We're all familiar with the adage, “A happy employee makes for a productive employee.' Your firm prides itself on truly doing everything within its ability to create a professional, productive and challenging environment. So why are your new hires losing their enthusiasm? It could be a misstep in your company culture.
Who Are You?
Company culture begins with your core values, your mission statement and your purpose. These are usually conveyed via your website, promotional materials and in onboard training of your new hires. When that stated culture doesn't align with your actual culture, new hires are usually the first to notice. And, all too often, they're the first to leave.
Here are some frequent signs that may indicate weakness in your company culture:
- There are too many meetings (or worse, ineffective meetings).
Meetings are a great tool for managing teams and projects. But, too many and you run the risk of portraying an inability to act and/or wasting time.
- Employee values aren't aligned with the firm's values.
“We respond to every email within 1 business day.” Failing to meet this promise either internally or externally indicates that the employee is not being held accountable, is not given the tools to make good on this promise, or the company culture just isn't strong enough to guide the employee's actions.
- The company as a whole doesn't live up to its stated values.
A great example is on the Wells Fargo Bank website. The Values page clearly states that 'ethics' and 'what's right for customers' are both values; yet, the recent scandal indicates otherwise. The actual culture does not support these values otherwise, millions of customers would not have had fraudulent accounts opened in their name without their permission or knowledge.
- There is a disorganized leadership team.
The 'left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing', 'not everyone is rowing in the same direction', 'not everyone's on the same page' – there are numerous descriptions that all boil down to the same issue. There is a lack of clear direction within management which can be quickly observed by a new employee and will soon be obvious to clients and prospects.
- Rampant Gossip and Rumors
This can be about other employees, leadership, strategy or even clients. It's toxic and, left unchecked, can have devastating effects.
Our Firm Has Some Challenges, Now What?
How do you determine if your firm needs to improve its culture? If you've had recent hires quit or had a hard time filling a position, it may be an indicator that your firm does indeed have a culture weakness.
Your next step may be bringing the issue to the attention of management. After all, culture cannot be manufactured. It has to be genuinely nurtured by everyone from the CEO down. And lastly, try to embody those elements of company culture that reflect the integrity and values of the firm. After all, a firm is only as good as its employees. Let your actions showcase the best your firm has to offer.
Looking to hire a new team member? Start with our hiring blueprint, including how to showcase your great culture and attract the best talent. Download it below.