Published: July 20, 2020 | Comments
Companies should ensure that their core values mean more than warm and fuzzy words that are shared with customers or spoken to employees during company events. Employees should feel included and that the core values are authentic.
2020 has brought forward a lot of emotion with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. This has prompted businesses to take a deeper look at their company culture and the diversity in their workplace. Company culture is created when employees feel that they belong and, as such, they are valued, connected, and invested in the success of the company.
Is your company promoting a culture of inclusivity and diversity? Here is how you can find out:
Compare Core Value Against Your Employee Diversity
Assess your core values alongside the diversity of your company. It may be difficult for employees to feel connected to the core values if they do not see visual representation of other peers and leaders with similar characteristics as them, such as race, sex, or even religious beliefs. The proof of your company's diversity is represented in your employee population. It is important to engage your HR teams early on, so that they can assist with facilitating any conversations and for them to provide the necessary data to complete an employee diversity and salary assessment leverage data that is typically sent to the EEOC.
Get Your Employees’ Opinions
Send an employee survey that allows them to respond anonymously, so that they are comfortable providing honest responses. There are several vendors and SaaS products that have this capability. The information received can also be used to create a benchmark for an employee net promoter score (eNPS) which enables employers to measure the growth or decline in areas of focus over time.
Here are some example questions to ask employees:
- Do you feel our company embodies our core values?
- Do our leaders consistently live by our core values?
- Do you feel supported by your management team?
- On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate our company culture?
- Would you recommend a friend or family member to work here? (eNPS)
Review Your Survey Findings
After sending the survey to employees, connect with your Executive Leadership team and Human Resources to analyze the diversity data and the survey results.
Here are some helpful questions to ask during the survey review:
- Did the survey outcomes meet your expectation (positive or negative)?
- What areas need the most improvement and/or require immediate action?
- How has your organization practiced your core values or set an example for employees?
- Is your leadership team representative of your employee population?
- Does your HR team acquire talent with diversity in mind?
- Are there any pay inequalities that should be addressed?
Take Action to Drive Results
Don’t leave your employees wondering if the survey was an empty step. After reviewing the results, form an action plan and follow up with your employees.
Here are some recommended steps to get you going in the right direction:
Share findings with your employee base
- Start with your managers and share the survey results company-wide.
- Acknowledge areas of opportunity and be open to employee suggestions and recommendations.
Create a culture committee
- Ensure that it has executive sponsorship and HR support, so that action items will be carried out
- Allow employees to volunteer or be nominated by their peers to ensure their voices are represented. Consider term limits to allow new voices to contribute
Identify issues and set clearly defined goals to address them
Invest in your employees
Contribute dollars toward the committee initiatives and measure the success of the outcomes
Provide diversity and sensitivity training to help create a culture of inclusivity
Remove employees or leaders who behave in ways that are inconsistent with the company's core values. Your invested employees will thank you for it.
Inspect What You Expect
Investment in your company’s culture is a long-term commitment that requires time, money, and persistence. Remember to keep employees and leaders engaged by having recurring feedback sessions. This will ensure organizational alignment on desired outcomes and objectives. Remain flexible and be willing to adjust as needed, this is a continuous improvement process that may evolve over time.
Here are best practices to consider for success:
- Send annual or semi-annual surveys to employees
- Measure results against your benchmarks and results over time
- Provide quarterly company-wide reporting on progress updates
- Live your core values, encourage diversity, invest in your employees and follow through on any commitments