In work society today, people are putting much more value in a company’s culture than ever before. This is seen during interviewing, where almost all of our interviewees ask, “What is your company culture like?” Individuals are looking for a place where they feel a sense of belonging and are willing to make compromises for it. Some are willing to take a reduction in salary if they feel as though they’ve found a company with a good culture that they want to grow with.
Beyond hiring, having a strong company culture can play a large part in reducing team turnover, boosting morale, improving workplace productivity, and creating a positive and healthy working environment! At SMC, we’ve identified five core areas of culture to focus on that will help your team tremendously.
Take Your Shoes Off
In the group practice space, a common challenge is merging a new acquisition’s culture into your own. To make this easier, think of culture like a fine china shop. Be respectful, take off your shoes, and maneuver carefully and sensitively as you don’t want to break anything. Sure, you can move things around, but make sure to wear gloves so you don’t leave any damaging marks.
Discover Your “Why”
Establish who you are, what you stand for, your purpose, and your “Why.” Lack of a clear foundation will result in a company taking on the culture of its people rather than the people taking on the culture of the company. When you identify a strong foundation, you will attract the kind of people who fit with your culture and exemplify your core values.
At SMC, we refer to these ideal culture-fit individuals as “unicorns” and the team loves it! Defining this culture and the individuals makes it more real and fun for everyone, so sprinkle it in! Incorporate it into your day-to-day and even into your recruiting and onboarding systems. Make sure that your job postings and your interview style reflect your culture and it will be sure to be a big hit.
Show, Don’t Tell
Most importantly, culture comes from the top down. Even if you have the “sparkliest” and most “unicornesque” person on your team acting as a Culture Ambassador. If the higher ups don’t feel the same, it will show and be hard for the team to adapt. Explain to new team members that culture isn’t just lip service, it is adapted on all levels of the company and that the growth of your team is a top priority.
Ask, “What’s for Dinner?”
Team one-on-ones aren’t something new, but they are POWERFUL when conducted regularly and correctly. Many times these meetings end up being conversations about strategy when they should really be about connecting with your team. With a properly conducted one-on-one, you can protect your company culture and keep a pulse on the happiness of your team just by asking questions totally unrelated to work! When you ask a person about their personal, professional, and financial goals and interests, they tend to open up more. Not only will team members open up about their life, but they will also open up more about work, giving you an insight you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
SMC’s Culture Ambassador is all about helping her team of Unicorns grow and develop, both personally and professionally. Through unique and innovative team building ideas, she has increased overall satisfaction company-wide and created a thriving culture for SMC. Her passions include raising houseplants, an (un)healthy obsession for Simon Sinek, and sending Looms of her singing when nobody really asked for them.