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Cool employee perks—ideas for small and large companies

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 12, 2016

This week - Company Folders Inc. offers a great infographic that outlines what companies are doing to ensure that they’re the best in the biz. Great ideas that small and larger company human resources managers can gleen from! How does your workplace stacks up against these amazing incentives?  

Remember! The Small Company HR Conference, tomorrow (10/13) in San Francisco (and there's still time to register), is designed with your pain points in mind - as the one who holds the company together. Network with others in your shoes and get strategies for succeeding as a department of one, two or three. The essential HR topics including onboarding and offboarding, improving productivity, building culture, and avoiding legal risk – will be covered. This conference is ideal for office managers, administrative assistants, vice presidents, directors and nonprofits!  Be sure to post and or follow #NCHRASmallHR. 

10 Employee Perks To Attract Top Talent

Tags:  employee benefits  HR Conference  HR Management  Small Business HR  Workplace Incentives 

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Shape Company Culture with Intention

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 6, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2016
By Eric Shangle  - Head of People Operations at ZeroCater.

Shangle will also be presenting at the Small Company HR Conference, Thursday October 13 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. Shangle will provide strategies for identifying, creating, and implementing non-traditional benefits and programs that differentiate your company and make it attractive to top talent. Working from the bottom-up can help grow culture in ways you didn’t know. Don't miss this important conference for small business HR leaders! Register today. Share your experience and thoughts on the conference, and follow on social media using: #NCHRASMALLHR
 

“They’re a good culture fit. I like them,” is a phrase that frustrates me as a Human Resources professional.

Culture fit has little to do with personality (contrary to what we’re told). Culture is not something you can define. It’s not something you dictate. Culture is something you cultivate — it is both the arrival and result of bringing people together, and creating opportunities for coworkers to do so.

To shape a harmonious culture, senior leadership must determine the company’s value system and make hiring decisions around it. At its most basic framework, here are the four pillars needed to define your company culture:

  1. A value system to drive hiring decisions
  2. Opportunities for employees to come together and live those values
  3. A leadership team who emanates company culture
  4. Rewards for employees who follow suit

These are not about likability. Does a potential hire need to be the life of the party to be a good culture fit? Absolutely not. They just need to align with your value system.

Pillar One: Hire those who align with your value system

Your company value system reflects how you make the most difficult decisions.Culture is the manifestation of team synergy and behavior, centered around those values. To assess the culture fit of a potential hire, ask the question, “Will this person share our values? Will this person want to come together with the rest of the company?”

How can hiring managers implement this in everyday practice? At ZeroCater, our mission is to bring people and ideas together over food. Obviously, food is an easy common denominator. At small and large companies alike, a simple, welcoming gesture is taking someone to lunch. To us, it’s more than lunch — it’s a vehicle to bring people together.

Pillar Two: Create opportunities for culture to grow and develop

Culture will not progress on its own. Opportunities must be set in place for team members to come together. The opportunities can vary depending upon the organization, but should reflect:

1. The culture you’re trying to convey, and
2. 
How you empower your team to cultivate it

The office snack bar or the palette you chose for the walls may not determine your company culture. How your team interacts with one another, will have a much greater effect. Create opportunities that best reflect your company’s communicationDoes your office have a quieter atmosphere? Do coworkers communicate best through one-on-one conversations? If so, try choosing a group hike or game night over a sporting event.

Not everything requires money. An opportunity does not need a high price tag, but it should carry high engagement. Create a soccer league, plan a weekly team dinner, or do an impromptu activity. If you are struggling for ideas, ask your team for suggestions.

Pillar Three: Company culture starts from the top

Many executives say, “I want to have an engaging culture,” and expect employees to arrive there on their own.

Culture starts at the top, with senior leadership. However you choose to shape your company culture, you have to emotionally invest in it. If you don’t invest, it won’t be authentic; if it’s not authentic, it will never stick.

