Tori’s Take: “Company Culture”
Introducing a new monthly series on the Market Street Talent blog! “Tori’s Take” will feature MST’s Operations Coordinator, Tori Leavitt, as she takes a look at popular workplace concepts and trends.
If you’ve been on the job market or involved in the hiring process in the last few months, you’ve probably heard a lot about “company culture.” This buzz phrase is everywhere, and for good reason: employees and employers alike want to be sure the “fit” is right before taking the plunge. What does it mean, exactly? Let’s take a look at a few common components of workplace culture, and hash out how to spot a company whose values align with your own.
This phrase almost deserves its own blog post. You can call it an umbrella term – it encompasses many benefits that add up to a great work environment. How strong is your benefits package? Do you cap the amount of paid time off available each year? Can an employee take their child to the doctor without giving advance notice? Is the manager flexible about arrival times during inclement weather? Are sick days valid without a doctor’s note – and can you take a day off without worrying about consequences? According to the Center for American Progress, Americans are working more hours than ever before. Being able to balance the often conflicting priorities of family and work is a more pressing issue for American workers than it has been in the past. If a company can spearhead initiatives to ease the minds of prospective employees, they’ll be more attractive to candidates and are likely to experience better employee retention as well.
When polled, almost everyone at Market Street Talent mentioned work-life balance as an important factor in their personal job satisfaction and as a priority for the candidates they speak to every day.
This doesn’t mean creating a company where everyone is alike. The key here is to identify the company’s overarching values – the ones that inform their decisions, day-to-day and big picture. Building a culture around your company’s values – which may include creativity, honesty, quality, growth, or any number of attributes – and being transparent about them during the hiring process will draw in people who naturally fit the vibe you’re striving for. Consider re-vamping your company’s mission statement to reflect the values of your organization. Display it publicly to give employees insight into your guiding principals. When job hunting, take a look at the information companies publish about themselves and their team. You’ll know you’re a good fit for the company when you find your values reflected back to you in a mission statement or company objectives.
The Team Mentality
How do you know you’re part of a team? Chances are, you feel included, important, and like your opinion matters. You enjoy coming to work and seeing the people around you. If you’re a manager, there are easy ways to create the team mentality in your company. Encourage a friendly office environment by having weekly or monthly team lunches, coming up with team-building activities, or simply asking about everyone’s weekend on Monday mornings. Keep an “open-door” policy and encourage employees to drop by your office to talk about anything that’s on their minds. It’s natural for some level of hierarchy to emerge within an organization, but do your best to dispel any that is harmful or exclusionary. Chris Howgate, Managing Director of Market Street Talent, noted the importance of “creating an environment where the employee has a voice.” Do this by encouraging leadership to acknowledge employees’ accomplishments and concerns – both have powerful impact on employee satisfaction.
The conversation around company culture won’t cease anytime soon. As a new generation of workers finds its way into the job market, and a new generation of leadership inherits established companies, the weight of finding the right employee-employer match will only grow. The new year is a great time to evaluate your level of fulfillment in your current position. It’s also a natural opportunity for organizations to refine their goals and strengthen their commitment to their employees. Productivity has been shown to increase as employee satisfaction grows – powerful motivation to make sure your company culture is serving its purpose in 2017.
Sources: Joan C. Williams and Heather Boushey. “The Three Faces of Work-Family Conflict.”Center for American Progress. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.