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The Culture Control Panel

As culture settles in as a legitimate business concern in the larger discussion of work management, so do methods for measuring and managing it. Here are five key touchpoints of culture that all businesses from startups to blue chips can use to build employee engagement — and extra profit — from day one.

Download a free copy of the culture control panel here.

She sat in her office wondering what was wrong. Though meeting her financial goals, the company she set out to create was evaporating as it grew in size and staff. Success was causing the problem, but it wasn’t growth that was the issue; it was the engagement of her team. Culture-Control-Panel-v2.2 small

This scenario is not uncommon. When businesses scale, operational concerns often take priority over people concerns. When left unchecked, rapid growth begets disengaged workers. The problems mount when leaders realize how difficult it is to hire and retain top talent. (High-performers can smell a poorly managed culture from the front door.) The urge to grow and the focus on culture have an inverse relationship that’s challenging to shift once a company is in the throes of expansion.

Add to the scenario the ever-shortening tenure of employment — soon predicted to average a mere 15 months — and the prospect of building a strong, sustainable culture grows even more grim. Turnover isn’t just a financial burden; it’s a culture roadblock. For the seasoned organization, culture is inextricable from brand — with years of momentum, the regular ebb and flow of employees is less problematic than for startups that have just come into their own.

In the face of business realities and a drastically changing work world, how can businesses scale in size, revenue, and culture? They need a measurable strategy that addresses the core aspects of company culture and adapts to changes over time. We’ve identified five touchpoints — package, potential, people, purpose, and perception — that startups can use today to guide company culture and tomorrow to course-correct.

About the Author: For over 15 years, brand strategist Josh Levine has helped local and global organizations engage customers and empower employees. Most recently Josh helped found CultureLabX, where he leads brand development. His writing has been featured in publications including Fast Company, The Design Management Journal, and 99u.com. Josh teaches at California College of the Arts’ renowned MBA program in Design Strategy and is principal of Bay Area brand consultancy Great Monday.

#TChat Preview: Employee Engagement And The Culture Control Panel

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, October 22, 2014, from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT). The #TChat radio portion runs the first 30 minutes from 7-7:30 pm ET, followed by the #TChat Twitter chat from 7:30-8 pm ET.

Last week we talked about how to use company culture to attract candidates, and this week we’re going to talk about employee engagement and the culture control panel.

Culture is increasingly a legitimate business concern in the world of work, and that means methods for measuring and managing it are more critical than ever before.

The problem is, when businesses scale at any speed, operational concerns often take priority over people concerns. When left unchecked, rapid growth “grooms” disengaged workers and then the problems mount when leaders realize how difficult it is to hire and retain top talent.

And by the way, high-performers can smell a poorly managed culture from a mile away. Add to that the fact that employee tenure continues to shrink and the prospect of building a strong, sustainable culture grows even more grim.

This week’s guest will share five important points of culture that all businesses from startups to blue chips can use to build employee engagement and improve retention — and extra profit — from day one.

Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-creators and co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman learn how to measure culture via engagement with this week’s guest: Josh Levine, Director of Strategy and Founder at Great Monday and Co-Founder of CultureLab.

Sneak Peek:

Related Reading:

Meghan M. Biro: Employee Engagement Is a Leadership Commitment

Natalie Kate Meehan: Transparency In Your Company Culture Is Important. Here’s Why.

Rick Hein: Tips For Measuring And Improving Employee Engagement

Evie Nagy: How A Balanced Workplace Culture Can Support Your Mission

Andre Lavoie: The Two Transformative Influences On Employee Engagement

Gina O’Reilly: Why We Replaced (In)Human Resources With “Employee Experience”

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guest and the TalentCulture Community.

#TChat Events: Employee Engagement And The Culture Control Panel

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio — Wed, October 22nd — 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT Tune in to the #TChat Radio show with our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, as they talk with our guest: Josh Levine.

Tune in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, October 22nd — 7:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm PT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and Josh will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: Why is company culture so critical to engagement? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: How do companies prevent operational priorities from overtaking people priorities? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: If you had a startup, or ran a large company, what cultural engagement factors would you focus on? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!

photo credit: overthinkingme via photopin cc

Happy Work Folk Are Huggers, Not Walkers

June 30, 2009

“They call them Walkers.”

Rick the recruiter whispered the words like a desperate prayer while he stood at the 10th floor window looking down on the street. Nishi, Rick’s new boss, was puzzled.

“Walkers?”

“Yes, Walkers,” Rick echoed, and wiped his dry mouth with the back of his hand.

Nishi waved a hand in front of Rick’s face. “Earth to Rick, what are you talking about?”

He pointed to the street. “There.”

Nishi’s eyes tracked along his arm and hand down to the street. Hundreds of people drifted aimlessly toward the front entrance of their building, bumping into one another and eventually amassing as a group in the sweltering heat below. Dozens and dozens more were on their way.

“Oh my God.”

Rick placed his right palm on the window, then his forehead. “I know.”

“Who are they really?”

Rick inhaled and held it. He turned to face Nishi and exhaled slowly into his hands. Nishi’s usually smooth caramel complexion was now ashen, her arms slack at her sides, but fists clenched.

“Ever since the great global economic Armageddon, they’ve been turning up in herds at companies that are hiring, like ours. All over the world. They’re the unqualified, the unemployed, those who can’t find a job. And it just keeps getting worse. More keep showing up.”

Nishi checked her smart phone. “I’ve actually read about this but hadn’t experienced it for myself yet. I’ve also read that they—”

Suddenly they heard shrieks from the street followed by sirens and gunshots. Blue and red lights splashed across their windows and those across the street.

“—eat the employed and the qualified, yes. It’s true.”