At ZeroCater, we’re a group of foodies, and food can provide an added value. We recently hosted movie night and had pizza and beer prior to the showing. There was nothing special about it, but the entire team — including CEO, directors, VPs, and interns — enjoyed it. The greatest part of the evening was not the movie itself,it was how we came together and enjoyed each other’s company beforehand.

Pillar Four: Reward employees for exemplifying company culture

Do you want something to be important to your employees? Then you better be prepared to show it’s important to you.

Let’s say you want to foster a fun culture. If you’re not willing to take a break and spend time with your employees, you can’t expect that fun camaraderie to trickle down. If, as a leader, your montage is work-work-work, your employees will imitate that culture. Set your expectations for company culture, and reward employees when they follow it.

Create a culture that will scale with your company

Creating a company culture is like learning a new skill-set — it takes practice. Set your intention for where you want your company culture to go, and bring that intent to the hiring process.

The larger you get as an organization, the more organized your company culture needs to be. Start with a blank slate. Hire based on your company values. Create opportunities for your team to come together. As a senior leader, live the values you chose. Empower your employees to do so as well (as discussed earlier).

A value system can be peeled back one layer at a time. Why do we take a midday break to eat together as a team? We could easily take our lunch back to our desks and continue working through the hour. What appears as team lunch on the surface, captures a number of our company values. We operate as a family, and there are no politics or job titles over lunch. We value transparency, and there’s no better channel for communication than the lunch table.

To us, a meal shared together is more than lunch — it’s the epitome of our culture as a company.

Tags:  company culture  Culture Development  HR Conference  Leadership  NCHRASmallHR  Small Business HR  Small Company HR 

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8 Culture Change Secrets Most Leaders Don’t Understand

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Contributed by Tim Kuppler

I spent 15 years learning and applying culture insights as a senior executive, consultant, and coach across multiple organizations before I started to proactively reach out to top culture pioneers and experts to learn about their culture facts and fundamentals. We can’t learn much about culture from the popular press and most social media is dominated by over-simplified culture content. Critical insights from the top culture experts in history are unfortunately “secrets” to the vast majority of leaders. Other leaders turn away from the fundamentals of culture to more exotic and superficial solutions.  

Edgar Schein, arguably the top culture pioneer, said in his closing comments at the Ultimate Culture Conference last year that we need to put the culture principles next to a good theory of change.  So what are some of the most important culture and change principles?

Below are 8 critical culture change secrets I have learned that most leaders, and self-anointed culture experts, typically don’t understand and leverage to improve results. Individual tips and keys have little use with a subject like culture so I’ll connect the explanation of these insights.

 

1. Culture is built through shared learning and mutual experience.

Edgar Schein mentioned this in an interview last year and I immediately connected it with habits that worked for me to consistently engage my leadership team and the broader organization when I was an industry executive. The foundation of effectively shifting or evolving culture does not come from popular approaches like:

  •  Defining values and “aligning” everything in the organization to them (even thought this approach is widely advocated,

  •  Training masses of people on values and expected behaviors,

  •  Focusing on clarity and alignment, engagement, or other areas of the work climate,

  •  Focusing on improving a few systems like hiring, performance management or reward and recognition.

Change efforts will likely include work in some or all of these areas but engaging leadership and the broader organization in a journey of shared learning and mutual experience is at the core of effective culture change or shaping efforts. Leaders can intentionally facilitate shared learning and mutual experience so improvements are clearly identified, captured, and spread to deliver results across their team in a phased improvement approach.

Culture is built through shared learning and mutual experience.
~Edgar Schein

2. Don’t focus on trying to change culture. Focus on a problem, challenge or goal and how culture is impacting the related work positively and negatively.
This fundamental is consistent with insights from Edgar Schein and I fortunately stumbled on it early in my career. I was a top leader and on the hook for growth, profit, customer experience, quality, safety and other critical performance priorities. I also cared tremendously about culture and felt it would be a key to our success. Zeroing in on a top mission or performance priority and engaging the broader organization more extensively in this one critical area delivered results. It also accelerated the shared learning and mutual experience since it was also focused on a meaningful priority for our entire team.

