A lot of thought and work goes into crafting your business’s mission statement and core values. Often wrapped up in strategic planning sessions, values statements form the identity of a company, which determines a lot about the workplace culture. What kinds of things does your company value? What are your ethics? How do you work together as a team?
Many companies are good at crafting these sorts of statements. The challenge comes from actually communicating core values and culture. Sometimes, there’s a disconnect between what a company says and what actually goes on. More often than not, however, people may simply be unaware of your core values and workplace culture because of poor communication.
COMMUNICATING YOUR VALUES AND CULTURE
You know the importance of communication in the corporate world. One sloppy email or ill-conceived tweet can cause a firestorm for a company. Your internal communications are also important, and that includes communicating about the company to your employees and team members.
People are often unaware of core values or work culture because it hasn’t been communicated effectively. That leaves you with the question of how you can communicate these core components of your business’s identity.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
First and foremost, companies need to address any potential disconnect between what’s written down in a strategic plan or pinned to the wall on a poster and what is actually done in the business. Employees are highly aware of these discrepancies, and that means you need to walk the walk if you’re going to talk the talk.
Is one element of your work culture a strong team ethic? Then you should foster teamwork; put yourself on a team and work inclusively with them. Even if you are the manager or the CEO, rolling up your sleeves and engaging with your employees shows them you’re committed to values and workplace culture like you say you are.
ALIGN WITH ACTIONS
The next step is to ensure that all of your business practices align with your work culture and your core values. Do your hiring practices reflect the respect for diversity you say is so important to your company? Do your corporate actions reflect your commitment to a greener environment? If not, you may need to take a step back and re-evaluate your culture, your values, and your company policies and processes. Something may need to shift to create a truly accurate reflection of your company identity.
Some companies think it’s okay to simply hand out a leaflet or tack a poster to the wall; that’s all they do to communicate core values and work culture to team members. Your employees are likely to look over the leaflet once and then recycle it, and they may never read that poster on the wall.
Further, they might never get a chance to demonstrate or test their knowledge about the company’s values—do they really understand or do they need to brush up on their knowledge? Using an app that allows employees to more deeply engage with the material through quizzes and competitions can facilitate learning and deepen their knowledge of your work culture.
How do you engage your employees? If you hold meetings where one person talks, or you all just go to your desks and don’t say anything, chances are your communication is suffering—in particular, the communication of your core values and your work culture.
Instead, engage you employees. Hold meetings—in person or virtually via Skype—and ensure everyone has a chance to be heard. Record those sessions so they can be reviewed later. Have a daily huddle. Recognize employee contributions, share news about success with each other, and send encouraging emails to keep employees engaged.
An app can help you manage employee engagement, while also fostering closer working relationships between colleagues and communicating your work culture on a grander scale.