Many managers and owners believe company culture will develop organically. While this may be true in part, letting your company culture grow “organically” isn’t wise.
What’s better is for you to do a consistent evaluation of your company culture and adjust it according to the way you want your company or department to develop. The question is, how do you evaluate your company culture? What metrics or mannerisms do you look for?
Typically, you look at your employees, your customer satisfaction and interaction, and how you are performing in the marketplace.
However, your first evaluation should be your employees. They are the ones who have the most significant impact on your customer satisfaction and your placement in the marketplace.
Your Employees Mirror Your Company Culture
Your employees are the direct reflection of your culture. The reason is they are the ones most impacted by the atmosphere inside your business.
So, look around and see how your employees do the following:
How do you employees dress? Is it acceptable and professional? Is it appropriate for their job? Does it send the message you want to convey?
Are your employees respectful of each other? Common courtesy is a sign of good relationships and self-esteem.
Do you experience much absenteeism?
How is your employee benefits program? Is it on par with other companies in your industry?
Check your turnover rate for each department, are there any that have abnormal vacancies with no apparent explanation? Where are they going when they leave? Conducting exit interviews with people is the best way to find out.
Asking Questions Isn’t Enough
You might think it’s simple to get your employee’s input on your culture. You say to yourself, “I’ll just go ask them!” While this isn’t a bad idea, it might not be the most illuminating. If there is a problem, it might be something people don’t want to discuss. For example, your marketing department might have a problem with sales, but nobody wants to openly talk about it, because they work closely and don’t want to tread on people’s feelings. Or, there might be an issue between your warehousing staff and distribution, but your managers won’t know because the teams don’t tell them.
The way to defeat this is to conduct confidential surveys and interviews. Ask people what they want, but then dig deeper. Find out why they want changes, this may take a little bit of sleuthing, but it will lead you to internal problems causing hiccups in your system and affecting customer satisfaction. If you do discover some, “hidden” problems, don’t stop with your investigation. Try and determine how it’s impacting your customer satisfaction.
Equal Parts Consulting understands the impact of culture on a company and employees. If you are seeking external and experienced input into improving the efficiency of your company, we ask you to consider contacting us for further information.