These days, if you don’t have an appealing company culture, you can forget about attracting top talent. Office culture is defined as the environment you create for your employees. This can be down to everything from the way your office is decorated to the core values and beliefs of the company at large. While it may seem insignificant to some people, this stuff matters a whole lot to your most-likely pool of applicants — millennials and Gen Z’ers — who repeatedly say they want to work for companies with a strong positive culture.
In fact, according to the 2019 Deloitte Global Millennial Survey, the vast majority of millennials and Gen Z’ers say they’d leave a company that didn’t align with their values. The study found that 74% would ditch an employer that didn’t have a positive impact on local communities, 73% would leave a company that didn’t provide a motivating and stimulating work environment, and 75% would leave somewhere that didn’t prioritize diversity and inclusion. The study also showed that work-life balance and flexible working practices are non-negotiables for the talent pool.
So, if you want to be at the top of your recruiting game and get the best talent on your team, you’ve got to develop a workplace culture that caters to them.
HOW TO DEFINE AND IMPLEMENT YOUR OFFICE CULTURE
Brainstorm with Leadership
Step one: Figure out what your company believes in. While surveying your workforce is important, your organization’s core values should start at the top. Once you have a general idea of your cultural foundation, send out a survey to all of your employees to get a general idea of what they believe in and care about because every employee’s opinion matters.
Create a Mission Statement
Once you’ve gathered the data, it’s time to make it official. If you need some inspiration to put your values into words, look at other companies to see what their mission statements are all about. Read good examples of company mission statements from Patagonia, TED and Life is Good.
Promote Your Mission Statement
Having a mission statement does you no good if you don’t use it to guide your company! Post it around the office and make sure every department references it in their daily decision-making. Remember to feature it in your branding, especially if you’re hoping it will attract a higher caliber of talent to work for you. Lastly, be sure to create a designated page for it on your website and share it on social media.
Hire with Your Mission Statement in Mind
Your office culture is going to be really important when you’re deciding who to hire. Now that you’ve got your mission set in stone, you can conduct “cultural fit” interviews, which include culture-focused questions in addition to aptitude-oriented ones. Some examples of culture fit interview questions include:
- Outside of work, what are you passionate about?
- How do you maintain a good work-life balance, even when you’re especially busy at work?
- What’s your view on coworker relationships?
- In what kind of environment do you feel happiest and most productive?
Celebrate Your Culture with New Hires
You’ve now got a mission statement with branding and employees to support it! Make sure you celebrate your workplace culture with every new hire by surprising them with unique onboarding gifts and activities. On their first day, give them some company swag coupled with something more lighthearted to demonstrate your culture and break the ice, such as some funny socks or a cute mug.
Designate Culture Captains
Practicing the culture in your workplace is essential to ensure the core values stay at the forefront of the company as it grows. But top leadership can’t always be on the ground, ensuring that culture is infused in every factor of business. That’s where your culture captains come in. These workers serve as culture representatives who can keep your mission statement alive through events, games and awards.
Plan Regular Culture Events
Have your culture captains set up a monthly employee activity that involves either the whole company or specific departments, depending on the size of your organization. Getting together periodically for non-work events brings your team closer together and solidifies your workplace culture. Activities like bowling, pro sports games, and volunteering somewhere are awesome alternatives to the standard happy hour.
Reward Top Performers
When you see an employee or department excelling in a certain area that adheres to your company’s core values, reward them! This is the best way to perpetuate workplace culture, so it’s something that your entire staff embraces. Consider instituting a monthly culture-focused award and making the prize something everybody wants, like an extra day of paid vacation or a gift card to the best restaurant in town. The better the prize, the more likely your workforce will be to take it seriously.
Office Culture Should Come Naturally
The most important thing to keep in mind while you’re building out your culture is to center it around the things you and your workforce actually care about. No one wants to work somewhere that pretends to be something they’re not. Be authentic and reap the rewards!
About the Author: Josette is the Marketing & E-Commerce Associate at The Sock Drawer. She is known as the person you want helping you, who approaches each little detail thoughtfully but also has a strong sense of humor and a whip-smart attitude. Outside of work, she loves to dance, hang out with her cool husband and kids, and inject her upbeat energy everywhere she goes!