Don’t create a general “culture plan” where the connection to the results of the organization is unclear or debatable. Engage the organization to a much greater degree on one of your top priorities so you drive the shared learning, mutual experience and results faster than general culture work.

3. Results or consequences are necessary for any new cultural attribute to form.
Results will actually precede the cultural change. This important insight runs counter to arguments from some leaders that think they don’t have time for culture since they need results now and culture change takes a long time. Focusing the work on a top mission or performance priority will actually increase the likelihood of seeing results in a meaningful area AND supporting the targeted cultural shift.

Behaviors that lead to positive results will spread. Schein said these behaviors will not be spreading because employees were “told to” but because “they work.” I love his explanation: “if it’s successful, and people like it, and it becomes a norm then you can say it’s become a culture change.” So, what’s a norm? That question brings us to our next secret.

If it is successful, and people like it, and it becomes a norm, then you can say it has become a culture change.
~Edgar Schein

 4. The vast majority of what you hear about culture is actually focused on climate. It’s critical to understand the underlying cultural norms or expectations that are actually driving the vast majority of behavior we see.
I like calling these expectations the “unwritten rules” that drive our behavior. For many years, I thought I was effectively dealing with the subject of culture when we worked on improvements related to our values, involvement activities, management systems, communication habits, recognition, and many other areas. Some of these changes had an impact on culture but I struggled to gain a clear language around the behavioral problems we encountered and our “culture” survey results had already improved dramatically. I later found that engagement and nearly all “culture” surveys actually only measure aspects of the organizational climate. The climate is incredibly important but gaining an understanding of the underlying culture is critical for accelerating change efforts and delivering sustainable results.

My world changed when I met Rob Cooke and learned about the language, measurement, and power of behavioral norms. People are bombarded by cultural norms at work. Edgar Schein once said that 90% of our behavior in organizations is driven by cultural rules. The basic language of Constructive, Aggressive-Defensive, and Passive-Defensive expectations or norms from Human Synergistics helps me deal with client challenges every day.

  •  Aggressive-Defensive expectations such as maintaining unquestioned authority, outperforming peers, never making a mistake, opposing things indirectly, and many others don’t lead to sustainable effectiveness.
  •  Passive-Defensive expectations also exist in organizations and these expectations such as not “rocking the boat,” making a good impression, asking everybody what they think before acting, and doing things for the approval of others may also undermine effectiveness.
  •  Constructive expectations such as taking on challenging tasks, treating people as more important than things, and resolving conflicts constructively do lead to sustainable effectiveness for individuals, teams and the overall organization.

90% of our behavior in organizations is driven by cultural rules.
~Edgar Schein

It’s critical to move beyond the behavior we see in the organizational climate and understand the underlying culture. Leaders need to specifically understand how the climate and culture are impacting their work on top mission or performance priorities. The “key learnings” leaders gain from this understanding are invaluable.

5. Define a “FROM-TO shift” from defensive to constructive expectations.
I first learned about the FROM-TO shift language from Larry Senn. The “TO” side of this concept is advocated all over the place. Organizations are defining values and expected behaviors but most have no language for the “FROM” side. I believe the defensive expectations I previously mentioned, both passive and aggressive, are the most critical part of understanding the “FROM” side of this concept. We need to understand these norms as a foundation for understanding beliefs, assumptions, mind-sets, and other factors that help to explain why they exist.

Some leaders consistently misdiagnose their culture problems and jump to conclusions without gaining any deeper cultural insight. My favorite example is a top leader that thinks there is a major accountability or ownership problem in their organization. The actual cultural issue could be driven by perfectionistic, approval, avoidant, oppositional, or other norms in the current culture that current leadership, including the top leader, is perpetuating in many ways. Focusing on the “TO” behaviors we want does not address the root cause of the problems we see on the surface.

