"Don’t let tackling culture overwhelm you. Start a conversation."
Silicon Valley Bank brought together corporate and human resources leaders to share ideas on how to talk about and measure culture to motivate awareness and positive behavior inside their companies. Read on for part two (of two) of advice they have for high growth technology companies. Here you will find part one.
Engaged employees understand their purpose in the organization, believe their bosses are transparent and feel they have a voice. If Friday bagel time or beer busts aren’t your thing, try the one-on-one approach. Randomly walk the floor and start conversations by asking how folks are feeling. If your employees are reticent, that may be a sign you have work to do to gain trust.
Encourage storytelling and have some good stories of your own that illustrate your values. Prove that your words, feet, and wallet all march in the same direction. Sharing financials openly is one path.
As mentioned above, set a baseline and have a goal. Ways to set the baseline include reading employee reviews on websites and taking regular snapshots or drip surveys of employees. Some tools allow you to compare your company to others on criteria ranging from diversity in hiring to employee turnover rates. Some companies have started "culture clubs." Others tweet questions asking how a move went or soliciting reaction to a new policy. There is no magic measurement tool. Success is not about any particular score or response rate; it’s about seeing continued improvement.
Make it Happen
Don’t let "tackling culture" overwhelm you. Start a conversation. Go up to someone in your company and ask her or him, "What’s your experience like working here? What can I do to make it better?" The first time or two may be a bit uncomfortable, but it’s a good start. Ask yourself this question, "What are you doing today to make it better tomorrow?”
Go back to part one of this two-part series and learn about how to define culture for your workplace and why it’s important to be authentic when talking about it.