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As a current college student with graduation on the horizon, beginning to look for a job is top of mind. While, of course, making enough money to pay my bills is a priority when looking for a job, it is certainly not the only, or most important thing to consider. My values, my future, and company culture are just as important in my search.

Knowing what this generation of potential employees are considering when they are looking for their new job is essential in attracting the best talent for your company.

Company Values

When my fellow students and I are looking for jobs, we more often than not look for companies that have similar values to our own. We want to care about what we’re doing and want to be at companies who have values that we are proud of and agree with. Us grads want to want to work. Since it is where we’ll be spending basically all our day–every day, I want to do something that means something to me and that I genuinely care about.

Being Valued

If you feel like you’re working hard, being validated and acknowledged for your hard work can go a long way. This graduating class will work harder knowing that they are appreciated within their team or their company in an effort to further gain recognition and acknowledgement of their hard work. Also, validation will likely encourage other employees to work harder for their own recognition within the company. Employees who feel that they aren’t valued are less likely to work as hard and more likely to care less about improving because their hard work seems to go unnoticed. Those looking for jobs are likely looking for opportunities at companies with employees that seem happy and appreciated.

Career Path

While I am looking for my first job out of college, I am open minded on the exact career path that I want to take. Us graduates are likely looking for jobs that seem to fit the career that we think we want, but uncertainty can make this decision difficult. People often look for jobs that they think could be bringing them in a positive career direction, and often look for an opportunity to learn more about the field they think they want to work in. The only way to really figure out what you want is to just go out and do it! Finding a job with learning opportunities or the ability to see different roles is essential while looking for a first job.

There are so many things to consider while on my first job search. But I assure you, my ideal critera goes beyond the paycheck. My suggestion to anyone interested in hiring this next generation of talent is to be conscious of your company culture and to provide as many learning opportunities as possible. And if you are looking for your first job: best of luck, work hard, and don’t sell yourself short!

 

Written by Amanda Schechter, Marketing Intern at CultureIQ

 

The post What Recent Grads Are Looking for in their First Job Search appeared first on CultureIQ.

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Happy Pride!”: the phrase heard around the world in June. With 2019 marking the 50th anniversary of the June 28 Stonewall Riots, the much-recognized event that started the global Pride movement, it’s important to take a step back and think about progress that has been made, how much further we need to go, and how we as companies can affect true change in our workplaces and earn the right to call ourselves allies to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Let’s start with a lesser-known phrase also heard throughout Pride Month: “The first Pride was a riot.” Understanding that true pride had to grow from the roots of anger and pure survival is a vital step in being an ally. During Pride, we take the time to truly “Celebrate and Enjoy the Journey” of those who fought and continue to fight hard for their right to exist as comfortably as their straight counterparts. We know that being fully “out and proud” is still not possible for many in the LGBTQIA+ community.

What can we as good citizens to our coworkers, clients, and communities do in order to be true allies LGBTQIA+ people? Consider the following changes, both big and small, that you can make to show your inclusivity in a genuine way:

  1. Ask someone their pronouns:

    This is a way to make others feel included. Asking for someone’s pronouns shows that you’re not making an assumption regarding their gender, which can create a real environment of inclusivity and agency for those who have had a lifetime of feeling like the “other.” Consider adding your pronouns to your Email signature – this is an outward sign to those you may be interacting with that you are aware and sensitive to others.

  2. Include all letters of LGBTQIA+ in annual harassment training:

    with the rise of people feeling more comfortable being public and bringing their true identities to work, it is important to include discussions on the way people react to create awareness. Change and exposure to new ideas can make people uncomfortable, which could lead to less than respectful interactions, even if unintended. In order to make sure you are “Treating Yourself and Others with Respect,” give employees an opportunity to learn about various identities up front and have tips to combat that discomfort. This can go far in creating positive interactions.