6. Repeatedly engage groups to define and continuously refine plans to improve results with a meaningful mission priority AND support the targeted FROM-TO shift.
Leader’s that engage their organization in defining focused improvement plans for a top mission priority and supporting the associated FROM-TO shift will dramatically increase the likelihood of success. The key is to move beyond general feedback approaches on mission priorities OR culture-related areas (behaviors, values, etc.).

Instead, engage groups in prioritized improvement feedback for a key mission or performance priority (growth, customer experience, etc.) that will also support the targeted FROM-TO shift. For example: How should we improve our new customer growth plans AND shift FROM perfectionistic aspects of our culture TO an achievement-oriented focus as a team? Far more explanation and sharing of specific stories, behaviors, and examples are obviously needed but you get the idea. Focus improvements on a mission priority (what) AND the targeted cultural shift (how). It’s also important to identify any positive aspects of the culture that may be further leveraged as part of improvement efforts.

Plan ahead to re-engage groups periodically to provide prioritized feedback on what’s working and what’s not after you make progress on implementation (typically every 3-6 months). Identify the top improvements to leverage what’s working and to address what’s not.

7. It’s critical to adjust management, communication and motivation systems/habits to translate plans to effective action and shift the operating model.
The problem in most organizations is not identifying improvements that will have a positive impact on culture but implementing them. I am sure we all can relate to Edgar Schein’s point that you only begin to fully understand a culture when you try to change it. It’s far easier to engage leadership and the broader organization in defining improvement plans than implementing them.

Jim Collins said “a culture of discipline is not a principle of business, it is a principle of greatness.” There are three areas of discipline nearly all organizations involved in culture-related change efforts must refine and connect:

  •  Management systems – especially the basic habits for senior leadership to define, monitor and manage strategic priorities, measures, and improvement plans.
  •  Communication systems – especially implementing or improving the formal and informal habits for communicating the status of priorities and plans along with regularly obtaining feedback for improvement.
  •  Motivation systems – especially intentional efforts to dramatically increase the recognition of team members that display the targeted constructive “TO” behavior in the FROM-TO shift and achieve results.

The lack of rigor in these three areas dramatically amplifies culture related problems and substantial adjustments are nearly always a part of major transformation efforts.

A culture of discipline is not a principle of business, it is a principle of greatness.
~Jim Collins

8. Culture transformation starts with personal transformation.
I love this point from Larry Senn. You can effectively cover the first seven “secrets” but your change efforts will bog down as individual behavior and mind-set issues continue to persist, especially with top leaders. Top leaders must gain an understanding of how their behavior is impacting the behavior of others. Is that “impact” constructive, passive, or aggressive? How are they reinforcing the current culture? What individual and team development efforts need managed in parallel with the overall organization transformation?

Culture is not an initiative. Culture is an enabler of all initiatives.
~Larry Senn

My favorite questions in initial executive interviews are: 1) Why is this change effort important to you personally? 2) How are you reinforcing the current culture and contributing to the culture frustrations that persist?

The answers to these questions may lead to important leadership “aha’s”, as Larry Senn calls them, or reveal how difficult the journey will be to uncover those aha’s.

It’s incredibly rare for change efforts to effectively leverage these basics. I interact with consultants and leaders across hundreds of culture-related transformations and literally 1 in 100 directly address these areas. I am currently in the middle of six complex projects where these areas are being proactively addressed and it’s exciting to see the results. Each organization is from a different industry and their initial work is focused on a different mission priority but many similar challenges are being encountered and resolved. These “secrets” seem common sense but they are not commonly advocated.

If you’re ready to apply these insights as part of your improvement plans and unlock the power of culture to support your purpose / mission:

  1. Define the purpose of your improvement effort and complete qualitative (focus groups, interviews, etc.), and likely, quantitative culture analysis (survey). Obtain external support if you are not experienced with this work or want to increase the likelihood of success.

