In the context of customer experience, it’s often written that purpose-driven organizations are the most successful. Why? They clearly and explicitly communicate their values to their customers, through every touchpoint of the customer experience, building loyalty, trust, and long-term relationships.
The same is true for mobilizing employees internally. A clear purpose and transparency in business goals motivates employees and connects them to a sense of creating value within an organization, which translates to greater engagement.
If a company’s big visions are undefined or aren’t easily translated into strategic actions, and if employees are not clear on what they’re working towards, this can become part of a bigger communication issue within the company, and employees can become disengaged.
According to Ceridian’s 2017 Pulse of Talent, high performing respondents were more likely to work for companies that have clear values (85%), and far more likely to know their company’s business goals (72%). Additionally, 81% of high performing respondents felt positive or very positive about their company’s financial future, versus 69% of all respondents.
“Companies that truly live their values elevate the workplace to a higher level,” says Lisa Sterling, Ceridian’s Chief People and Culture Officer.
As part of a healthy culture, employees place value in having the tools they need to succeed, such as skills development and learning opportunities; an opportunity for flexibility in their work schedules; and in having positive relationships with co-workers. These aspects of the employee experience become key pillars in driving company values and goals.
From Ceridian’s 2017 Pulse of Talent, here are five keys to cultural success.
Five Keys to Cultural Success
- Communicate company goals and values. Ensure that company values are part of the onboarding experience. Other than using internal communications tools like emails or newsletters, think about other ways you can encourage employees to not only understand, but live company culture. This could be by putting the organization’s values on office walls, having hackathons to solve organizational challenges, creating internal groups or committees that focus on particular company initiatives (e.g. diversity and inclusion, CSR).
- Get real feedback from employees – but don’t ask about issues the company isn’t willing to act on. Go beyond quarterly or yearly surveys and open up real dialogue with employees with regular touchpoints.
- Examine policies to provide greater flexibility for employees. The 2017 Pulse of Talent found that the majority of high performing respondents work for companies that have work-from-home policies – 58% to be exact. Flexible and agile strategies for employees lead to greater engagement and increased productivity. Within the parameters of your organization, examine what increased flexibility looks like for your workforce.
- Consider learning opportunities tied to career growth. From a career pathing standpoint, learning and career development are closely linked. Link courses and training to performance management plans, and help employees understand how learning opportunities align with their career objectives.
- Pilot programs – test and learn for cultural change. Start small by testing new initiatives for shorter periods of time before a full-blown implementation. For example, Ceridian piloted its “Take 2” program – which gives employees the ability to take two hours to use outside of work as they see fit – during the summer months. The pilot period provided insight into what would be required to expand the program, how employees reacted to that flexibility, and identified the potential for other opportunities within the organization.
“What it all comes down to,” Sterling says, “is when you put your people first and take care of them, they put you first and give you that discretionary effort that drives a culture of excellence.”