Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Listen Your Way To A Better Company Culture

Do you hear what I hear? If you’re listening closely, what you hear might be the beginnings of a great company culture. Company culture is extremely important for both productivity and growing your company. Happy employees are also more productive employees and the happier your current employees seem, the more top talent will be attracted to your organization. There’s really no downside to maintaining a top-notch culture at your workplace.

So why do so many companies drop the ball when it comes to implementing a great company culture? This might be due in part to a lack of critical listening skills. Listening is fundamentally important, no matter what industry you work in. From the video interview to employee performance reviews, listening is an important part of the life of both employee and employer.

With the overabundance of distractions now in the workplace however, it can be hard to concentrate. There’s always a project needing immediate attention or a smartphone beeping to cut down on the amount we really listen to what’s going on around us. If we get too distracted by the audio clutter, we’re likely to miss out on what’s needed to turn a company into a great place to work.

Here are some reasons to rely on your ears for a successful company culture:

Listen for Great Ideas
Great ideas come from many different sources. From the boardroom to the dorm room, it’s hard to guess where the next great idea might spring. This is why it’s essential to listen to employees. You never know which employees will dream up your next game-changing concept. Every employee at your company should feel empowered to share great ideas with the company, regardless of where they fall in the corporate hierarchy.

More importantly, if employees feel like their ideas are being heard and respected they will come to you with more suggestions. If you implement an open door policy at your company, you’ll develop a culture where great ideas can flourish and grow.

Listen to Shape Company Culture
From the live video interview to day-to-day communication, listening is essential in order to build trust between employer and employees. Employees want to feel like their thoughts and contributions are being heard and considered. In the workplace, listening to the feedback from employees is the best way to build a company culture employees love.

For instance, if your workers love chatting outside work, perhaps schedule a monthly get-together at a local restaurant. If your workers like to keep their bonding on company time, it might be better to schedule this get-together during lunch instead. Don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole. It’s important to tailor your company culture to the employees you have instead of forcing employees into a culture you think they’ll like. The best way to do this is to listen to how employees feel and what they want from their working environment.

Listen to Defuse Conflicts
Unfortunately conflict is unavoidable, no matter how hard you try to foster a positive workspace. But this conflict doesn’t need to overtake the office or make employees miserable.

If you make it known your company is willing to deal with conflict head on in order to resolve it, spats can be addressed before they can fester into feuds. Make sure employees know you’re willing to listen to their grievances without judgement. It’s important you listen to both sides of the argument and come up with solutions both parties can agree to. You’ll be showing employees the culture of your company is open and willing to help, instead of punish.

Listening is a key component in building a company culture where employees feel valued. If you listen to employees in order to build your company culture, great candidates won’t be far behind. After all, great employees love employers who listen. Give your listening skills a workout so you don’t miss your company’s next top notch idea.

What are some ways you can use your listening skills to build company culture? Share in the comments!

Courtesy of Flickr by Menage a Moi

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).