  2. Engage top leadership to review the results of the culture analysis and capture key learnings. Define a top mission or performance priority (growth, customer experience, etc.). Develop initial plans to engage the organization in new ways to improve related strategies / plans and support a FROM-TO shift in the culture.

  3. Engage the broader organization and obtain prioritized feedback as part of the effort to finalize improvement plans. Define when these groups will be re-engaged to provide prioritized feedback on what’s working and what’s not.

  4. Manage the change as part of refined management, communication, and motivation systems. Connect any organization development plans to individual development efforts, starting with top leaders.

These insights are only a small part of what’s necessary for meaningful culture change and sustainable results. They help to build initial momentum and results necessary for any new cultural attribute to emerge.

I couldn’t be happier that most culture pioneers and experts are open to the idea of sharing their insights and collaborating to make a meaningful difference. It will take time but these and other “secrets” will eventually be discovered by the average leader. It will be exciting when far more leaders gain the confidence to proactively deal with this topic in a serious, diligent, energizing, and impactful way.

 

We need more culturally intelligent leaders. What culture insights or “secrets” can you add to help leaders make a meaningful difference?

 

The descriptions of the cultural styles and norms are from the Organizational Culture Inventory® by R. A. Cooke and J. C. Lafferty. Download this article for sharing along with a special Corporate Culture Summary from Edgar Schein.  

Reprinted with permission from “8 Culture Change Secrets Most Leaders Don’t Understand” from CultureUniversity.com. © 2016 All rights reserved.

 

About the Author

Tim Kuppler is the co-founder of CultureUniversity.com and Director of Culture and Organization Development for Human Synergistics, a 40+ year pioneer in the workplace culture field with the mission of Changing the World—One Organization at a Time®. He leads collaboration and partnering efforts with culture experts, consulting firms, industry organizations and other groups interested in making a meaningful difference in their organization, those they support, and, ultimately, society. Human Synergistics is home of the Organizational Culture Inventory, the most widely used and heavily researched culture assessment in the world, and the Annual Ultimate Culture Conference, the premier organizational culture event. He authored the 2014 book - Build the Culture Advantage, Deliver Sustainable Performance with Clarity and Speed which was endorsed as the "go-to" resource for building a performance culture. e previously led major culture transformations as a senior executive with case studies featured as part of the 2012 best-selling book – Leading Culture Change in Global Organizations. He was also President of Denison Consulting, a culture assessment and consulting firm. He is an accomplished speaker and recognized as a Top 100 leadership conferences speaker on Inc.com. His 20 years of culture and performance improvement experience includes the rare mix of executive leadership, coaching, and consulting knowledge necessary to help leaders quickly improve team effectiveness and results as they focus on their top mission / performance priorities, challenges, and/or goals. He networks extensively in the workplace culture field in order to learn and share the latest insights across many experts. Email Tim to learn more.


Tags:  company culture  employee communication  Employee Training  executive communication  HR Innovation  small business 

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Micro-Aggressions in the Workplace: Identifying Problems and Working on Solutions

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Contributed by
Christine M Meadows, Vigilant

“I couldn’t talk to her; she was totally hysterical.”

“I don’t even think of you as being black.”

“That’s so gay.”

Micro-aggressions are those comments and interactions at work that leave employees feeling uneasy, angry, or upset – sometimes in ways that aren’t easily explained. Using a racial slur is an overt discriminatory act.  Micro-aggressions can come from people who mean no harm. The question to the multi-racial co-worker, “What are you?” may come from a real curiosity, but is rude and could carry an additional message that dismisses the racial identity of the person who hears it. In isolation these acts may not quite rise to the level of legal discrimination, but that single interaction communicates that a person is “other” or an outsider. Add up the experience of daily, weekly, and monthly micro-aggressions, and you could have a legally hostile work environment.

