Today’s workforce wants more out of their jobs than a 9-to-5 to punch in and out of. Fostering a positive workplace not only helps to attract talent, it’s also key in driving engagement and impacting happiness and overall job satisfaction.
So, how can executives create a culture of caring for their employees? Here are some tips I have gleaned along the road towards a culture I am proud to impact.
Allow everyone to make an impact. Every person within a company, at every level, should be given the opportunity to make an impact on the overarching corporate culture. Give them a voice and reward initiative when it’s actually taken.
This is an ideal that should be brought up as early as the interview and onboarding process, and from a hiring perspective, should be characteristics that are taken into account when recruiting for every single role. Do their eyes light up when discussing the potential to make a real difference? Or are they already moving onto the next question? Hiring a team of people who are determined and dedicated to designing a corporate culture that works are the people who are going to thrive within your team.
Make it mean more. Considering the amount of time people spend working today — well outside of a 40-hour work week, thanks to email that comes straight to the palm of your hand — it’s critical for employees to find a certain level of happiness and fulfillment at work. Giving them the opportunity to engage in the culture is key to making this happen.
People will engage where they find passion and meaning, and the more diverse opportunities an organization can offer, the more doors they can open when people want to start something new. And in turn, the greater the chances are for happy employees and colleagues across the board.
Hello my name is. Everyone within a corporate setting has an official job title. They’re necessary when it comes to meeting and exceeding roles and responsibilities. But at RedPeg, we also give everyone the opportunity to come up with what we have dubbed ‘uber titles’—fun and whimsical titles that embody what that person truly means to the team. We have ‘the mixologist’ who combines all of her creative skills to generate killer marketing campaigns; the ‘roadrunner’ who is always doing what it takes to outrun the competition; and me? I’m the culture and cash guy — working everyday to make our corporate culture stellar…and crunching some numbers along the way.
We’re all in this together. That being said, when it comes to culture, everyone in the organization should essentially be title-less. It doesn’t matter if you’re the CFO or the intern that was just hired last week – if you have an idea, we want to hear it. And even more than that, we want to do what it takes to make it a reality. Every person on staff should have equal opportunity to develop committees, initiatives, and clubs for the betterment of the organization overall.
Along this same vein, for companies who work to achieve this type of involvement, it’s also critical for executives to practice what they preach. If they CFO is part of a committee being run by an entry-level employee, it’s up to them to prioritize those requests and deliverables just as much as you would a task assigned by a 20-year veteran. When titles and hierarchies are thrown out the window, and an even playing field is created, more people are likely to engage and find their voice and niche with things that are truly important to them.
Extra curriculars aren’t just for high school. Remember your senior year of high school when you scrambled to join the debate team and intramural sports to add them to your college applications? Well, the real world is no different – except this time the clubs are created by the people participating in them and perhaps, are a little more results-driven. Some of the most impactful initiatives are employee resource groups that help to build camaraderie among members. Not just that, these groups also amplify the voice of their members, building awareness regarding challenges – whether individual or company-wide – and providing opportunities to overcome obstacles alongside like-minded colleagues.
At RedPeg, we have already developed WoR (Women of RedPeg) and RoC (RedPegsters of Color), both of which were started by groups of employees who had an idea, wanted to be leaders in diversity and change, and are now making a huge difference in terms of opportunities within our agency.
Put your money where your mouth is. As the ‘culture and cash guy,’ I have to say it — these types of initiatives are money well spent. For C-suites looking to allocate budget to initiatives that will ultimately increase employee productivity and overall happiness, look no further than throwing dollars at culture expenses. Have a specific line item in the annual budget for culture events and programs helps to fund said initiatives as a priority and a focus, not just an afterthought.
Implementing some of these practices and making culture a priority from the moment a person is interviewed to join the team, allows organizations to provide employees with more than just a desk to sit at for 40 plus hours each week. Culture is one of the most important ways executives can show their people that the company cares and prioritizing these types of initiatives makes recruitment easier, turnover less of an issue, and employees finding true meaning in their day-to-day within an organization.