  3. Make your application process more inclusive:

    An applicant’s first exposure to how your company thinks can be through your application process. Consider expanding the sexual orientation and gender identity options you provide when asking for an applicant’s information and leave a space for them to write in their own response.

  4. Listen and raise the voices of your employees in marginalized communities:

    Having harassment training or set of HR policies reflecting your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is a step in the right direction, but make sure that those policies include the insights of those within the communities. No one is going to give a better voice to the needs of marginalized communities than those who live it day in and day out, so listen to them when they say and work their feedback into your policies so that it adds a level of genuine understanding to it.

  5. Don’t limit Pride to one month:

    The LGBTQIA+ community notices when the rainbow logos go away and corporations go back into silence about LGBTQIA+ issues. As the needs of the community exist all year round, considering having a volunteer or donation day sometime outside of June. Being able to support your larger community all year round shows true dedication and care to the cause.

One of the best ways to celebrate Pride is to have policies and procedures in place that support the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community. Recognize, respect, and celebrate differences in a way that brings real change to your employees’ lives, as we’re all better off when employees can bring their full selves to work, knowing they are in an environment that is going to support them.

The post Pride Pointers: 5 ways employers can be genuine LGBTQIA+ allies appeared first on CultureIQ.

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“Change is disturbing when it is done to us, exhilarating when it is done by us.”

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

In business, not changing is not an option. Technology and globalization have seen to that. But trying to impose a transformation onto a workforce that’s not ready for it can produce fear, frustration and, ultimately, failure. Unfortunately, this scenario is almost an industry standard: about 70 percent of workplace change efforts fail, according to some estimates.

But if a transformation is managed well, the payoffs can be huge. Companies with good change management practices are 3.5 times more likelyto outperform competitors.

Here is a variety of ways that leaders can ensure they build a strong culture of support so that transformation can take hold:

Involve People in the Change

If all employees, of any level, are given a chance to be a part the transformation, they’ll feel more appreciated, included and enthusiastic about the change.  Assign ownership of various components of the transformation to your employees. Let them suggest how to make the changes happen, and let them become your advocates for change.

Effectively Communicate the Change

Talking about a change upfront and allowing everyone in the workplace have access to plans and offer feedback can help ensure that employee are satisfied with the change.

It’s important to emphasize the actual reasons for making a change. Employees often consider their own convenience and overlook what what’s best for the company, so explaining your reasoning will help ensure that employees are following the company’s core values and goals when making the change.

Let “Early Adopters” help the “Resisters”

Once the plan is discussed, some employees will accept the idea early on, while others will take much longer to get on board. Only 10-15 percent of employees will immediately accept a change taking place, while everyone else takes more time to process and adopt it. Having those who readily accept the change connect to and persuade those who are more resistant will make the transition much smoother.

Embracing change helps businesses stay competitive and respond more effectively to customers. If your workforce is informed, supportive and enthusiastic, you’ll be able to accomplish these goals, and keep making many successful changes.

The post Change the Odds For Workplace Transformation appeared first on CultureIQ.

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I had a very candid conversation with one of my team members recently and realized how grateful I was for her honesty. Without it, I’d feel like I was flying blind to what was going on with the team and her office (we work in separate locations). It made me think that leadership can be like mindfulness. There’s a mindfulness exercise to think of your present feelings and emotions like clouds or weather. If you’re on the ground in terrible weather, everything can feel awful. But if you go above the clouds, there’s actually blue sky and tons of sun. That part of the mind (happiness and blue sky) is always with us, even when it’s raining. We just can’t always see it.

