your leaders so they can have meaningful conversations with their teams about wins and losses. weaknesses of the company.

2. Set clear goals for internal teams and regularly share results and progress

People feel engaged when they understand their role and feel like they fit into the bigger picture. A core leadership competency is helping individuals set and pursue goals through effective collaborative practices that align with business strategy. Setting clear goals for internal teams that align with organizational advancement will provide a clear path to success.

Again, it starts from the top down. As a management team, have you clearly defined company goals and initiatives for the year? Are they measurable? Do you review them frequently and track progress as a business? Are the goals of the business unit also well suited to it? We use our monthly hands-free to achieve our three key initiative goals this year – culture (as mentioned above), retention and growth – and provide transparency on where we are and how we are working to achieve our Goals.

Related: How to better manage company culture in times of transition

3. Improve external and internal communications

From a leadership perspective, we do our job well when everyone from the front desk associate to the vice president of engineering knows where we’re going and what we’re all working toward. To achieve this, improving communication measures for internal and external stakeholders is essential. At Pushpay, we have integrated monthly newsletters and executive Q&As and created more visibility for our executives at the corporate level. This helps minimize employee worries, keeping everyone informed of upcoming events and goals. The keyboard ninja is a real thing, but giving someone a question or concern a face is where and how you approach and improve the culture.

Related: 5 ways to instill company culture even when your staff is virtual

4. Replenish your ERGs

Our employee resource groups are an integral part of our culture. They give voice to our associates and allow people to come together and rally behind a common interest. They are autonomous but still essential to the success of our organization. I agree that we don’t resource them well. It’s important to work with your employee resource groups to better understand what they’re trying to accomplish and how the company can support their success. We’ve started giving them more airtime during new hire orientation and in our monthly all-hands to highlight the impactful events and conversations they host. We have allocated a budget so that they have the freedom and opportunity to host planning retreats or bring in world class speakers and thought leaders. At their request, we have also equipped each group with an executive sponsor so that they have a reliable leader to help support the success of their program.

Consistency, consistency, consistency

Consistency is the key. Culture is not a “set and forget” type initiative. It takes intention, discipline and daily adherence at all levels to move the needle forward. Let data be your North Star as you work to solve business problems and opportunities — and revisit it frequently. We’re still learning, but being honest during the process and allowing new opportunities when things don’t align with business goals is the foundation of sustaining a culture where employees, stakeholders, and leaders thrive.