Nishi cupped both her hands over her mouth and visibly gagged. Co-workers made their way to the window to witness the horror.

“I know, it’s awful,” Rick continued. “But, what’s interesting is that they only eat those whose companies are thriving, where engagement is high, and where positive company culture is priority number one, which isn’t many right now, but they’re out there. Unfortunately, we’re one of the lucky ones, too. It’s bizarre. They won’t touch the miserable workers anywhere.”

More shrieks from the street. Gunshots. Someone on a bullhorn shouted for the “engaged” to flee the area immediately.

Rick closed his eyes. “I can’t fill my reqs fast enough anymore. They keep eating my candidates. The only way to stop them is to skill them up, or kill them.”

Nishi turned and ran down the hall toward the bathrooms, still cupping her hands over her mouth.

Rick placed both palms and his forehead against the window as if he were bracing for an earthquake. Sweat beaded on his forehead and trickled down the glass in front of him.

“They call them Walkers,” he whispered again…

And today, in the real world, there are still millions of them, although thankfully they don’t eat anyone. For those keeping score at home, I was only having a little fun with the highly popular AMC show The Walking Dead, of which I’m an avid fan.

Sadly, there are still millions of unemployed, regardless of the skewed stats, plus millions more who have given up, and millions of job requisitions that go unfilled because of a growing skills disparity, poor recruiting and hiring practices and trying to find that one qualified candidate in an unfortunate unqualified zombie apocalypse.

It’s certainly no laughing matter. According to BLS JOLTS report, or Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, there were 2.0 official unemployed per job opening for August 2014. Job openings were nearly 5 million with hiring coming in at a lower rate than July. In fact, job openings returned to pre-recession levels while hires have only increased 27% since June 2009, and private sector job openings have also recovered to pre-recession levels while hires have only increased 28% from their 2009 lows.

Oh my God.

For the tech world, however, the picture is much different. Shravan Goli, President of Dice, shared on the TalentCulture #TChat Show that currently it’s the hardest to fill software engineering, cloud computing, big data and mobile development jobs. And while overall tech unemployment sits at 3% and just 2.3% for software developers respectively, companies are having to get creative in terms of attracting tech talent with perks and compensation.

But because it’s hard enough today to find and source the most in-demand tech talent, or any person with the skills most sought after today, and with the high competition for these “holy grail” candidates, it’s not just the job that needs to stand out – companies must as well.

Stand out they do, but not for the best of reasons.

For example, according to a Fast Company article and recent research from the Center for Talent Innovation, U.S. women working in science, engineering, and tech fields are 45% more likely than their male peers to leave the industry within the year. This is due to male-dominated tech, biased performance evaluations and lack of women mentors. Quite disheartening for my wife and I, being parents of two bright little girls who may go into tech someday. Oh, I’m not even going to comment on the egg-freezing benefit offered to Facebook and Apple female employees who want to delay motherhood either.

Oh my God.

What to do? How about the living up to these two things:

  1. Culture up. Companies need to learn how to build and communicate a “diverse” and “open” company culture that attracts the best tech pros (and anyone for any position). Period. That’s what elevating candidate experience is all about (inside and out). That means developing a work environment that most appeals to in-demand tech professionals, and all professionals for that matter, and how they should effectively promote that culture in their social recruiting efforts (and all recruiting efforts). When they learn how to build and communicate a work culture that attracts the most sought-after candidates, it means they know how to identify the aspects of their unique culture that most resonates with their target candidates.
  2. Skill up. This one affects those companies hire and those they don’t. At least until they do, and then they’ll be happy with the continuous investment they make. If candidates and employees don’t receive the experience they increasingly want – where they feel the employer is committed to their ongoing development and helping set the stage for a long and successful tenure of reciprocal growth, they will seek to work for a company that offers such opportunities. In order to truly engage – and thereby retain – talent, organizations must evolve their continuous learning and development practices to drive talent engagement strategies and determine how they can provide a more rewarding experience.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The happily employed are loyal to the work they love first, then those they do it with and for, where the culture (and business) flourishes and embraces both, and then they’re loyal to the company brand. Happy work folk are huggers, not walkers, tempered only by their individual endurance and the distance to empowered culture and continuous skill development.

Let’s work to avoid further zombie apocalypse, which is still out there by the way. Plus, I prefer chicken and fish anyway.

photo credit: Munir Hamdan via photopin cc

#TChat Recap: Attracting Top Candidates With Great Company Culture

Attracting Top Candidates With Great Company Culture

Sometimes the obvious isn’t so obvious, and what should seem apparent, doesn’t always. Attracting top candidates is no one trick pony. It’s hard work, mostly because candidates’ needs vary, just like how organizational needs vary for all companies. Whatever the case may be, attracting top candidates without using an array of marketing tools such as promoting great company culture, can leave organizations fairly defenseless when it comes to attracting top candidates. Each industry faces their own unique challenges and complexities when it comes to reeling in top talent. The technology industry has seen its fair share of challenges the past few years. This week’s guests: Jim Stroud, Senior Director of RPO Recruitment Strategies at Randstad Sourceright, and Shravan Goli, President of Dice, shared with our community some of the challenges of recruiting and motivating in-demand tech talent. Together, with our community, we took a deep dive into the challenges of sourcing great tech talent, and building great company culture in the process.

