Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The three most important company culture metrics to track

In the day-to-day bustle of running a business, it’s easy to forget about company culture. You may even think that compared to tracking the bottom line, assessing customer satisfaction with services or products, and opening new markets, culture is pretty low on the totem pole.
If it is, you need to raise it higher. That’s because culture will ultimately define employees’ job satisfaction and productivity. How are you going to accomplish your goals without satisfied, even happy, employees who believe in the company mission, like working there and want to be successful?
First, let’s define what company culture is. You may think it’s working at that cool office downtown with a ping pong table in the basement and complimentary craft beer in an adjacent fridge. Let’s not confuse culture with perks. Culture is much deeper, and if a prospective employee doesn’t buy into it, you shouldn’t be hiring her. Culture is how you get things done, the level of openness to new ideas, the levity or seriousness of co-worker relations, the will and drive to commit to a mission. It’s a bit like that elusive thing we call “chemistry.”
Only it’s really not as elusive as you think. And it’s time to start tracking it.
1. Make sure there is real communication happening.
Do your employees feel heard? Is company leadership open to new ideas? Is it acceptable for the downline to make suggestions to the top? And conversely, is the company leadership open and honest with employees, keeping everyone in the loop? If you’re operating a business on a “need to know” basis, chances are communication is weak, and you need to reframe your approach so everyone has a place at the table and feels their contributions and ideas are of value.
2. Promote an environment of adaptability.
Now more than ever, the way we do business and reach customers is changing rapidly. New technologies enable us to sell our products and reach our markets in increasingly diverse ways. Nevermind the day-to-day challenges of handling client feedback that isn’t what you expected or running into a roadblock that requires you to instantly shift direction. Can your team adapt to all these challenges? Are they flexible and able to keep their cool even when change is afoot? How do they handle introductions of new technologies, innovative ideas, and different ways of approaching problems? Be certain your team is adaptable enough to change focus seamlessly in a fast-paced world where businesses demand to stay abreast of the latest technologies and trends..
3. Ensure everyone has the support they need to succeed.
That means your company shouldn’t just be a business serving businesses. It should be a community of like-minded people focused on a common goal who are willing to go out of their way to serve one another. Nobody should be saying, “That’s not my job.” Instead they should be saying, “How can I help?” If your team’s data scientist is working to develop software for a potential new tech customer and you’re in marketing and sales, it really is your job to make sure his presentation is just as savvy as the data behind it. If your employees aren’t clear on the fact that they’re part of a team and are jockeying for favor, careless of the bigger picture, it’s time to do a shakedown. Everyone on your team should be using their skills and talents not just to support the company mission and goals but to support each other.

by Sheila Kloefkorn

Source: Phoenix Business Journal


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