Micro-aggressions in the workplace manifest in different ways. Consider the following examples: 

  • Men talk to each other during a meeting and ignore the woman at the table, talking over her when she tries to contribute;
  • A manager tells an applicant of Chinese decent that he "speaks excellent English,” though it is obvious from his resume he was born and raised in the United States;
  • An African American manager gives a presentation and his Caucasian co-worker says she "had no idea he was so articulate.”

These types of interactions are not likely to find their way to upper management. Employees who already feel marginalized may never bring the issue forward, afraid of being labeled a whiner or of facing an unsympathetic supervisor or human resources representative. Confronting co-workers with the harmful impact of their statements may just make it worse (“I meant it as a joke/compliment. Why are you so sensitive?”), creating an additional burden on the employee who is already feeling marginalized.  If micro-aggressions are part of the organizational culture, the individual also has no reason to believe that organizational leadership will address it. As a result, these daily interactions can make an environment so intolerable over time that employees look for employment elsewhere.  

The truth is we probably have all been guilty of engaging in some form of micro-aggression at some point in time, intended or not. These subtle discriminations are born from our own internal biases.  Addressing micro-aggression must start with recognizing these internal biases and actively attempting to counter them. As an individual contributor within your organization, you can continue to learn and be honest with yourself about your own personal biases. Recognize that your experiential reality may be different from people of different races, gender, ethnicity, and age. Don’t be defensive about the fact that you have preconceptions or defend the basis for your personal biases.  Acknowledge that the feelings of others are valid and based on their life experiences.  Be willing to discuss your biases and recognize how you may have hurt others, even unintentionally. Have the courage to call attention to micro-aggressive behavior when it occurs. For example, “Steve, we’ve been talking over Sue and she has an interesting point. Let’s give her our full attention.”  Micro-aggressions can make people feel excluded; be vigilant about supporting colleagues who may feel marginalized.

In addition, organizations must work on a broader scale to create a culture in which everyone treats each other with respect. To accomplish this, many major corporations regularly engage in implicit bias training with their employees to increase their individual awareness. In a culture where it is safe, even encouraged, to bring up and discuss perceived micro-aggressions, the behavior tends to decrease. For example, the woman who was born in Ohio and is of Asian-American descent when asked, “Where were you born?” may perceive the question as one framing her as a stranger in her own country. The co-worker may have meant, “Were you born in Columbus?” and will be more likely to rephrase the question in a sensitive manner if the organization can provide safe and effective communication tools that bring micro-aggressions into the open. By discussing these issues, everyone gains a better understanding of each other. For that to occur, both employees must feel safe and trust the environment to allow honest conversations to happen.

While it sounds deceptively simple, addressing micro-aggressions in the workplace is not an easy thing to accomplish. It requires a long-term commitment to organizational values that holds everyone accountable to themselves and their co-workers for managing their biases in the workplace. The bottom line is that organizational change starts with individuals, and as individuals, it starts with us. Respect each other, everyone, no exceptions.

 

Christine Meadows is an employment and labor attorney at Vigilant

 

Tags:  employee relations  employment law  harassment in the workplace  micro-aggressions  organizational culture  organizational values 

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Connecting People and Purpose: 7 Ways High-Trust Organizations Retain Talent

Posted By Administration, Saturday, September 24, 2016
Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2016

Contributed by

 

 

  

Meet Jessica Rohman, Director of Content, Great Place to Work® at the NCHRA Engagement & Recognition Conference on Wednesday, September 28th at Golden Gate University. Jessica will present "Engaging and Retaining Your Future Workforce" (first session, 8:30am).

>> Read more and register here. 

Discover strategies for achieving true employee engagement and a successful recognition program! #NCHRAEngage 

Great Place to Work® has crafted its perspective by learning from great leaders, surveying millions of employees, and examining thousands of the best workplaces around the globe. The company thrives on sharing the insights they've gleaned from their work with companies of all industries and sizes in order to help organizations around the world build, sustain and scale their great culture. Here are highlights from the 2016 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® report (white paper) -- seven ways high-trust organizations retain talent. 


