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5 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Your Company Culture

5 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Your Company Culture

Whether your organization is seeking to attract new employees or motivate your current staff, it’s worthwhile to attempt – to the best of your abilities – an examination of your company or organization’s culture through the eyes of your employees. Make a habit of regularly evaluating your company culture to identify what you’re doing right and what you can improve.

You begin conveying your corporate culture to your employees from the moment you interview them through their career at your organization. Your ultimate goal should be to create a company culture that puts your mission at the center. It should demonstrate to your employees that they each have a valuable role in helping you achieve those goals.

To get started evaluating your company culture, examine the ways in which your employees and their work connect to your organization’s short and long-term goals. You’ll want to ask yourself questions such as:

  • Does your employees’ compensation reflect their work toward achieving your mission?
  • Are your employees aware of your goals and motivated to reach them?
  • Do your employees know what they are doing well and what they can improve upon?
  • Are you giving your employees opportunities to grow?
  • Are you responsive to your employees’ feedback?

When employees are knowledgeable about the goals they are working towards and fairly compensated for this work, they’ll be motivated to stay with your company and help you achieve your mission. One of the first places you’ll want to look when evaluating your company culture is your employees’ compensation.

 

1. Does your employees' compensation reflect their work toward achieving your mission?

1. Does your employees’ compensation reflect their work toward achieving your mission?

To attract and retain the best employees for your organization, it’s essential that you compensate them in a way that reflects their importance to achieving your goals. For newer companies or those that are adjusting their goals, determining employee compensation can be difficult.

Because fair compensation is essential to a positive company culture, ensure that you spend time considering this question and making any necessary changes to your compensation strategy.

If your organization is planning to make any adjustments to your employees’ compensation in an effort to improve your company culture, you may benefit from the professional experience of a consultant. Whether you’re just starting out or working to make beneficial changes, a top compensation consulting firm can help your organization to:

  • Develop a base compensation strategy. Your organization may be new or in the midst of change, but your compensation consultant brings years of experience to the process of creating your company’s base compensation strategy. They’ll take your organization’s goals and resources into account to help you develop the right strategy.
  • Incorporate incentives into your employee compensation. Together with your compensation consultant, your organization will define goals toward which your employees are working and modify your base compensation strategy to include custom-developed incentive plans that motivate employees to work toward company-wide goals.
  • Train your human resources department and line management to implement and carry out your new strategy. Your HR department and managers need to understand every aspect of your new compensation strategy, from the basics to components specific to executives and salespeople. With the help of your compensation consultant, you’ll be able to train them so that they have all the information they need to ensure the success of your new policies.

Successful updates to your human resources policies, including your compensation strategies, tend to be data-driven and are stronger when you gather as much information and input as possible from everyone involved. This information includes your employees’ feedback as well as the input of your compensation consultant.

Your new or refreshed compensation strategy is intended in large part to motivate your employees to work toward your organization’s most pressing goals. They can only do so, however, if they have a good understanding of what those goals are.

 

2. Are your employees aware of your goals and motivated to reach them?

2. Are your employees aware of your goals and motivated to reach them?

Both you and your employees will find it much easier and more rewarding to work toward company goals when you have actionable plans in place to reach them. When you’re able to communicate your goals to your employees and provide them direction, they’ll feel more involved in the process and be motivated to do good work as a result.

Especially for nonprofits, your annual report presents a great opportunity to restate your organization’s most pressing goals and evaluate your team’s progress toward reaching them. Your team members will see where you made great strides in the past year and where you could improve, motivating everyone to work together to develop a strategy for the coming year.

Beyond incorporating incentives into your compensation system, you can also share your organization’s goals with your team and motivate them through:

  • Conversations – Each of your team members is important to the success of your organization. Let them know what role they play in helping your company achieve your goals.
  • Meetings – Meetings are a great place to introduce your most recent goals to your whole team or larger groups of employees. You can also introduce plans that break down these goals step by step.
  • Team building activities – Your team will be more motivated to reach your organization’s goals when they enjoy working together. Team building activities don’t have to be silly or unexciting for your employees. Look for fresh and creative ideas that provide you with opportunities to share your goals.

When all of your employees are clear on what your goals are and understand the roles they play in reaching those goals, they’ll be more motivated. As your employees work toward your goals, ensure that your organization has an effective system in place to let employees know when they’re doing well and when they can improve.

 

3. Do your employees know what they are doing well and what they can improve upon?

3. Do your employees know what they are doing well and what they can improve upon?

Your employees want to contribute to your organization’s success by playing their parts in achieving your goals. The first steps in ensuring your employees are working to their fullest potential is compensating them fairly and communicating your goals.

Once your organization has completed these steps, the next part of the process is letting your employees know how they are doing.

