Managers Understand That Company Culture Starts With Them

Managers are responsible for fixing problems with company culture
Managers are responsible for fixing problems with company culture
Image Credit: Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Managers realize that it’s always been hard to use their manager skills to attract and retain the top quality talent that they need. It seems as though it has become even harder to do this lately. What seems to be a key way that managers can make this happen is if they use their manager training to understand what workers, especially millennials, are really looking for: company culture.

What Is A Company’s Culture?

When job candidates are looking at your company, they will consider a number of different factors. These can include such things as employee engagement, job satisfaction, work-life balance, opportunities for collaboration and growth, effective leadership, and benefits. People who are thinking about coming to work for your company will take the time to research your company online. This is important because that research can determine whether someone decides to apply for an open role at your company.

It turns out that this company culture thing is a big deal. Not only can having a poor company culture make people not want to work for you or your company, but a poor company culture can cause overall business success to take a hit. Corporate culture problems have been making news a lot lately — headlines in relation to hostile work environments, defrauding customers, and other issues. A strong company culture is not only important as a recruitment tool, but it also ensures that your business has a favorable reputation in the eyes of your customers and investors.

The good news about all of this corporate culture stuff is that you can control it. It turns out that there are three factors that contribute to culture problems. These include, the tone set by executive management, the tone set by middle management, and excessive focus by the company on short-term goals.

Show Off Your Core Values

I’m pretty sure that we have all seen this before: a company lists its core values on their websites or posts them on their office walls without actually living up to those values. One of the things that managers need to realize is that the tone set by executive and middle management are two of the contributing factors to culture problems, your whole team needs to live and breathe core values from the top down to promote a strong culture. You can’t fake this stuff.

The role of a manager is to make sure that everyone from entry-level to leadership is expected to adhere to our core values – and let your core values drive your decision making. An example of doing this is when a company has a core value that says “No jerks.” This core value means all employees are expected to respect one another, and this even extends to customers.

These core values have to be put into action on a daily basis. If interviewees don’t live up to this value, don’t hire them. And if employees disrespect fellow employees or customers, let them go — and the same goes for customers who don’t agree to play by your rules.

If your executive and middle management makes it clear to employees that they’re working to live the core values every day, this will lead to a stronger culture and keep employees motivated to do great work. And if you embrace core values to drive business decisions, this is something that can help your business continue to grow and succeed.

Keep Things Transparent

Secrets have no place in a company that is trying to live its core values. To maintain a positive company culture, managers need to create trust among employees by maintaining transparency. Managers should keep all team members updated on the company vision and goals, and continue to update them on whether or not you’re on track to meet your goals. There should be no surprises here.

One way that a manager can make this happen is by holding a weekly all-employee huddle, where you review what each team is working on and share where the team as a whole stands in relation to quarterly goals. Doing so empowers employees to keep working together toward common goals. Managers can also host quarterly town halls, in which you review quarterly and annual goals in more detail and open the floor to questions from employees, which takes overall transparency even further.

Transparency is also important between managers and employees. To be transparent with employees, managers should have recurring check-ins with team members where they discuss what’s working and what’s not, and what employees can do to continue growing in their careers.

What Matters Are Long-Term Goals

The last contributing factor to company culture problems is excessive focus on short-term goals. Company goals that only focus on the short-term can leave employees feeling disjointed and frustrated. If priorities shift from week to week, it can lead to employees losing motivation, as they won’t understand how their work is contributing to making the company better.

Instead of exclusively focusing on short-term goals, instead your whole team should be aligned on long-term goals. To do this, managers can develop one-, three-, and five-year revenue goals, and outline other goals you want to reach in the long run. This will create a more collaborative culture and excite employees to help your company achieve its goals.

What All Of This Means For You

Although many companies like to talk about it, company culture is all too often relegated to slogans that are placed on the walls in hallways. If a company wants to come across as a place where millennials will want to work, not only do they need to tell the world what their company culture is, but they also have to live it each and every day.

A company can’t just show off its core values. Instead, these values have to become something that everyone in the company from the top down lives and breathes each and every day. Managers need to be the ones who are making sure that everyone is sticking to the core values and doing team building. One way to show that the company believes in its core values is by keeping everything transparent. This builds trust among the team members. Instead of focusing exclusively on short-term goals, a manager needs to remind his or her team what the long term goals are. Once you know this, you can keep things balanced.

Core values are what makes a group of people become a team. When outsiders see the team that you have and understand what they are working towards, then they will want to join your team. Make sure that your company’s core values are well known, lived every day, and taught to everyone who joins your team. By doing this you’ll be able to create the team that everyone wants to be a part of.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: How many core values do you think that a single company should have?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As managers we are being asked to do a lot of different things. We may come into work with a list of things that we want to get done during the day and when we leave at the end of the day we discover that we’ve spent our time doing a lot of other things and our list is untouched. People seem to have no problems dropping by our desks and asking us to do things for them. If we’re not careful, a lot of stuff is going to fall through the cracks. How can a manager use our manager skills to stay on top of everything that we’ve been asked to do?