Promoting Company Culture

Most business leaders would agree the prime drivers of success revolve around the skills and quality of their workforce. To maximize employee engagement, everyone within the organization should be fully aware of and aligned with the company’s values and purpose.

The Baillie Group Poster 24 x 36 72dpi 01Properly emphasizing our purpose and values with our employees is very important to us. They serve as the foundation of our company culture. We take every opportunity to promote and reinforce our purpose statement, so that our hard-working employees understand the value and hopefully find a deeper meaning in their work.  Same goes for our set of values which we encourage employees to use as a way to help guide their decision making and the way they approach their individual responsibilities.

Over the years we have uncovered a few good best practices that seem to help communicate the message appropriately to employees.  Maybe you will find them of interest.

Strive to inspire. Every employee contributes to the future of the organization, and your value-messaging should reflect this. As Staffbase notes, “Messages that inspire are particularly important when they’re related to significant accomplishments or when they introduce new strategic initiatives.” When this is clearly laid out, “explanations about your company’s strategic decisions and the plans for implementing them will have greater impact.”

Steer clear of jargon. Your company’s goals and purpose should always be described in clear language everyone can understand. When communicating to your team, it’s sometimes easy to slip into industry jargon, but avoid this impulse whenever possible. Not everyone understands corporate terminology, so you risk alienating those individuals when jargon is used. The same applies to new hires who are just learning the ropes.

Keep communicating. As with any important message, the key to getting your point across is by communicating, and then communicating some more. By reinforcing your company’s purpose and values at every turn, you build enthusiasm among employees, strengthen their trust in your leadership, inspire them to do more on behalf of your customers, and boost the level of engagement (which, in turn, can lead to reduced employee turnover rates).

According to DeskAlerts, your value statement “shouldn’t be in a document that you file away somewhere and never look at again.” Instead, spread the word through all available channels of communications since messaging “in different formats can help with message retention.”

Align with your managers and executive leaders. Employees are more likely to feel inspired and gain a sense of purpose if managers and executive team members reinforce the messaging. These individuals can explain and expand upon the company’s goals and purpose at every appropriate opportunity.

Recognize and reward. When employees demonstrate an understanding of your company’s goal and purpose, take the opportunity to recognize and reward this achievement. Highlight examples where core values were incorporated into a customer transaction and share this with employees throughout the organization.

Get feedback. How well do your employees currently understand the company’s core values and purpose, and how many do not? We have found that most employees are willing to share with you if they feel connected to your culture and values or not. The catch is they will only do so if they feel safe in the process. So, establishing the right feedback process where employees can confidently express their opinion will be important to you getting meaningful feedback.

So, if you are trying to enhance or develop an improved company culture consider trying some of the ideas above. It doesn’t matter is you are leading a sawmill team, a lumber buying team, a hardwood sales group or another type of team. Employees in all positions and all companies that have a strong understanding and belief in your company’s purpose and values can benefit you with improved team cohesion and commitment which will result in an even stronger corporate culture.

Tony Cimorelli
Baillie Lumber Co.
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