Cloud-based denial

As I apply this analogy to leaders, the perspective flips. Leaders often fly above the clouds, way over the day-to-day challenges employees face in the weeds. The only weed-related intel that leaders often hear is from employees who are sometimes permitted an audience above the clouds. Even if leaders want a frank view from below, the sunny outlook they project downward could be seen as a kind of command. Colleagues might feel pressured to talk only about sunny days on the ground and leave out the windy and rainy ones. Or to just reinforce their leader’s view about beautiful everything looks from on high.  In organizations where speaking up isn’t encouraged, anyone that comes up above the clouds and starts talking about the storm below isn’t believed and is probably just shoved back down to where they came from. Leaders may think, “well it all looks sunny to me, so I don’t know what you’re talking about, or,  “I sent you an umbrella last month to protect you from the rain, so why are you still complaining about this?” (When what the employee really needed was a parka because the rain changed to snow.)

In bad weather, together

To be effective, leaders have to get below the clouds on rainy, snowy, terrible days. And they need to encourage  people to tell them all about the rainy days and what “equipment” employees need for combatting the weather. Keeping customers happy is tough work. Some days are sunny and bright and everyone is happy, but we build the most trust with our employees and our customers when we get through a storm together—not by pretending the storm doesn’t exist. This is why the voice of employees is so critical to success of any organization, and why firms that listen to and respond to employee feedback are so much more successful and have much higher retention than the ones that don’t.

Mindfulness can help us get above the clouds, but it also teaches that the only way to get there is to acknowledge bad weather (i.e., negative feelings or thoughts). In mindfulness you can train yourself to accept negative thoughts and watch them pass. In business, you have to take a much more active role in turning negative experiences or situations into positive action. Different strategies, but the principles of acknowledging and addressing the negative are the same.

Set your problem-solvers free

Mindful leaders will acknowledge the fact that tough things happen to people, then they will actively equip employees with the tools, decisions, rights, and skills to fix these problems for themselves and ultimately, for customers.

If you can follow this leadership path, you actually can step back and watch as employees will solve your most critical challenges on their own. They just need the permission and the tools to do so.

By allowing employees to solve their own problems, you will create greater autonomy and learning, driving motivation levels up. It’s a win-win. And it’s a way to seed genuine sunshine at every level of your organization.

Author: David Shanklin 

David is Managing Director, Culture Solutions at CultureIQ. For over a decade, he has helped companies and workers reach their full potential,
with a special focus on organizational culture and leadership.

The post Leadership Means Learning to Swoop Below the Clouds appeared first on CultureIQ.

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It’s 2 p.m. on a Friday in May, and the desks in the main room of CultureIQ’s Manhattan office sit empty. From the front door, the bright, open space looks deserted, as if the spring weather has lured everyone out to an early happy hour at a rooftop bar somewhere.

An eruption of shouts and cheers makes it clear that’s not the case. The entire staff has gathered in the back room, where they huddle in color coded groups—yellow, pink, black, etc.–denoted by terrycloth headbands, T-shirts with team slogans, and various glittery and feathery accessories. One member from each team sits in a row in the front of the room, joined by the vocal stylings of Ariana Grande, Notorious BIG, Old Crow Medicine Show and various other artists. Team members cheer and “awwwww” in supportive woe as they spin through a complex game of “Name That Tune.”

Welcome to CultureIQ’s fifth annual Culture Games.

Behold, the 5th Annual Culture Games - YouTube

A workplace research and consulting firm with a high-tech software platform, CultureIQ’s mission is to improve company culture and enhance revenue for its clients, which include 33 percent of the Fortune 500.

The firm also practices what it preaches. It uses its own analytics to gauge and ensure that employees feel supported, empowered and connected to the company’s purpose. The normal workday vibe at CultureIQ is busy, but friendly and open—an atmosphere that earned it a “Best Company Culture” award, among others. The benefits include working from home and unlimited vacation.

A method behind the games’ mirth

And events like the Culture Games create opportunities for everyone to come together and have fun in a way that’s both casual and intentional.

All of the firm’s offices—in Manhattan, Chicago, London, Washington, D.C., and Rochester (the latter two’s staff commute to the NYC headquarters for the occasion)—participate in the games.

Events at the 2019 games include “ice dancing” with rolling office chairs, a soda can shootout, and cutthroat rounds of rock-paper-scissors.

