A Culture of Value
Somewhere right now there is a survey being emailed in a company trying to delve into the psyche of it's employees to find out if they really care about the mission, vision or their job. What upper management is really wanting to know is "hey do you like us?" The problem with surveys is that HR/management may say that your response is confidential, but the truth of the matter is that most employees don't believe that. When employees are emailed surveys, the data may read one thing but the truth will always say another. The truth is the conversations that are happening offline on the 15 min coffee break offsite at Starbucks. As a CEO or manager you may be thinking "I already know this but how do we fix it"? Short answer is you don't. The only thing you can change is how you value your employees. Value isn't created by allowing "casual dress Friday or giving Christmas bonus's". Value is created in the elevator by "saying good morning how are you?" Did you know that a simple smile and "how are you doing" Have prevented suicide in people lives according to Psychology Today?
As a leader of an organization you may be thinking "Cedric I don't have the time to speak to every employee, or that it's not my job to make people feel better." I have to agree with you if you are thinking that, but I want you to consciously think about every opportunity that you may have had to speak to those entry level employees or veteran employees that you are standing in the elevator with and have passed up that opportunity. I want you to think about it not to feel guilty, but to improve your organizations culture of inclusion, and trust. People tend to stay where they feel welcome. It's a tribe mentality that has been coded in each individual for survival. It happens on a subconscious level where people do not even notice. If you can allow a culture of value to flourish at work then what you are metaphorically doing is creating a community where every position feels like it matters to the mission, and vision of the company. Once you have created that culture your survey still can happen but you will sense a new vibe around the office, warehouse or where ever your business may be. Taking time with employees is one step but it's a major step because every organization has a pyramid structure but no structure stands without it's foundation. Be sure to bring in outside help in certain times, consultants, and trainers have no inner conflicts and sometimes employees feel that they can trust their confidentiality more when a organization may be going through turbulent waters in the retention of it's employees or workplace happiness. Remember a company that vibes together tribes together.