Creating a strong company culture where your employees can thrive takes work, and just like tending a garden, it requires both planning and consistent effort to fully reap the benefits. Company leaders, dealing with the pressures of budget attainment, revenue growth, and increased profit can easily push the culture work they know is important to the back burner and fail to give it the attention it deserves. It just doesn’t feel as urgent.
Don’t be fooled! Creating an environment where your people feel passionate about their work and give it everything they’ve got will lead your business to flourish.
Here are three myths that could derail you if you let them.
1. Company culture is all about happiness at work.
2. Company culture is about entertainment.
3. You can’t create a company culture in a remote environment.
If you buy into these myths, you may want to consider your company’s performance levels.
Are you accomplishing what you planned this year? Research shows that companies with a strong culture generate 5x more revenue.Breaking these myths apart may be key to your future success.
Myth 1. Company Culture is all about happiness at work
Many employers believe that if their employees are happy at work, the company culture is great. Happiness is important and companies need to create an environment where people desire to work. But that doesn’t mean employees are happy all the time. When someone is engaged in their role, they are engaging their talents and that can lead to happiness.
Don’t get the two confused. Happiness doesn’t mean engagement.
For example, a few weeks ago, my husband went into a retail store to find shirts for our son. Mind you, shopping is the lowest on his list of things he like to do. Being a good dad, he went into the store and stood by a rack of shirts, then moved to another. He started to get frustrated because he wanted to make the right decision, but no one was offering to help him. He tried to get the attention of the staff but instead, a group of employees stood behind the counter sharing something funny on their phones. They were laughing and having a great time. They were happy and most likely enjoy working at this store with their friends, but they lost a sale.
It's important that your employees enjoy what they do but they need to be engaged in your company mission and have a clear understanding of the role they play there to drive results.
Have you shared your vision and expectations with your employees? One where they feel inspired and motivated to perform? Creating your purpose and sharing that is a great first step to creating an engaged team and that could lead to happiness in their role. It is not about happiness but engagement.
Myth 2. Company Culture is all about entertainment
Do you think of a company’s culture is all about ping pong tables, ice cream socials, or unlimited vacation?
Those are nice things to have, but these are PERKS, not tools that build a strong culture or keep employees engaged in their jobs. These things do not improve productivity, create less absenteeism, or lead to increased business outcomes, although still nice to have.
But don’t get confused thinking that you need perks to create your company culture. It goes well beyond this. It starts with meeting employee needs that lead to their growth in their role.
Do your employees know what is expected of them at work? Have an opportunity to do what they do best using their talents? Receive recognition for a job well done?
Instead of investing in a ping pong table, invest time in your people and uncover what motivates them to perform at their best while at work. Consider spending time to uncover their motivations and career goals. You could ask:
- What about your job generates the most interest and excitement for you? What saps your energy?
- What is a professional growth goal you have for yourself this year? What plans to you have to make that happen? How can I help you achieve this goal?
- Is there a project you would like to be more involved in?
- What ideas do you have to help us perform better as a team?
Spend more time investing in your people, not gizmos and gadgets.
Myth 3. You can’t create a company culture in a remote environment
A recent Forbes article shared that employees who work remote expressed feeling 182% less engaged than those working in person. That's a horrifying percentage. So, that means you can’t be engaged while working remote, right?
It's important to remember that not everyone is cut out to work in a remote environment, although they may like not working in office. In order to thrive in a work from home climate, employees need the right talents to perform at their best. Talents that can be scientifically measured, like Work Ethic, Discipline, Responsibility. For that matter, if someone has extreme Relationship talents, they need to be around people to feel engaged and may not work best from home. This all boils down to FIT.
Creating a remote company culture takes work, just like all cultures do. What worked in the office may not work remotely. Being intentionally focused on what engages employees while working from home is the key to successful outcomes.
Staying close and present with your team, ensuring you put forth you best effort to support each person's needs is key.
Having a clear understanding of what each of your direct reports needs or wants from you right now is a great first step. Everyone needs something different to engage themselves in a work from home culture. Take 15 minutes to understand how they are feeling and how you can help them perform at their best. Consider these questions:
- How do they like to communicate with you? Do they prefer phone, email, text, or video? And how often do they like to communicate with you?
- How can you show empathy yet help performance? Ask them what three things they want you to remember to help them perform at their best?
- What can you provide to your team for them to be successful? Ask if they need more information, additional technology needs, or support.
- Are you connecting people internally? Asking if they would like more group or team activities or work is vital.
Strong business performance begins with a healthy culture and engaged employees. Don’t let these three myths derail you from developing the company culture you need to attain the business performance you expect. Instead, consider how you can put your people first and create an environment where they feel purposeful and work passionately to activate their talents and reach their full potential.