It’s usually never one thing that causes trouble. Whether it’s recruiters or hiring managers, attracting top candidates to fill in-demand tech positions is extremely difficult. Finding top tech talent is a challenge. But is it because of:

Is this so? Is wooing tech talent almost similar to the challenges that other industries are facing when it comes to attracting top candidates? Are organizations failing to understand the need to communicate great company culture to candidates or is there no culture in existent to do so? Perhaps reeling in talent takes revamping the candidate wooing process. Organizations need to:

The beauty about attracting top candidates is that it’s a process that we can always learn from and constantly tweak. What worked in the past doesn’t necessarily imply that it will continue to work. Recruiting strategies have to continue to evolve as different generations of workers enter the workforce and technology continues to create the need for new skills. Our good friend Jim Stroud, and this week’s #TChat guest gave us a friendly reminder that:

Without adaptation and acceptance towards change, how can organizations expect to build a better company cultures? Let alone even care to take notice if their culture is healthy or not? Company culture shouldn’t be something we sell, but instead, it should be something that we embrace. Yes, candidates want to hear about the kind of financial stability that will be provided for them, but they also want to know about who the organizations are and how they’ll be provided opportunities to grow. Simply telling candidates that the “sky’s the limit” isn’t good enough anymore.

Attracting top candidates isn’t about throwing around fancy buzzwords. It has to be more compelling than that. As organizations grow, we have to grow with our employees if we are to truly support their personal transformations within companies. Remember, it’s employees that bring life and success to their organizations. Not the other way around. Attracting top candidates happens because they are communicated the potential influence that an organization will have on their careers. Whether we’re attracting top tech talent or other working professionals, we mustn’t forget that culture is a part of who we are. There’s no reason organizations cannot learn to harvest their company culture.

Want To See The #TChat Replay?

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

Thanks again to our guests: Jim Stroud, Senior Director of RPO Recruitment Strategies at Randstad Sourceright, and Shravan Goli, President of Dice.

Wednesday, Oct. 22nd, #TChat Events: Engagement and the Culture Control Panel

TChatRadio_logo_020813 #TChat Radio 7pm ET / 4pm PT — Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time? Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to Engagement and the Culture Control Panel.

Note To Bloggers: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the engagement experience?

We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!

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Save The Date: Wednesday, October 22nd!

Join us next week, as we talk about Engagement and the Culture Control Panel during #TChat Events. The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our new Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels!

Passive-Recruiting

photo credit: Thomas Leuthard via IM Creator cc

#TChat Preview: Using Company Culture To Attract In-Demand Candidates

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, October 15, 2014, from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT). The #TChat radio portion runs the first 30 minutes from 7-7:30 pm ET, followed by the #TChat Twitter chat from 7:30-8 pm ET.

Last week we talked about the HR Technology “mic drop,” and this week we’re going to talk about how to use company culture to attract in-demand candidates.

Because it’s hard enough today to find and source the most in-demand tech talent. And with the high competition for these “holy grail” candidates, it’s not just the job that needs to stand out — your company must, too.

This means you need to learn how to build and communicate a company culture that attracts the best tech pros. Period. You need to develop a work environment that most appeals to in-demand tech professionals, and all professionals for that matter, and how you should effectively promote that culture in your social recruiting efforts.

When you learn how to build and communicate a work culture that attracts the most sought-after tech candidates, it means you know how to identify the aspects of your unique culture that most resonate with your target candidates.

Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-creators and co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we learn how to use company culture to attract in-demand candidates with this week’s guests: Jim Stroud, Senior Director of RPO Recruitment Strategies at Randstad Sourceright, and Shravan Goli, President of Dice.

Related Reading:

Meghan M. Biro: 5 Ways To Reinvent Your Recruiting Strategy

Mary Lorenz: How Yahoo, Facebook and Zappos Recruit Tech Talent

Josh Bersin: How Do We Excite, Manage, and Retain the Tech Team?

Ashley Zito Rowe: Recruiting Is Becoming More Technical

Telle Whitney: Men Initiating Change Is an Important Step Toward Eradicating Tech’s Bro Culture

Yoree Koh: Twitter’s Diversity Report: Women Make Up 30% of Workforce

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guests and the TalentCulture Community.

#TChat Events: Using Company Culture To Attract In-Demand Candidates

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio — Wed, October 15th — 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT Tune in to the #TChat Radio show with our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, as they talk with our guests: Jim Stroud and Shravan Goli.

Tune in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, October 15th — 7:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm PT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin, Jim and Shravan will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What are the reasons why critical tech talent is so hard to source today? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: What are key strategies for building company cultures that attract the right candidates? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: How should companies promote company culture in their social recruiting efforts? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!

The Great Rated! People’s Picks: 20 Great Workplaces In Technology

(Above: Workday photo)

The tech industry isn’t just transforming our world with gadgets, apps and entirely new ways of communicating. Leading tech firms also are upgrading the workplace, inventing corporate climates that are fun, fair and focused on allowing employees to integrate their professional and personal lives. They also excel at hiring people who are a good fit for their organization. We at Great Rated! decided to spotlight tech firms on the cutting edge of company culture by creating “The Great Rated!TM People’s Picks: 20 Great Workplaces in Technology.”

The top large technology workplaces (those with 1,000 or more employees) are:

1. Workday
2. World Wide Technology
3. Ultimate Software
4. Google
5. FactSet Research Systems
6. Hyland Software
7. SAS Institute
8. Twitter
9. Salesforce.com
10. Riverbed Technology

The top small and medium technology workplaces (those with fewer than 1,000 employees) are:

1. Visionist
2. AgileThought
3. Square Root
4. Convergence Consulting Group
5. Tapestry Technologies
6. OpenDNS
7. Gainsight
8. Innovative Architects
9. Intellinet
10. Polyvore

(For details on any of the firms and their cultures, click on them to visit their Great Rated! review.)