In a deliberate move, departmental siloes are busted to create each team – mixing members from various divisions so employees can bond with their less-familiar colleagues in the games’ glittery, silly yet surprisingly competitive, setting.

“It’s important to create events where people interact across teams,” says Account Director Brady Loeck, who thought up the Culture Games after he joined the company in 2014. “If you have a happy hour, everyone usually just ends up talking with their own team.”

That doesn’t mean the Games don’t involve beer. CultureIQ has a diverse staff, but they all appreciate a frosty beverage: After the office-based half of the Games, everyone heads down to a local bar for ping pong, pool and shuffleboard competitions.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s so much fun,” says Carlos Santana, a Business Development Representative who joined the company in June 2018, which makes this year’s Games his first.

Santana, who shares a name with his father, not the famous guitarist, pointed to the fact that the company brought in the Rochester and D.C. teams to Manhattan. “It’s really great to be able to connect with them,” he says.

Growing and merging cultures

This year marks the largest Culture Games so far. When Loeck joined, the company had a mere seven employees. Now, following several years of steady growth and a 2018 merger with research and consulting company CEB, more than 100 people have joined the ranks.

Employee-centric events like the Games helped avoid post-merger culture clashes, says Sheridan Orr, Vice President of Marketing. “It brings everybody to the center and creates a new culture,” says Orr, who joined the company in August, a few months after the CEB merger.

The games also help relieve some natural growing pains that can spark friction between departments–sales and marketing, for example. Orr adds. “Having these times of people being together and laughing together, they sustain you when things are hard,” she says.

CultureIQ CEO Greg Besner (left) and Business Development Representative Carlos Santana are suited up for the 2019 Culture Games at the firm’s NYC headquarters.

Beyond the makeup of the teams, the games are intentional in other ways as well. There are a small number of rigid rules, but they are structured to help participants to be open and maintain flexibility, Loeck explains.  Teammates have to gauge strengths to choose players for a game while letting everyone play a role. And each team is assigned a poet laureate, who can introduce the team with just about any manner of verse—this year’s intros quoted bards from William Carlos Williams to the Village People.

Team building, without demolishing the budget

One of the hard and fast rules is the three elements each team is required to have: a motto, a catchphrase, a poem and a team bird. “Research and science have proven that the soul of any team is composed of those three parts,” Loeck deadpans.

Game on: CultureIQ founder and CEO Greg Besner (left) and Business Development Representative Carlos Santana prepare for play at the 5th Annual Culture Games at CultureIQ’s New York headquarters in May.

What the Culture Games doesn’t require is huge budget. Even at its largest, this year’s games cost the company about $30 per employee, excluding travel.

“Culture doesn’t have to be about spending money,” says Greg Besner, CultureIQ’s founder and CEO. “It’s about tradition and norms, and the best traditions don’t cost anything.”

And the company is on sound footing to keep the tradition going, Besner says. “We’ve completed the merger phase of CultureIQ, and now we’re in growth mode,” he says. “We expect that by the next Culture Games, we’ll see  significant growth in the number of our participants—as well as CultureIQ’s global client base.”

The winning team (Odin’s Ravens) from the New York office will go on to compete in 2020’s Global Games against the team from Chicago (The Whoo) and London’s yet-to-be-named victor. Winners will ride a companywide wave of glory, besides getting to don their ceremonial, beads, boas and terrycloth headbands once more.

The post At CultureIQ, Work Is All Fun and Games, One Day a Year appeared first on CultureIQ.

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It’s 2 p.m. on a Friday in May, and the desks in the main room of CultureIQ’s Manhattan office sit empty. From the front door, the bright, open space looks deserted, as if the spring weather has lured everyone out to an early happy hour at a rooftop bar somewhere.