If your organization needs to refresh your performance review system, you can develop an improved version with the help of a human resources consultant. As you work together to design the right system for your organization, ensure that you:

  • Make your employees’ performance on various objectives clear to them. An effective performance management system is one that reviews your employees’ performances as they relate to your goals. When the objectives under consideration clearly relate to the goals you have set, employees will better understand exactly what it is that they’re doing well and where they can improve.
  • Reward and recognize employees for their achievements. Although separate from the performance review system itself, it’s important that your organization has a system in place to recognize employees for outstanding contributions or progress toward your goals.
  • Communicate your objectives to your employees regularly. Your organization’s goals and the most effective means of reaching them are constantly changing, so don’t leave your employees out of the loop! They’ll perform better when they’re made aware of important changes and updates as soon as possible.
  • View “performance management” as an ongoing process. To be effective in reinforcing your organization’s goals to your employees it is important to understand that performance management is more than an annual event. It is an ongoing process.

You’ll develop the most effective performance management system when you combine the experience a human resources consultant brings to your company with your knowledge of your organization’s goals and overall culture. If you’re thinking about hiring an HR consultant, you can visit Astron Solutions to learn more about what you should be looking for.

Just as you need to develop a performance management system that acknowledges and communicates your company’s changing goals and objectives for your employees, you also need a system in place to help your employees grow to meet new challenges.

 

4. Are you giving your employees opportunities to grow?

4. Are you giving your employees opportunities to grow?

Your employees want to grow during their time at your company, and they’ll respond more positively to a company culture that promotes learning and values their development.

Your employees want to grow during their time at your company, and they’ll respond more positively to a company culture that promotes learning and values their development. Ensure that your employees have the opportunities they need to develop their careers at your organization.

When you work to build a corporate learning culture, employees understand that they don’t have to stop learning when their onboarding ends. New employees have a good understanding of where they should go to seek additional training opportunities. Make sure that your employees know:

When you work to build a corporate learning culture, employees understand that they don’t have to stop learning when their onboarding ends. New employees have a good understanding of where they should go to seek additional training opportunities. Make sure that your employees know:

  • What they’re working toward. Just as employees should have a good understanding of how the work they do in their current positions contributes toward your organization’s larger goals, they should also understand how their current position can open doors for them elsewhere in your organization. Ensure that employees know which positions they may qualify for in the future should they undertake the requisite training.
  • Where they can turn for professional development opportunities. Do your employees know what steps they can take to obtain the skills necessary to further their careers within your organization? Do they know who in your company to reach out to when they take an interest in doing so? Employees should understand the ways in which they as individuals can progress within the career paths your company offers them.
  • What training resources are available to them. Whether your company offers in-person training sessions, online courses, or both, your employees should know how they can access training resources most relevant to their goals.

If your company or organization is currently working to map out the potential career paths available to your employees, you may benefit from the expertise of a human resources consultant. You can learn more about the knowledge and strategies a consultant can bring to your plans for professional development opportunities here.

Whether they’re looking for professional development opportunities, offering suggestions as to how your company may better work to reach its goals, or raising concerns that you need to address, your employees likely offer you feedback already. It’s important for you to ask yourself how much of that feedback you respond to and take into account.

 

5. Are you responsive to employees' feedback?

5. Are you responsive to your employees’ feedback?

Your employees will view your company culture more positively when you provide timely and helpful responses to the feedback they may have. Ensure that your employees know how they can provide feedback, and take their responses into account wherever appropriate.

Gathering and incorporating employees’ feedback is important in developing a positive company culture and increasing employee retention rates. To encourage employees to provide their feedback, make sure that your company:

  • Makes it easy for them to do so. Provide your employees with surveys, opportunities to speak with other people in the company, and additional modes of gathering feedback. These methods shouldn’t take long to complete.
  • Meets with employees regularly. Ensure that you’re meeting with employees regularly, not just close to onboarding and when they decide to leave your company! This way, you’ll be better equipped to help solve any problems they may encounter and demonstrate that you’re more than willing to take their feedback into account.
  • Incorporates employee feedback into your plans. Employees will have a more positive opinion of your company culture and be more motivated to work toward your company’s goals when they know that their concerns, interests, and opinions are factored into your decision making. When you incorporate employee feedback into your plans and projects, make sure that you acknowledge their input.

As you evaluate your company culture, ensure that your employees have reasons to be connected to your goals and that they understand the essential roles they have in helping you reach them. Equally important is that you listen to your employees and provide them with the resources they need to succeed at your company.

When your company culture is viewed positively, you’ll have motivated employees who want to help you work to achieve your goals. Listening to them and providing them with opportunities for growth are essential components in developing the culture of a company or organization where people will be eager to work.

 

About the Author

Astron JenniferJennifer C. Loftus is a Founding Partner and National Director for Astron Solutions, a compensation consulting firm. Jennifer has 23 years of experience garnered at organizations including the Hay Group, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Eagle Electric Manufacturing Company, and Harcourt General.

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