The 20 winning companies were selected based on the average scores of nearly 50,000 employees who were surveyed using the Trust Index© assessment. The Trust Index© is the 58-question survey of workplace trust, pride and camaraderie that Great Rated!’s parent, Great Place to Work®, uses to survey millions of employees worldwide each year. The Great Rated!™ People’s Picks: 20 Great Workplaces in Technology marks the first published list since the official launch of Great Rated!™, the site that gives job seekers the inside scoop on companies and their cultures.

The 20 Great Workplaces in Technology have created cultures that their employees love.
“It’s a big, happy family: work hard, play hard and party hard,” one staffer at business software maker Workday told us. “We have internal tournaments for Ping Pong, a pool table, a Workday cycling team and Workday volunteers. People really care about one another. Teams share happiness and sorrow with the same spirit.”

Or listen to this employee from Visionist, which provides technology services to government agencies: “Visionist is unique in how mission-focused it is. A lot of defense contractors say that, but the people are so dedicated to their support of the government’s mission that on some contracts they work all hours of the night, come in on their weekends or build unpaid prototypes to help make the government better.”

Visionist photo

Visionist photo

It may not be surprising that tech firms have more fun—given the reputations companies like Google have for zany antics and playful perks like office slides. But our research shows the 20 Great Workplaces in Technology excel in some surprising ways. Like creating a level playing field, where promotions go to those who best deserve them and managers avoid playing favorites. And despite the hard work often associated with computer and coding jobs, employees at the 20 Great Workplaces in Technology give their companies high marks when it comes to work-life balance.

Google photo

Google photo

Hiring people who fit in well is another strength of the 20 Great Workplaces in Technology. Rigor in the recruiting process is a common theme. Information technology services firm AgileThought has candidates prove their technical chops in a whiteboard exercise as well as take part in a “fit” interview with an executive. “Our executives are involved because we understand how important it is to build the right types of teams, and those qualities go beyond just having the technical skill,” the company says.

AgileThought photo

AgileThought photo

It’s a similar story at retail software maker Square Root. “If you want to be part of the Square Root team, expect several rounds of interviews, a take-home assignment and lots of socializing before we make you an offer,” the firm says.

Congratulations to the 20 Great Workplaces in Technology. Please keep advancing the workplace as you wow us with the next killer app.

(About the Author: Ed Frauenheim is editor at workplace research site Great Rated!™, where he produces content and reviews companies.)

(All photos courtesy of Great Rated!)

Which Countries Have The Most Efficient Workers?

Are you opening work emails when you’re at home? Getting business updates on your iPhone when you’re out with the kids? Technological advances mean that when you clock out of the workplace, a huge chunk of your work can follow you home even when you are off the clock, whether that’s on your laptop, iPad or phone.

In the UK, there has been a dramatic rise in working hours, with the average employee working 32 hours per week, or 1,669 hours per year. But is working longer hours really the secret to more smarter workers and a more productive workforce? The answer is no.

Which Countries Have the Most Productive Workers?

Germany and France are two of the most productive countries, but they are also two of the countries with the fewest working hours. In Germany, the average employee works 1388 hours per year (or 26.6 hours per week) and in France the figure is only slightly higher with working hours totaling 1,489 per year (28.6 hours per week).

In contrast, Mexicans work the most hours, averaging 41.5 hours per week, which is a whopping 2,200 hours annually. South Korea isn’t far behind, with 2,100 hours worked annually per person (41.5 hours per week). Despite longer working hours, both countries fall short in term of productivity when compared to their German and French counterparts.

Even without taking productivity into account, studies have found that people who have fewer working hours are more loyal and suffer less stress and illness. Research from the Mental Health Foundation found that when working long hours, 27 percent of workers feel depressed, 34 percent feel anxious and a huge 58 percent feel irritable. We all know that unhappy employees result in unhappy employers. Work-related stress costs Britain 10.4 million working days per year.

What Can Employers Learn from This?

If you want smarter employees, be a smarter employer. Overworking your staff will only lead to burn-outs, rock-bottom company work culture and a drop in your profit margins. Aim to have your employees working smarter, instead of longer. How do you do that?

Prioritize and Organize

Prioritization and organization is essential for smarter working. Be ruthless about what tasks need to be completed immediately and which ones can wait until later in the week. Giving all tasks equal priority will lead to attempts at multi-tasking. Julie Morgenstern, a productivity expert, has scientifically proven that the brain cannot efficiently switch between tasks. Consequently, tasks take longer, the quality of work is lower, and you’ll probably not retain much information, meaning subsequent tasks will also suffer. Smarter workers are the ones who focus on each task individually

Delegate Tasks and Train Staff

One of the most common mistakes made by employers and managers is trying to do everything by themselves. Work out which tasks don’t make it to the top of your priority list and train your staff to do them for you. Training your staff will pay off in the long run. Ensuring that staff can effectively carry out tasks to the standard that you desire will keep your company working like a well-oiled machine. Delegating “important” tasks to other members of the workforce also shows your trust in them, making it a great way to boost morale.

Work/Life Balance

The ultimate secret to having smarter workers is to make sure that they are finding a good balance between working and enjoying their free time. There are plenty of critics of work/life balance, but many of them also suggest allocating time for when you won’t log on to work emails or answer the phone.

Employees who don’t have romantic evenings with their other half and weekends at the park with their kids interrupted by phone calls from the office will be much more productive when they are working. Blurring the lines between work and life makes it difficult for employees to focus on their work, even when they’re in the office. As an employer, offering incentives and supporting employees in their passions and interests can be just the ticket to achieving that balance.