An eruption of shouts and cheers makes it clear that’s not the case. The entire staff has gathered in the back room, where they huddle in color coded groups—yellow, pink, black, etc.–denoted by terrycloth headbands, T-shirts with team slogans, and various glittery and feathery accessories. One member from each team sits in a row in the front of the room, joined by the vocal stylings of Ariana Grande, Notorious BIG, Old Crow Medicine Show and various other artists. Team members cheer and “awwwww” in supportive woe as they spin through a complex game of “Name That Tune.”

Welcome to CultureIQ’s fifth annual Culture Games.

Behold, the 5th Annual Culture Games - YouTube

A workplace research and consulting firm with a high-tech software platform, CultureIQ’s mission is to improve company culture and enhance revenue for its clients, which include 33 percent of the Fortune 500.

The firm also practices what it preaches. It uses its own analytics to gauge and ensure that employees feel supported, empowered and connected to the company’s purpose. The normal workday vibe at CultureIQ is busy, but friendly and open—an atmosphere that earned it a “Best Company Culture” award, among others. The benefits include working from home and unlimited vacation.

A method behind the games’ mirth

And events like the Culture Games create opportunities for everyone to come together and have fun in a way that’s both casual and intentional.

All of the firm’s offices—in Manhattan, Chicago, London, Washington, D.C., and Rochester (the latter two’s staff commute to the NYC headquarters for the occasion)—participate in the games.

Events at the 2019 games include “ice dancing” with rolling office chairs, a soda can shootout, and cutthroat rounds of rock-paper-scissors.

In a deliberate move, departmental siloes are busted to create each team – mixing members from various divisions so employees can bond with their less-familiar colleagues in the games’ glittery, silly yet surprisingly competitive, setting.

“It’s important to create events where people interact across teams,” says Account Director Brady Loeck, who thought up the Culture Games after he joined the company in 2014. “If you have a happy hour, everyone usually just ends up talking with their own team.”

That doesn’t mean the Games don’t involve beer. CultureIQ has a diverse staff, but they all appreciate a frosty beverage: After the office-based half of the Games, everyone heads down to a local bar for ping pong, pool and shuffleboard competitions.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s so much fun,” says Carlos Santana, a Business Development Representative who joined the company in June 2018, which makes this year’s Games his first.

Santana, who shares a name with his father, not the famous guitarist, pointed to the fact that the company brought in the Rochester and D.C. teams to Manhattan. “It’s really great to be able to connect with them,” he says.

Growing and merging cultures

This year marks the largest Culture Games so far. When Loeck joined, the company had a mere seven employees. Now, following several years of steady growth and a 2018 merger with research and consulting company CEB, more than 100 people have joined the ranks.

Employee-centric events like the Games helped avoid post-merger culture clashes, says Sheridan Orr, Vice President of Marketing. “It brings everybody to the center and creates a new culture,” says Orr, who joined the company in August, a few months after the CEB merger.

The games also help relieve some natural growing pains that can spark friction between departments–sales and marketing, for example. Orr adds. “Having these times of people being together and laughing together, they sustain you when things are hard,” she says.

CultureIQ CEO Greg Besner (left) and Business Development Representative Carlos Santana are suited up for the 2019 Culture Games at the firm’s NYC headquarters.

Beyond the makeup of the teams, the games are intentional in other ways as well. There are a small number of rigid rules, but they are structured to help participants to be open and maintain flexibility, Loeck explains.  Teammates have to gauge strengths to choose players for a game while letting everyone play a role. And each team is assigned a poet laureate, who can introduce the team with just about any manner of verse—this year’s intros quoted bards from William Carlos Williams to the Village People.

Team building, without demolishing the budget

One of the hard and fast rules is the three elements each team is required to have: a motto, a catchphrase, a poem and a team bird. “Research and science have proven that the soul of any team is composed of those three parts,” Loeck deadpans.

Game on: CultureIQ founder and CEO Greg Besner (left) and Business Development Representative Carlos Santana prepare for play at the 5th Annual Culture Games at CultureIQ’s New York headquarters in May.

