The pandemic has changed the workplace forever, but is your company built to falter or thrive in the new hybrid environment? In our ongoing podcast and blog series, we explore ways to build a strong company culture and navigate the new way to work—from home, or anywhere, together.
In this follow-up blog, we expand on our initial learnings and insights from Kathleen Quinn Votaw and Marcus Buckingham (best-selling author and Head of Research, People and Performance at The ADP Research Institute) to help you unlock strengths, increase performance and pioneer the future of how people work.
As we delve deeper into the impacts of The Great Resignation, a competitive labor market and new ways of working, one thing stands out—the need for strong company culture. In today’s world, it’s no longer an option—it’s a necessity.
4 ways to build a stand-out company culture
1. Understand how people learn and grow. (Surprise: It’s not through feedback.)
After years of research, we know how the brain works. Innovation, learning and creativity all come from inspiration and insight, which come from within. It doesn’t come from a manager “giving feedback” because they don’t always know how someone thinks or learns. An employee’s desire to learn comes from inside—you can’t force a person to grow. When a leader pays attention to an employee and they feel they matter, that’s when employees are ready to receive whatever the conversation may be. People leaders need the courage to lead, and courage to listen.
2. Build your culture by building human connections.
If the world has learned anything since the start of the pandemic, it’s this: People need human connections. So don’t let your leaders neglect those weekly check-ins. (Read Part One of this blog series). What matters is the frequency, not the modality. The touch-base could be face-to-face, voice-to-voice, or even a Zoom call. As long as the leader can say, “I see you. I hear you. How can I help you this week?” It’s really very simple, but incredibly powerful.
3. Know what company culture is (and what it isn’t).
Company culture isn’t what your CEO says, and it’s not what’s on your website. Believe it or not, culture is determined by employees’ experiences and relationships with their direct manager, HR and others within the organization. It spans from the small things (like accuracy of insurance withholdings), to much larger things (like taking a leave of absence for mental health). These things are all deeply human and when they’re handled poorly, it negatively impacts company culture. But when they’re handled well, you create a culture where people become strong advocates for the company.
4. Implement a “relationship manager” – a single point of contact.
Today’s HR function is becoming increasingly verticalized – with multiple silos of expertise that rarely talk to one another. There’s no single point of contact serving the employee as a whole person—someone who knows an individual’s name and unique situation. Employees want a relationship manager—someone who can manage the relationship between themselves and the organization. Companies often forget that employees are humans. They need support, guidance, hope, joy and recognition.
Want to learn more?
Listen to the full podcast with Marcus Buckingham (Part 1 and Part 2) or see all the podcasts in our Dare to Care in the Workplace series. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get alerts when new podcasts are released.