Ron Stewart has worked in the recruitment industry for 30 years, having owned companies in the IT, Construction and Medical sectors. He is currently running the Jobs4Group, and is CEO of Jobs4Medical. Follow Ron on Twitter at @jobs4medical.

photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via photopin cc

3 Ways to Influence, Not Control, Employee Commitment

If you’ve read various leadership forums, you’re probably familiar with the concept of control versus influence. Controlling and authoritative personalities in management motivate employees to act, but it’s usually out of fear or requirement — neither of which produce a sense of commitment to an organization.

When it comes to managing an employee’s psychological attachment and involvement in a company, it’s best to realize that “controlling” is impossible in this situation because we are dealing with attachment on a psychological level. If managers could control thoughts, we’d belong in a science fiction film.

Instead, the way managers communicate and act trigger an emotional response from employees, inspiring them to think and feel a particular way about their jobs, which influences a certain level of commitment.

While you can’t control employee commitment, you can influence it the following ways:

Check Your Culture and Revamp if Necessary

How’s your company culture? Have you checked in recently to see what values your employees are using to make decisions? Your company culture evolves over time, shaping your organization’s brand from the inside out. With the influx of new hires and the departure of veterans, it’s important to make sure your culture remains clear, strong, and on the right path.

A recent study proves that people choose whether or not to act on deviant behavior based on group norms. Just in the same, employees will conform to the norms of the organization in order to feel accepted as part of the group. It really makes you wonder what your new employees are learning from current ones, even you. Another study found that company culture directly influences employee behavior.

If your culture needs revamping, try implementing a few of these tactics:

Strengthen your communication. During busy work days, it’s tough to keep everyone in the loop about what’s going on. Try using mobile-enabled software that allows two-way communication between you and your employees through which you can send documents and updates.

Schedule a weekly tradition. Pick one that allows employees to interact with one another on a subject not related to work. Schedule a nerf gun war, lunchtime social, or post a “question of the week” allowing space for answers.

Create a place for exercise. If you can’t afford to pave a basketball court in back of your office building, install a basketball hoop in a break room. Or turn an extra office space into a gym, and welcome everyone to join in on finding inexpensive equipment to furnish it.

Play interactive games. Start weekly brainstorming sessions with quick icebreaker games like “I’ve Never,” “Pictionary,” or “20 Questions.” You can even theme them to the meeting’s topic.

Encourage office personalization. Encourage your employees to bring in items that inspire them, with which they can decorate their offices or desks. During the holidays, host themed office door decorating contests.

Show Your Humanity

We’ve heard the “lead by example” cliche, but there’s more to standing alongside your employees on projects. Employees really want a manager who is relatable. A human, not a superhero with unobtainable powers, or a tireless production robot.

If you strive to show nothing but perfection, employees will feel burdened by unrealistic expectations to perform at the superhuman level. Worse, they won’t have anyone they can watch to learn how to recover from mistakes. As a result, they may feel alone, or disconnected, which weakens commitment.

When you reveal your imperfections and address mistakes as something everyone faces, you can foster a sense of belonging among employees.

Involve Employees in the Vision

Often employees will feel detached from their work when they don’t understand what role it plays in the big picture. Generate excitement and a sense of significance in what your employees do by showing the direct effects of their work on the company in the form of numbers, positive customer reviews, or company ranking.

Not only that, but you can also generate a sense of ownership by allowing employees to participate in the decision-making process. Research shows employees are more committed when involved in making decisions. Feeling like an active force behind the direction of the company will keep them engaged.

When it comes to behavior, realize it can only be influenced by the actions you take. If you notice your employees are disengaged, try improving communication and engaging everyone in activities to create a sense of community. Remember, people commit to tasks because of how they feel about the people involved, and you can only influence employee commitment.

What are some other ways you can influence employee commitment? Share in the comments below!

Bio: Matt Straz is the founder & CEO of Namely, the HR and payroll platform for the world’s most exciting companies. Connect with Matt and the Namely team on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

photo credit: L&L Transmedia Communications via photopin

6 Silent Culture Killers

HR Pros, people leaders, owners, executives, and CEO’s spend countless resources these days building culture. Following the likes of Zappos, Google, Lululemon, and more – culture is no longer just a buzzword. It’s an essential business strategy. If your employees love you, your clients will love you.

Perform a Google search on organizational culture and you’ll find a handful of well respected articles citing the top and most obvious Culture Killers. From the bad seed employee to poor leadership to a lack of direction; this is the stuff we know through and through to spoil culture.

Outside of the obvious, there’s also the Silent Culture Killers. These are actions, attitudes, and behaviours that break down culture on the sly. The Silent Culture Killers are particularly damaging because they’re dysfunctional behaviour; behaviour that goes against company values, cultural goals, and visions but are often too deeply embedded to uproot in the offender(s).

Here are 6 Silent Culture Killers discovered in my career and the do’s and don’t to rising above it:

#1 Silent Culture Killer: Passive Aggressive Behaviour

Perhaps the most silent of them all, passive aggressive behaviour is a hard to pin down, hard to hold accountable, kind of attitude that is disruptive and undermining. It’s the elephant in the room hindering authentic relationships and results from coming to fruition. Passive aggressive behaviour occurs behind the scenes, is emotionally or politically driven, and cripples culture.

Don’t play into passive aggressive tendencies from yourself or others and let resentments build.

Do aim to be authentic and transparent. Lead by example.

#2 Silent Culture Killer: Fear of Tough Conversations

Being in leadership or HR means tough conversations are a part of your job description. Be it the uncomfortable conversation with an employee about personal hygiene or the progressive discipline discussion outlining observations, expectations, and consequences. If your leadership team side steps away from these discussions, makes someone else do their dirty work, or just plain can’t articulate themselves- your high performing culture is out the window.

Don’t avoid things because they make you uncomfortable.