What the Culture Games doesn’t require is huge budget. Even at its largest, this year’s games cost the company about $30 per employee, excluding travel.

“Culture doesn’t have to be about spending money,” says Greg Besner, CultureIQ’s founder and CEO. “It’s about tradition and norms, and the best traditions don’t cost anything.”

And the company is on sound footing to keep the tradition going, Besner says. “We’ve completed the merger phase of CultureIQ, and now we’re in growth mode,” he says. “We expect that by the next Culture Games, we’ll see  significant growth in the number of our participants—as well as CultureIQ’s global client base.”

The winning team (Odin’s Ravens) from the New York office will go on to compete in 2020’s Global Games against the team from Chicago (The Whoo) and London’s yet-to-be-named victor. Winners will ride a companywide wave of glory, besides getting to don their ceremonial, beads, boas and terrycloth headbands once more.

The post At CultureIQ, Work Is All Fun and Games, One Day a Year appeared first on CultureIQ.

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This May, the Harvard Business Review published a story that struck me right in the serendipity—an essay about the value of, well, valuing employees who leave.

It turns out that same month I decided to return to CultureIQ after leaving to join a startup firm. In the HBR essay, entitled, “Your Company Needs a Process for Offboarding Employees Gracefully,” author David Sturt also describes leaving his Salt Lake City firm to create a startup in Portland. He departed O.C. Tanner, an employee-engagement software and solutions firm, on great terms—the CEO even bought him a one-way airline ticket back if Sturt changed his mind. The way the company made him feel valued and appreciated on his way out informed his decision to return to O.C. Tanner years later.

In March, I left CultureIQ to work at an early stage startup, never thinking I would make a return, especially within two months. Timing differences aside, my positive experience leaving CultureIQ mirrored Sturt’s.

An exit interview gone right

What resonates with me the most was when Sturt stressed that employers must listen carefully when outgoing employees explain why they are leaving. When I went to go give notice to my supervisor at CultureIQ, I was nervous, and afraid that my colleagues, who had become friends, would feel let down. But he listened to the reason I wanted to leave (a craving to return to my startup roots) and his reaction pleasantly surprised me. Of course he was not thrilled I was going, but he thanked me for my time at the organization and let me know that we’d work to get a transition plan in place to make this a smooth handoff for all parties involved. His level of care for both me and our clients highlighted not only his character, but the overarching values of CultureIQ.

So it wasn’t hard to think about returning when the opportunity arose.

I boomeranged back for two reasons:

1. An opportunity to join CultureIQ’s small, growing product team opened up almost immediately after I left. I had to ask myself, “Is this a role you would have applied for if you were still at the organization? If so, the timing may be unfortunate but sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles.”

2. I was not happy with the culture of my new organization. It was by no means a toxic culture, it actually just had no real sense of culture. Without culture, I felt less valued.

Sturt hit the nail on the head when he wrote, “When you give offboarding the same care and consideration as onboarding, your team and organization are better positioned to thrive.” Even if outgoing employees don’t come back, you can be assured that they’re not bad-mouthing your organization to others—and in fact, may be singing your company’s praises to potential hires, and potential customers.

–Taylor Buckler

Taylor Buckler is Associate Product Manager for CultureIQ

The post Why I’m a CultureIQ Boomerang appeared first on CultureIQ.

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While reading a magazine this past weekend, I came across an unfamiliar word: dilettante. It’s defined as a person who takes up an art, activity, or subject in a halfhearted, superficial way. Since I have the vocabulary of a high schooler, it immediately made me think of the term “poser.” I decided to expose my embarrassing vocabulary deficit because this newfound word struck a major cord with me: It perfectly describes the unfortunate truth I’ve witnessed at companies whose leaders have an inauthentic or incomplete commitment to developing a positive and strategic culture.

