A healthy company culture is like rocket fuel for a space shuttle, it’s critical! It is not only vital for your employees, it gives your business a major competitive advantage in the marketplace. We have previously explored how grit or resilience is a key driver of long term success. And you may remember from this article, focused engagement is one of the drivers of grit. It stands to reason then, that company culture is a vital pillar of organisational infrastructure. If your company culture is not driving strong engagement, it is probably working against it!
This week, world record breaking adventurer, leadership consultant, international keynote speaker and owner of My Adventure Group James Castrission (aka Cas), talks about ways to measure your company culture and suggests how you can make it great! This is an area that Cas is passionate about and the MyAdventure Group experience is actually designed, in his own words, “to trigger an evolution of corporate culture.”
…Leaders must ensure that they practice active listening at these times, as this is another key component in building personal resilience.
Long-term employees: Have you thought about how long your employees tend to stay in your business and why they do or don’t? Workers who stay add long term stability to a business and provide a powerful base for attracting future quality people. In addition, it can lead to a considerable waste of resources to onboard new staff who simply don’t stick around. Employee turnover is a powerful indicator of good company culture. Simply put, happy, engaged employees who are given continued opportunities for growth are more likely to stay in their jobs. Keep your eye out for future articles by Cas on employee engagement.
Not just colleagues, but collaborators: A great work environment is often fertile ground from which genuine collaboration and teamwork can grow. When employees choose to hang out together they have the opportunity to develop trust through greater vulnerability, authenticity and connection. These are in fact some of the powerful effects of the MyAdventure Group programs which take employee groups outside of the office in order to build teams for the workplace. The results are greater cooperation and an environment of positive collaboration.
Workplace involvement: A good company culture supports involvement and provides positive, fun ways for employees to get together for personal and professional development activities, both within and outside normal company hours.
The philosophy of the MyAdventure Group is that it is the real shared experiences that people have which creates authentic bonds. This is why the MyAdventure Group programs spend considerable time with each group establishing objectives and desired outcomes. It is not only the challenging adventures that each group undertakes, but also the world class accommodation and luxury dining. All this adds up to unforgettable experiences and shared memories which allow what each group learns to be leveraged back into the workplace.
Vulnerability and Authenticity: Simple and clear communication is a vital key for good culture in any business. A lack of communication from the top down creates a culture of uncertainty and indecision. If your business is to have a healthy culture, it will need to support a genuine environment of transparency so that each of your team feels they know where the company is headed and how they fit into its mission.
Clear mission and values: The truth is, the culture in your business will match the attitudes and values that are modelled everyday by you and your co-leaders. A healthy and robust culture doesn’t just spring up out of thin air. First, you have to identify the values and goals that mean most to you and your business and then you have to live them out at all times and on all occasions. Always remember, healthy and successful people are true to themselves.
Next, you must clearly communicate your values and vision throughout your business, so that your team understands what’s expected of them and why. The research tells us that for a culture message to stick, employees need to hear that message a minimum of 7 times. So you could say that your CEO should actually be CRO (Chief Reminding Officer)!
Values should be embedded in every step of the employee’s life cycle -> from induction to termination (and everything in between). It’s a good idea if your mission and values are accessible to employees and displayed in all of the company’s internal and external communications.
Celebrate the journey: Businesses with great cultures have clear and consistent processes for recognizing the growth and achievements of their team members. This shows that a healthy company culture makes recognizing outstanding employee engagement a priority and highlights to everyone the value its workers bring.
Leaders are visible and accessible: Employees support leaders who are accessible, and honest. When leaders themselves show interest in every level of the business and make themselves available to everyone, it creates a sense that “we’re all in this together.” In such an atmosphere, your team is much more likely to feel good about the goals they’re working towards.
Comfortable workspaces: Comfortable workspaces with amenities and benefits that people care about, help to shape how people feel about their jobs and their employer. You might consider providing free healthy snacks such as a weekly fruit box, or even a small subsidy for car parking if that is a meaningful issue for your staff. This helps to create that vital culture of staff retainment that we mentioned earlier.
A culture of active listening: Healthy business environments are often destroyed by gossip or office politics. While a certain amount of this happens in any organisation, it will be more the exception than the norm in a healthy culture. Clear and consistent processes for giving feedback between leaders and their teams, at regular intervals are generally the best way to prevent these problems. Leaders must ensure that they practice active listening at these times, as this is another key component in building personal resilience. Employees can quickly become cynical if feedback is only a means for a pep talk.
Ongoing professional development opportunities: Job satisfaction and engagement are closely tied to the opportunities employees have for growth, learning and promotion. If your business can develop effective structures for supporting employee growth, with actual resources and budgets, you will demonstrate your commitment to each employee’s professional development and create a powerful sense of culture and community.
As a world record breaking adventurer, and founder of the MyAdventure Group, James Castrission knows first hand what it takes to create a powerful culture for success. In his own words, “MyAdventure Group wasn’t created to simply tick the corporate retreat box. It is purpose-designed to be a highly effective program for teams that want to step things up in every way. Why not book a call with Cas to find out how his team can help your team build for greater results!