Do challenge yourself to understand why you’re uncomfortable and strive to overcome.

#3 Silent Culture Killer: Inconsistent Values Adoption

Company values are like the foundation of a building; they’re immovable and unchanging. A particularly damaging culture killer is the ‘on/off’ switch of values adoption. This looks like leaders who choose when the values matter and when they don’t. If your leaders can adopt your values only when it suits their needs, what message does that send to employees?

Don’t let yourself negotiate with the importance of company values.

Do follow a values based leadership style and live the values through your behaviour.

#4 Silent Culture Killer: Workspace Layout

Our environments have an important impact on how we behave and feel at work. A healthy workspace encourages collaboration, creativity and getting work done. Individuals thrive in different environments so workplaces should be designed for individuals. Spaces that kill culture vary: they could have too many walls or doors or they might not flow properly by segregating work groups into corners or basements.

Don’t just make a workspace for one type of person or one type of work. One size does not fit all.

Do design a space that makes it easy to communicate and collaborate.

#5 Silent Culture Killer: Cooks in the Kitchen

Cooks in the kitchen is collaboration gone wrong. When decisions are made by committee, it can stifle spirit, intreprenurialism, and ownership. Some of the keys to effective collaboration are teamwork, freedom, and creativity. When decision making is done by joint committee, it may be a sign of distrust or fear which can squelch your employee engagement in a heartbeat.

Don’t make a practice of joint decision making.

Do analyze when decision making should be by committee, and when it shouldn’t be. Consider the value in encouraging employees to fail forward.

#6 Silent Culture Killer: The CEO Whisperer

The CEO Whisperer, the Game maker, the Politician — this player has many names (and faces!) but they’re there, whispering in your CEO’s ear making a ploy for their needs. Often they possess a bona fide level of clout based on their results. They might have a large team, big scope of responsibility, or maybe they’re the top sales person. This person is a strategic influence and usually uses their importance to drive their political agenda.

Don’t get caught up in their political war games.

Do focus on you, your work, and what you can control.

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(About the Author: Writer, connector, collaborator – Gabrielle Garon is an enthusiastic HR pro on a simple mission to be a person of value, not of success. Gabrielle got into HR because she really liked helping others and soon found an overwhelming curiosity for behaviour, motivation, and how it all intersects with business. Gabrielle loves to talk! Her favourite topics are performance management, training & development, culture, and employer branding. Connect with Gabrielle here: @GabrielleGaron or gabriellegaron.com)

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Unleashing Innovation: Are You Up For A Challenge?

Innovation, innovation, innovation. When CEO’s were asked by IBM how they envisioned their companies to grow in 2014, they all pointed to innovation of their current products and services as the main driver for improved results. Most of these leaders added they were looking for ways to bring about these innovations from within, but that they were not yet sure how that could happen.

Not far from now, we’re 100 days away from 2014 to end – and so we’re curious: where’s your company at? Did you succeed in finding ways to fuel innovation from inside of your organization? How many breakthrough ideas were spotted and put into the funnel for execution?

From what we’ve heard, most companies are still struggling with unleashing the innovation powers of their employees. It’s not an easy process for sure, as it is far from a one-time event.

Positively Impact the Bottom Line

If you want high quality and high volume of ideas for innovation, to positively impact the bottom line, it requires a culture different from that often still alive in most organizations: a culture built on trust, transparency, recognition, ownership and collaboration.

As we’ve come to understand, successful innovation is not about ideas – there’s plenty of ideas available, and even when you’d argue not all are good ones (which is absolutely true) and you’d pick a very tiny percentage of all ideas being born daily in your organization, our bet would be that the amount of these ideas-with-potential, is still large enough for distilling even further towards finding some real winners.

Three Crucial Elements

The trick is to have those ideas being out there put into action, instead of laying dormant inside the heads of your employees. When asked about ideas and the willingness to implement them, the majority of young professionals and aspiring corporate innovators mention they feel they lack three crucial elements, which keeps them from taking action: time, resources and support.

And those who do commit to trying anyways, report to find themselves unprepared for doing whatever it takes to get it implemented. Especially in your first years in the corporate world, you don’t know how it all works – decision making, politics, stakeholder interests, timing and alignment with organizational objectives.

Since a company culture can only be transformed by doing things the new way instead of the old, one action at a time, you best start with one single step. A great way to creating a company culture supporting innovation from within, building on these five elements mentioned earlier, is to facilitate those employees with a potentially good idea in taking the leap and converting their ideas into reality.

Where to Start

Start with reaching out to those employees with that imaginary light bulb above their heads. Tell them you value their ideas, and that you want to offer them a chance for implementing them. Offer them a challenge: you can spend some portion of your time on your idea, you get the resources and support you need, and you get the opportunity to develop essential skills. And add some motivation to the challenge by putting a clear deadline for delivering results – why not pick that horizon of 100 days before the year ends?

Maybe their idea is not that good, and it will not survive the first round of feedback from key stakeholders. Maybe some of them will fail because they find out their idea was not in sync with the overarching goals of your company. Maybe some will just do a lousy job of communicating their ideas and presenting a proper business case.

But maybe… some will succeed. Some will find ways through traditional barriers. Some will show exceptional qualities for storytelling and pitching ideas. Some will be natural-born innovators, suddenly being able to do something they really believe in.

It’s Been Said…

You never know if you don’t try. Or better said, you never know if you don’t get them trying. And we can help you with that in such a way that chances of success are highest. Our 100 Days Intrapreneurs Challenge is designed to guide the newest cohort of employees towards implementing their best idea for innovation, within 100 days. We’ve got impactful video lectures, personal coaching and mastermind groups lined up to support them.