My guess is we’ve all come across someone or somewhere in our careers that talk a big game about culture but don’t back it up through their actions. For the sake of this short blog, let’s use the lens of a job seeker evaluating the culture at a potential employer. Here are 5 questions she might ask to uncover whether its leaders are truly invested in the culture or are just culture dilettantes in disguise.

How is performance evaluated?

This is really the key question. Nearly every company talks about their values, but if they aren’t a part of the performance management process, and people aren’t held accountable to them, it’s unlikely they have full organizational commitment behind them. Basically, if performance evaluation is only based on your results, with no attention paid to how those results are achieved and/or how people support the success of others, beware.

What will get me promoted here? What will keep me from getting promoted here?

Similar to the performance management process, the answer to these questions will tell you a lot about the leaders of the organization. Do people get promoted because they are great at developing and inspiring others? Or do the best individual contributors just become the next layer of management. Similarly, will the organization prevent the promotion of an employee who shows lack of commitment to its values? If so, that’s a really good sign people take the culture and espoused values very seriously.

When was the last time you were meaningfully recognized for your work? What were you recognized for?

This is especially critical if recognition is important to you. Even if not, knowing what people get recognized for is one more way to check for alignment between the values that hang on the wall, the culture the website claims to promote, and the actual day-to-day behaviors in the organization. What gets rewarded and recognized gets repeated. And if someone tells you they can’t remember the last time they were recognized, that’s probably an even greater reason for concern.

Can you give an example of when leadership made a really challenging business decision primarily because it aligned with the organization’s culture or values?

This one is a bit trickier, but a good example here is perhaps the best sign that culture really matters. Leadership that is willing to make short term sacrifices in order to preserve organizational values and set the right tone is clearly demonstrating its commitment to culture. Additionally, this likely means that leaders are transparent about tough decisions, and communicate to employees that decisions are made based on the company’s culture or values. These are telltale signs that you’ve got committed leaders in place and the culture is far more than lip service.

What action was taken from your last employee survey? The response you get will offer a big insight on whether there is open dialogue between leaders and the frontline, if the employee voice valued is enough to trigger action, and which cultural “pain points” the leadership is paying attention to. Surveys aren’t a magic bullet for culture change, but how leaders use and act on survey feedback is an incredibly strong indicator of the influence of culture, and whether leaders view employees as partners or peons.

It takes a great deal of commitment from leaders and organizations to truly commit to making culture and values a priority, but the good news is, there’s a huge payoff. Firms with performance-enhancing cultures have been shown to experience 4x revenue growth and 9x stock price growth compared to those without strong cultures.

So if you’re a leader reading this, you should probably ask all of these questions about your own organization—on a regular basis—to make sure your company is using culture to its competitive advantage and telling culture dilettantes that it’s time to get real.

The post Beware the Culture Dilettante appeared first on CultureIQ.

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Does your onboarding process feel a bit like that time the waiters sang happy birthday to you, mumbled over your name, then went about their day to day routine? Often times a new hire’s first day is filled with employee handbooks, login information and benefits packages. While these attributes are important, onboarding can be an opportunity for so much more.

69% of people who rate their onboarding experience as positive stay with that company for more than 3 years! Here’s a few tips on how to make that first impression memorable in the best way:

Create a Formal Program

Onboarding is too important to have a laissez-faireattitude towards.  A formal program will ensure your organization is consistently making a good first impression. These 3 things alone will help minimize the unknowns of a first day:

  • A documented program syllabus
  • A documented program timeline
  • Clearly communicated session agendas
Set Expectations

“Different work than expected” is a common reason \new employees leave quickly. Be transparent from day one. There is a lot of ambiguity floating in the air on a new hire’s start date. Let them know everything from dress code to mission and values to position responsibilities.

It is also important to set expectations for your current team. It should not come as a surprise to your existing employees that there is a new hire on the team. Make sure everyone has a role to play in the onboarding experience.

