In 2018, Gallup reported a direct link between a company’s business health and its employees’ understanding of its purpose and culture. However, the report (Gallup’s Approach to Culture: Building a Culture That Drives Performance) also found a significant disconnect between the two. Only four in 10 employees strongly agreed that their company’s purpose made them value their work.
On the other hand, Forbes recently shared the winners of Comparably’s annual Best Company Culture for 2018, which ranks companies based on anonymous feedback provided by their employees. So, what sets these companies apart from the rest and what can we learn from them? Here are three tips to help you successfully communicate your corporate culture, with a closer look at the companies that took the top three spots.
Clarify the “why”
Culture begins with purpose. It’s a combination of the values, beliefs and traits employees bring with them, and the mission, vision and values the company attempts to impart to them. Employees need to know why they’re doing what they’re doing so they can integrate their purpose with that of their employer.
Costco’s mission makes it stand apart from other retailers. Built on a code of ethics that values members, employees and vendors, Costco employees understand their role in ensuring a great customer experience. Co-founder James Sinegal is believed to have spent decades refining the company culture to become what it is today. During his time at the company, Sinegal led from the floor, spending about 200 days on the frontlines to ensure employees received constant feedback. Today, the company reportedly has a seven percent turnover rate, which is minimal compared to other retailers that experience about 10 times as much turnover.
Connect all messaging
According to Gallup, leadership and communication are among the five most significant drivers of culture. It’s not enough to post vision and mission statements to the company intranet and expect employees to feel connected to them. Leaders need to reinforce culture through their messages and actions if they want to embed company culture into daily work life. Whether it’s new hire onboarding or incorporating company values into performance management, companies need to ensure that all employee touchpoints are aligned with the culture narrative.
At T-Mobile, employees are consistently encouraged to be customer-obsessed and to unite in their mission to “change wireless for good.” This begins at the top. For example, CEO John Legere interacts with customers on social media almost all day. In 2018, the company replaced its automated phone menus with a dedicated team of customer service agents. Rather than being evaluated on their call handle times, the agents are empowered to solve a problem on the first try.
Celebrate successes…or failures
Employees who can articulate and live out your company’s values, vision and mission are your best representatives of a successful corporate culture. Culture ambassadors – those who exemplify company culture in their daily work – need to be encouraged and recognized for doing so. Start an awards program or leverage an existing one to celebrate culture ambassadors. Encourage employees to nominate each other for awards and to share success stories on the company’s internal collaboration channels.
At Google, employees are not only rewarded for their successes, but they are also encouraged to fail. Google believes that celebrating failure encourages innovation, which is at the core of its vision and mission. The company understands that fear of failure is a big threat to its success. Over the years, Google has built a culture that encourages employees to try something new and report on it to their managers, regardless of the outcome. Employees are publicly commended by their colleagues for using this approach, and are often rewarded for it.
Whatever the size of your company, communication is essential to building a successfully integrated corporate culture. For more information on how Vitiello Communications Group (VTLO) can help you clarify, connect and celebrate to enhance your culture, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 732-238-6622.