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Building a Healthy Company Culture

Let’s talk about company culture.

Much has been said about companies like Google that offer employees snacks and Netflix with free movies. I’ve included a link in the Great Reads section, check it out.

Company perks are not the same as company culture. Culture refers to an organization’s personality. Even the most buttoned-down industries think finance, insurance, and government, can have attractive cultures. These are the places that are committed to employee satisfaction. Your organization doesn’t have to offer free massages for it to be a great place to work.

Time and again, employee surveys show that employees are most likely to be happy at their jobs when they have good management, feel valued, and have a mission to which they feel connected. A company may choose to show its value with freebies, but if movie nights and free vacations a la AirBnB aren’t in the budget, consider how other offerings translate.

  • Paid parental leave for women and men signals a commitment to families and values as employees transition to and from the workforce.
  • Paid tuition and training signal a commitment to training, education, and a growth mindset.
  • Healthcare benefits for part-time employees signal a commitment to health and understanding what matters to people.
  • Flex time and work-from-home options signal a commitment to family-life balance, transportation costs, stress, and employee independence.

Hire for your culture

  • Do your organization value teams and collaboration?
  • Are you based on independent thinkers and doers?
  • Do you provide services and want employees with a servant’s heart?
  • Does management want to see people at their desks or does it prefer online communications?

And while these touchpoints are broad, an organization can break them down to why they are important and how they work, or in some cases don’t work. If face-to-face communication is essential to your organization and everyone works from home, it’s time for a culture change.

In today’s tech-dependent environment, employees do expect perks and view them as part of an organization’s culture. The company with a 50% discount on its services, generous leave package, and management training program is seen as desirable. But perks are not a bandage for unhappy workers. Suddenly offering free Starbucks in the morning isn’t going to make up for poor leadership. It certainly won’t make up for a company’s poor reputation. Define your culture and hire employees who fit. If you can’t find enough qualified employees, maybe it’s time for a culture change.

Need some help? Check out my classes including my popular Change Management for Cultural transformation class.

Contact me with your leadership and team issues.


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