Innovative HR Solutions, LLC

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Why is a Values-Based Company Culture So Important?

Company cultures are very important in the process of acquiring top talent and the retention of high-performing employees.  A company devoid of a culture will often result in an environment where the organization has no purpose, little alignment between the local community and customers and a strategy that can’t be sustained for the long-term.

A strong values-based culture will allow the company to grow and prosper because there is an alignment between the employees and the values of the organization.  Strong values-based cultures often rely on three key components to support this important alignment and include:

1.     The history of the company which supports a respectful environment between staff and management and a tradition of valuing all employees.  Company’s do not have to have years of business experience only the organization needs to demonstrate their commitment to the established culture.

2.     The values of the company are supported by and practiced by the leaders of the organization.  Exhibiting the values of the company in the decision making process and ensuring transparency will support a values-based culture.

3.     A values-based culture needs to be communicated and all employees need to be held accountable in the support of the principles of the agreed upon values.  Employee buy-in and support for a values-based culture will ensure an alignment between the leaders, staff and customers.
When an organization's values are clearly communicated and aligned, they become the compass or reference point for the company and its employees. When they are well ingrained in the organization, they are also reflected in the environment, in the employees' professional behavior and guide the decision making process.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Employee Survey is Done…Now What?

Employee surveys, originally introduced into organizations around the middle of the last century, were developed to measure employee job satisfaction.  Employers wanted to know how satisfied their employees were because “satisfied workers would be more productive workers.”  Research over the past 35 years has found that job satisfaction while very important is but one indicator of organizational effectiveness.  Although the early assumption that satisfied workers are more productive, there is a body of research which suggests that organizations that are in tune with their workers can motivate them to do a good job and enhance the work environment for all.  Many current studies have identified that relationships between employee groups, the satisfaction of customers serviced by employees, organizational performance and job alignment are key to maintaining high levels of employee engagement.  The end result is improved organizational performance.

Today, employee surveys have taken on additional applications.  Managers have realized they can ask employees about a broad range of important issues such as leadership, benefits, job satisfaction and compensation to name a few.  With this information, organizations can fine-tune their communication strategies, work to increase employee buy-in and even decide to modify corporate policies.  The employee survey provides the means for linking employee behavior with company success. 

The question then arises as to what happens following the survey process. The goal of any employee survey is to measure current satisfaction and engagement levels and establish benchmarks for the future.  The key to a successful survey is to follow-up in a timely and collaborative manner using this six point process targeted for the HR professional:

1.     Explain the survey results to all employees either through webinars, newsletters or face-to-face presentations.

2.     Answer any questions that employees may have about the survey process and department results.

3.     Working with the leadership team draft two to three corporate action items that the leadership team can agree upon.

4.     Working with the department managers assist them in developing their two or three department action items that the work group can agree upon.

5.     Include these action items in the annual performance plan.

6.     Ensure that a quarterly action planning process occurs to ensure that the process remains credible and that managers are held accountable.

Employee surveys are an excellent tool to monitor employee satisfaction and engagement and a metric to hold people accountable.
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