Can you remember the first time you managed to change something or convinced a senior manager about your great idea? Possibly, that was one of the defining moments for your career. Offering your eager beavers the opportunity to grow in the same way, will not only lead to some great ideas being implemented, you effectively build that new culture – one employee at a time. What are you waiting for?

Apply Now

(About the Author: What if people feel fulfilled and engaged at work, and organizations thrive by having a positive impact on the world? Hans Balmaekers is driven to transform that vision into reality. He is the founder of sa.am, offering corporate mavericks, change makers and impactful leaders a global network of like-minded people, and an environment for collaboration and learning – both online and offline.

The next edition of the sa.am 100 Days Intrapreneurs Challenge starts on September 8, with the goal of offering 100 aspiring intrapreneurs the guidance, support and tools they need to turn their ideas into actual results before the end of the year. More info here.)

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Forgive Yourself a Prayer, But Never Surrender to Bad Culture

“You can surrender
Without a prayer
But never really pray
Pray without surrender

You can fight
Fight without ever winning
But never ever win
Win without a fight…” –Neil Peart, “Resist”

The final shame of not asking nearly overshadowed my extreme physical pain, but not quite. No, the visceral memory of my hands buried deep between my tense thighs pulled close to my crotch while I’ll leaned in as close to the crafts table as possible, has never been purged from memory.

It was 1972 and I was seven years old.

The first day of Bible school. Church friends recommended that my sister and I attend, that it would be fun, that we’d make cool crafts, learn about Jesus and other New and Old Testament folk, make new friends, and get out of the house for a spell.

Day one started simply enough: we got picked up in the morning, were driven to the boonies some 30 minutes outside of town, and then dropped off at Bible school with the church friends’ kids. I wasn’t very social being an introverted child, and my younger sister was just scared and stuck close to me.

The camp culture itself seemed cordial and warm at first, but then turned a little hardcore fire and brimstone, the counselors and teachers reminding us over and over again that, although Jesus loved us just the way we were, we shouldn’t question God’s plan for us, or any authority, and how sin of any size could send us straight to hell.

Happy days, however my bigger problem occurred late in the day. We were cutting and gluing felt pieces to construction paper to tell our favorite Bible story, mine at the time being about Adam and Eve, fascinated by the fact they were naked, and God, at least initially, was okay with that, which made me happy.

Unfortunately I had to pee.

Really, really bad. But our crafts instructor, a large women with big hair, wearing horn-rimmed glasses and a yellow dress that reminded me of cat vomit, was in the middle of telling another story while we worked. The urge to pee didn’t come on suddenly, but I did let the pressure build up until it went well beyond the “holding back” threshold.

Yes, I had to pee badly, but I wouldn’t ask to go. The fear of interrupting and questioning the instructor, of being ridiculed publicly because I needed to do something for me that would disrupt the rest of the class, kept me fused to the hard bench under my butt. My sister saw my discomfort, poked at me and whispered, “Kevin, go.”

I just sat there, defeated, no one else to turn to other than my sister urging me to take action, ultimately consumed by my throbbing bladder, praying to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost to end Bible school right then and there so I could go to the bathroom.

And go I did.

All over the bench and down my legs, my pants drenched with a growing dark wet spot emanating out from my crotch that couldn’t be missed, and wasn’t, the shame horrifying beyond that evening and decades later.

In fact, over 40 years later I’ve taken that lesson to heart repeatedly as a greater metaphor of life and work experience; that company culture and cultural fit has a huge impact on our day-to-day happiness, or lack thereof, and how we respond to that culture doubles down on that happiness, or – hell, you get the picture.

Being able to identify when a culture is turning bad, and what we can do about it, are obviously critical skills for managing our career happiness. If we don’t react and respond accordingly, we can and do bust a gut (and burst a bladder).

How many times do we push ourselves beyond the “holding back” threshold until the pain is excruciating? For some of us, too many to count until we affect change.

Culture originates with leadership values and the core business mission, and then emanates outward with what people inside an organization do with all of that, and eventually with what meaning is attached to all those continuously evolving behaviors.

When the accepted collective behaviors lead to conflict and strife, we’ve got a bad culture on our hands. Lots of things can create a bad culture, and a good one, but all of them can be summed up (and oversimplified) by four questions that are repeatedly asked in these happiness surveys I started taking via TrackYourHappiness.org (heard about on a recent NPR TED Radio Hour podcast):

Are you doing something you want to do?

Are you doing something you have to do?

Are you interacting with others right now?

If so, how positive are you feeling? Not so, or extremely?

Well? And if not, why? Especially when at work, wherever and whatever that may be.

This is why mentors are so important.

I’m fortunate to have had and have many in my life, as well as reciprocating. Whether from formal mentoring programs fresh from college graduation or throughout your lifetime in professional organizations and certified associations, or continuous informal mentoring from family and friends, peers and colleagues, and managers and executive leadership, all of which can, and hopefully do, extend beyond whatever current incarnation we’re in.

When we discussed this on the TalentCulture #TChat Show – learning how to identify a bad company culture, understanding factors relevant to your decision to stay or leave, and knowing what to take out of the situation before you leave, including keeping those mentors close to you regardless – were all gladly embraced by the #TChat community, as vital as the air we breathe (and the periodic need to relieve).