Build Confidence

This one is a no brainer. Make your new hires feel good about joining the team! Have set programs in place that will interlace them into their immediate team as well as interdepartmental teams. Programs such as the following are guaranteed to build a sense of community and openness to ask questions at any time.

  • A dedicated resource or buddy system
  • An #onboarding Slack channel for questions
  • A lunch outing with new team members
  • Immediate, regular 1-on-1 meetings with the hiring manager
Get Feedback

Create a dialog with you employees the moment they step foot into the door. An onboarding survey can accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Not only will your new hire feel their opinions are valued within this organization, but you can learn where to improve. Over time you will find this survey extremely valuable when measuring positive cultural change!

Onboarding can truly make a difference in retaining employees and cultivating a strategic culture.

Culture is something that has to be practiced consistently day after day after day. But it always begins on day one.

Onboard & Upwards!

The post Onboarding Beyond Logistics appeared first on CultureIQ.

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Action Planning speaks louder than surveys. The purpose of an employee listening program is to better understand your workforce with the intention of ultimately giving them the best possible experience while simultaneously meeting your organization’s strategic objectives. Strategic objectives may vary from one organization to the next. However, CultureIQ’s I/O psychologists have developed a proven and universal blueprint to successful action planning and there are 6 key questions to ask yourself during development:

What do I Look For?

After collecting employee feedback look for areas of opportunity. Look for the areas you can have the most impact and for those most critical to the business’s strategic objectives. Then, prioritize these issues by how critical each are to the business and if you are capable enough to act upon that data. This process of identifying key issues will assist in building a solid foundation for your action plan.

How do I tell the others?

There are 3 things to keep in mind when communicating these results to employees:

Appreciation: First and foremost, Thank employees for taking your survey.

Transparency: Show them the physical results and the gaps you’ve identified.

Direction: Express that you are committed to making a change for improvement.

Shout these messages through every communicative channel your organization owns from emails, to slack messages, to culture committees, reinforcing the notion you understand how and why they feel the way they do and that you are committed to improving that overall sentiment.

How do I choose a direction?

Once the results of employee feedback are communicated to the rest of the organization it is common for new issues to emerge. It is important to listen to any further response and consider this when weighing which issues to take action on. It may seem overwhelming but understand not everything can be fixed at once. Hone in on one or two major priorities and be sure to ask yourself questions such as:

Can you measure the impact of what you are doing?

Are you starting simply so you have quick wins?

Can you maintain the change?

What defines my action plan?

The company’s current strengths should always be considered. Identify which strengths can be leveraged to increase your chances of success. In the same breath, identify any anticipated barriers you may have to overcome. It is important to be honest with yourself during this process as it can truly dictate your success.

With these strengths and barriers laid out, begin to identify which resources you need and who will be accountable for what. If ownership for a plan is not clearly defined, then no one truly owns it.

Lastly, articulate what success looks like. Sure, you want those numbers to look better on the next pulse but keep your eye on the prize: improving the organization. Set measurable goals and timelines what are your immediate, mid and long-term solutions.

What do I do while implementing the plan?

Continue to track and measure your initiatives throughout the process. Also, keep everyone informed as you make progress. This will demonstrate the organization’s momentum while simultaneously allowing you and your team to re-calibrate your action plan as it continues to unfold.

What should I communicate?

Lastly, every project has obstacles, hurdles and setbacks.  Be transparent about those and what you are doing to overcome them. Have different people communicate with the organization.  Of course, the message starts with your leaders, but it doesn’t have to end with them. Your culture committee members can help you get buy-in from the rank and file in their geographies, departments or new hire group.

It’s true Action Planning does speak louder than surveys. That’s not to say surveys aren’t important but to say its only half the battle. Culture isn’t always the simplest to manage. Culture is strategic, it is creative and it is high maintenance but if done correctly it can undoubtedly be the most profitable and rewarding asset an organization has.

The post 6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Action Planning appeared first on CultureIQ.

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