2018 is just over the horizon. As individuals, we're challenged at New Year's to set a resolution that will help us grow and become better versions of ourselves over the next 12 months.
Business owners and execs do something similar for their companies financially in the form of strategic planning and projections. But how do you ensure that you're keeping focus on employee happiness and boosting moral in the workplace?
What resolutions could you implement in the interest of increasing and maintaining a great culture? Here are five New Year's Resolutions for improving company culture that you can implement in 2018.
1. We Will Integrate Employee Happiness Surveys
As important as employee happiness is to your company culture, it's not that simple to keep a pulse on the feelings of your employees.
Some people have no issue coming forward with their grievances, while others will silently suffer in the background, which makes it difficult to know how everyone is feeling. Everyone should have a voice and be able to give useful feedback on the operations of the business.
Services like TINYpulse and officevibe will send out employee surveys that will collect anonymous results to help you keep a beat on how your employees are feeling. These surveys could be weekly, monthly, or quarterly, but keep in mind that feelings can quickly change. The more pressure your employees are under, the more often you may need to weigh in on employee happiness.
Your team will appreciate your interest in their thoughts and feedback, and you will learn a lot about how people are operating behind closed doors. You will learn what is going great, and where there is room for improvement, as well as foresee any potential issues.
2. We Will Develop Core Values
Core values are essential not only to bringing on the right talent, but also for building and maintaining a great company culture.
Core values are the principles that your company holds dear, or rules that you all live and work by. Developing core values take vision and collaboration from your team and should represent the way every person at your company wants to function in the daily operations of the business.
Our agency developed our 7 Northstars that guide us in the way we work with each other and with our clients. We found that within a few months of agreeing upon what our core values were, we were ALL using them in our daily communications around the office, and highlighting when someone was actively living a Northstar.
Once you have your core values developed, display them in your office, talk about them at every company gathering, and celebrate those who live by them. You will find that you reference them when looking for new employees and hire people who fit within their parameters.
3. WE WILL DEVELOP COMPANY ROCKS
In a previous post, we discussed individual employee Rocks and how they can help keep your employees focused on the tasks they own that will help the company reach it's goals.
To recap, a Rock is a priority or a goal that is achievable for your company in a 90-day time frame. Your company should have 3-5 Rocks, or goals, that should be achieved and worked towards by everyone on the staff. Each staff member will have their own tasks that, when achieved, bring everyone that much closer to the goals of the company.
Setting company Rocks will help you determine what needs to be done to get there, and who the right people are for each task.
Some company rocks will also be individual rocks, but often times your company Rocks will be a joint effort of your leadership team. Company Rocks give everyone a big picture goal to work towards, and helps them see how their daily operations add value.
If you'd like to learn more about Rocks, I suggest checking out the book Traction by Geno Wickman, which walks through the Employee Operating System and how to make simple yet powerful decisions for your business.
4. We Will Roll Out TSP
TSP, or Thoughtful Specific Praise, is a great DAILY way to be sure you are acknowledging the great work your team is doing.
Some people are OK with doing their work and never really receiving praise for a job well done, while others really need to positive reinforcement to motivate them. Neither is better than the other, but it's important to know which of your employees need that extra dose of TLC and make sure you give it when it's earned.
TSP should be simple, but thoughtful and specific. It doesn't have to come on the heels of a great accomplishment (but make sure to recognize and reward them), but rather something small that you saw from a team member that should be praised.
Make it THOUGHTFUL by really paying attention to your team's actions. Pay attention to the little details that make them a great employee, and point them out.
The SPECIFIC is the important part here. If you just vaguely say "You did a great job on that client call today", you leave a lot of room for interpretation. The more specific way to state that compliment might be, "I like the way you followed up on the clients concerns about billing, I could tell you came prepared today."
Challenge yourself and your team to hand out one dose of TSP everyday, and watch your company culture improve. Daily TSP will make the occasional reprimanding less of a blow because your team will feel appreciated for their good deeds every day.
Don't expect an overwhelming reaction when you start to incorporate TSP. Checking the TSP box on a daily basis is tough at first, but once it's a part of your daily routine, it will be a natural part of your office operations. By making it a routine, you learn how to improve work culture in your every day operations.
5. We Will Regroup Every 90 Days
Every business can benefit from living in a 90-day world. It's easy to say, "Things are going well, do we really need to regroup or can we just steal that time back?"
Even if things are going well, it's important to rally the team to be absolutely sure everyone is still on the same page and working towards the same goals.
Make a promise to your team that you will regroup once every 90 days, or once per quarter, to go over your core values and company Rocks.
Are your core values still relevant? Does everyone on the team still align with them and work by them? Did your company achieve it's Rocks from the last quarter? If not, what needs to be re-evaluated? What will the Rocks be for the next quarter?
Making a commitment to regroup every 90 days keeps your employees focused and gives a clear picture of where everyone is at. Culture begins with consistency, and a 90-day check-in is a great way to stay consistent.
Company culture is important to those who work on your staff, and invaluable when looking for new talent. Even if you feel you have a strong company culture, there is almost certainly room for improvement, and making a few resolutions that focus on ways to improve culture in workplace is a great step in the right direction.
What resolutions has your team made that helped improve company culture and maintain employee happiness?