 1. DEFINE YOUR COMPANY’S PURPOSE AND CONNECT PEOPLE TO IT.

It’s easy to understand the difference your actions make in the world if you are the president of an organization, or a nurse who is saving patients’ lives. It can be more difficult to make that connection from the factory floor, behind a cash register, or even from a computer screen.Therefore, it’s critical that leaders and managers clearly define the overarching purpose of the company in the world, and just as importantly, connect each employee to their specific role in driving it forward through their work. This way, no matter where a person sits in the organization, they know that their actions play a role in the broader fate of the company, and ultimately, in the world at large.

2 TRUST AND EMPOWER EMPLOYEES TO DO THEIR JOBS.
Increasingly, highly-evolved workplaces and leaders are coming to understand that tapping into the collective knowledge of an organization is the key to success. Unlike the command-and-control ethos that has traditionally characterized many organiza-
tions, more and more of today’s CEOs are incorporating openness, transparency and employee empowerment into their workplace cultures. 
 

3 GIVE EMPLOYEES A VOICE.
Nothing shows an employee more clearly that they make a difference to the company than the authentic desire, on the part of leaders, to actively seek their ideas. As such, leaders at great workplaces work tirelessly to stay connected to employees in all parts of the company, including on the very front lines. And, at the core of this behavior is the belief that employees have something valuable to say. By giving employees multiple avenues to share their ideas, questions, and concerns, leaders only amplify the message that staffers are an important part of the company’s success.

4 SHOWCASE THE CUSTOMER.
In many organizations, only a small percentage of employees actually work directly with the company’s client base. However, establishing the link between an employee’s work—regardless of where they sit—and the final impact it has on the end customer can be powerful in creating a sense of purpose. Examples of ways to make this connection include:
> Internal communication campaigns that inspire pride in employees – including mentions of where their products are showing up
in the press, sales numbers, and more.
> Site visits to retail stores or customer locations.
> Incorporating customer stories and feedback into corporate communications.
> Bringing customers/patients onsite to talk about the impact the company’s products or services have in their lives.

Many of the Best Companies across industries create opportunities for employees to interact directly with the customers/users of their services.

5 MAKE YOUR WORKPLACE A COMMUNITY.
Working with a group of strangers is one thing; collaborating with a valued community is a completely different proposition. A universal quality of great workplaces is the strong sense of family and team experienced by employees across the organization. In fact, at this year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For®, nearly 9 in 10 employees report: There is a “family” or “team” feeling here.  
Building a close community with colleagues only furthers work as more than “just a job.” And, when the going gets tough, these relationships can be critical touchstones for employees in making their days more enjoyable—creating another reason to ride out difficult times with the company rather than jump ship for another opportunity.

6 RECOGNIZE EMPLOYEES’ CONTRIBUTIONS.
Whether it’s via birthday or anniversary celebrations, a personal thank you card, kudos at a staff meeting, or a high-class celebratory gala, the recognition and appreciation of employees is important to the understanding that they—as a person and as an employee—make a difference to the company. “One of the most powerful ways to help people understand that they are making a difference at your company is by recognizing them for their contributions,” says Great Place to Work® Partner, Anil Saxena.

7 MAKE “GIVING BACK” PART OF YOUR BRAND.
One of the greatest strengths across the 100 Best Companies to Work For® is a strong commitment to volunteerism and philanthropy. Not only are employees involved in these efforts in a very hands-on way, but volunteer opportunities are woven into the employer brand and the employee value proposition. This way, all employees have an opportunity to feel that because they are a part of their company, they are able to contribute to their community in a meaningful way. (See sidebar: Clif Bar on white paper* detail.)

Click here to read *the complete white paper....




 

Tags:  employee engagement  employee recognition  employee retention  Engagement & Recognition Conference  Great Place to Work 

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