Building their organizational culture is the biggest thing on the minds of leaders today. It impacts employee well-being, their performance, the company’s bottom line, as well as new hires and clients. Companies build this culture through carefully chosen values, leadership training programs, a fun work environment, etc. But, there is a step before that – understanding what employees care about when it comes to culture. Bill Robel, CEO of Pingboard, says, it is two things – their future and the company’s future.

So, if you’re a leader thinking about your company culture, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Does every employee know where the company is headed?

This might feel like a redundant question. But, in reality, only around 40% of your employees understand the company’s overall vision and objectives. Even among the executives, only 60% of them know what the company stands for. That’s a blow. Because if people do not align with the company’s vision, they won’t be able to engage, or become ambassadors for the company. So, everyone needs to be on board. Here’s how you can facilitate that:

  • Repeat yourself. Marketing expert Dr. Jeffrey Lant formulated the ‘Rule of Seven’, which states that messages don’t resonate until they’re repeated seven times over 18-months.
  • Schedule regular all-hands meetings to talk about the future, significant changes, and why certain decisions were made, or changes implemented.
  1. Do they know how their work contributes to this vision?

The next step – employees understanding how their daily tasks and monthly/ annual goals help achieve the vision. This is the place where an employee’s passion or talent meets their purpose. Being able to relate to the big picture is key to developing strategic thinking, as well as finding meaning in one’s work. Surprisingly, 80% of workers have no clear line of sight between their tasks and organizational goals.

  1. As they work on their goals, do they feel valued?

This is the clincher. Are your people happy, as they work towards this big picture? If not, then they are disengaged. They need to feel that their work is valued. To make this happen, train the managers in your company to give feedback through one-on-one meetings, frequently. Appreciate people. Build personal relationships with them. In fact, companies see strong dividends when they support employees in times of personal crisis. People feel they belong to a ‘human’ workplace, and it influences their commitment, satisfaction, burnout, teamwork, and even absenteeism.

As you answer these questions and get people aligned with the company’s goals, the foundations of your company’s culture will fall in place. Along the way, you’ll develop more clarity about related factors – ranging from the organizational behaviors you want to encourage to the incentives you wish to offer. You might even realize that the ping-pong room wasn’t necessary. Culture is more about the feel.

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