Because what my personal mentors of late have reminded me of includes:

  1. When you have to pee, pee. Not pray. I don’t mean to disparage anyone’s religion or spirituality, but you can’t just hope and pray things will get better without doing anything about it. You may feel hopeless in a crappy workplace culture, maybe like a frightened child in the presence of heavy-handed leadership, but you certainly have some things under your control – and that includes getting up and going to the bathroom when you “need a break.” Holding it in beyond the threshold when you feel you’re trapped (and scared) only damages you and those around you, and if when you wet yourself at work, trust me, that shit stays with you a long, long time.
  2. And when you have to fight, fight. Not surrender. You really do; fight for what you want to do instead of only putting up with what you have to do. Passive acceptance of “where you’re at” is not the path to happiness, kids. Fighting for what you want, either as a leader or individual contributor, as long as you develop and deliver, is the critical key to self-fulfillment and ultimate success, although not always equated by compensation (but hey, who’s counting, right?). Make a little mojo magic, always, and for God’s sake, don’t put up with a crappy culture long-term. Opportunities may ebb and flow, but hear your mentors’ voices when they tell you they’re here, or over there.

These are the keys to surviving the bad culture, and staying happy, whether that’s in a 100K-person global enterprise, or your own little company of one (hey, it happens to even the most successful solopreneurs and consultants). And sometimes you just have to leave.

It’s easy to state the obvious at this point, but mercy me, forgive yourself a prayer every now and again, but never, ever surrender without a fight.

Amen.

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#TChat Recap: Surviving A Bad Workplace Culture

Surviving A Bad Workplace Culture

Tonight, the World of Work was reminded on #TChat that employee disengagement is an organizational issue that is cultivated when bad leadership is there to nurture it, and a bad workplace culture only survives when there’s no means to put an end to it. Uprooting bad workplace culture happens when organizational collaboration happens from top-to-bottom, and emphasis on communication is placed at the very top. This week’s guests: Anuj Shah, Co-Founder of Traba; and Michael Flynn, Head of Marketing at Traba, shared with our Community the spoil of riches that communication brings to workplace collaboration. They know that if bad workplace culture isn’t squashed sooner rather than later it can cause an entire organizational structure to collapse on itself.

To understand what bad workplace culture is and how to survive it, you have to know what the symptoms are:

And who better than employees to notify their organization that the bad workplace culture symptoms they’re feeling exist because leadership is unreceptive, uncompromising, and unqualified to embrace total organizational collaboration. Michael Flynn knows and understands that to survive a bad workplace culture leadership needs to:

And it has to come naturally from leadership so that it trickles down to employees and they start believing in turning the bad company culture around. Give employees the opportunities they crave to find purpose and meaning in their work. Give them the power to cultivate company culture because:

Leadership needs to understand that employees are the source of their fruition. When cared for and harvested well, they bear: creativity, innovation, and passion. Turning bad company culture around starts with them. When your company culture has ripened, you’ll be able to see it because:

Facing a bad company culture is a formidable challenge that many organizations are wallowing in versus working to inspire the entire organization to come together as a whole to battle what’s plaguing them. Surviving a bad company culture isn’t about looking the other way and walking away from it. Turning company culture around happens through teamwork, from top-to-bottom in the organization there needs to be collaboration, and communication has to be leading the charge.

Want To See The #TChat Replay?

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

Thanks again to our guests: Anuj Shah, Co-Founder of Traba; and Michael Flynn, Head of Marketing at Traba. Traba mentors know how companies choose candidates and walk you through the best way to tell your story for landing interviews and jobs.

#TChat Events: Surviving A Bad Workplace Culture

TChatRadio_logo_020813 #TChat Radio — Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time? Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to Surviving A Bad Workplace Culture.

Note To Bloggers: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the engagement experience?

We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it! If you recap #TChat make sure to let us know so we can find you!

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Save The Date: Wednesday, August 27th!

Join us next week, as we talk about The HR Whine & Dine Networking Movement during #TChat Events. The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our new Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels!

Passive-Recruiting

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Bad Culture And What To Do About It

Bad Culture makes for an unhappy you

Company culture and cultural fit can have a huge impact on your day-to-day happiness.  Being able to identify when a culture is turning bad, and what you can do about it are crucial skills for managing your career happiness.

Culture is about what people in an organization do, and what meaning is attached to those behaviors.  Which behaviors are appreciated?  Which behaviors are looked down upon?  Which behaviors are celebrated?  Which behaviors are rewarded?

How do you identify a Bad Culture

When behaviors within a company that are accepted or celebrated lead to conflict and strife, you’ve got a bad culture on your hands.  Lots of things that can create a bad culture, but all of them can be summed up by three factors.

  1. Lack of Fairness or Respect
  2. Lack of Dialogue
  3. Misalignment of Values

Lack of fairness/respect

When an employee or group perceives either a lack of fairness or a lack of respect in treatment from co-workers or managers, you’re going to have problems. If the perceived lack of fairness/respect continues beyond a “one-off” occasion, the issue can become systematic, at which point it becomes a culture issue.

In short, when people in an organization feel like they are routinely being treated unfairly, or are being disrespected, you have a culture problem.

An example of unfair behavior would be a boss that insists everyone stay at the office until 6pm, but allows herself to leave early to go golfing twice a week.  A company with a culture that fosters a lack of respect might allow different departments to undermine each other in bids for power.  Both situations will reduce a company’s productivity, but more importantly, it’ll make going to work a lot less fun for everyone.

Lack of Dialogue

If a company lacks either a formal or informal way for its members to talk to each other, you have a formula for breeding mistrust.  When people get upset, angered, frustrated, or even just confused, and they have no way of clearing the air, problems start to fester.

There’s often a lack of dialogue in environments where people don’t feel it’s “safe” to address negative issues (i.e. addressing the issues will result in negative consequences).  Without dialogue misunderstandings turn into mistrust and honest disagreements turn into infighting.

Bad Culture Breeds Mistrust

Misaligned Values

A lack of dialogue doesn’t just cause problems in terms of interpersonal issues.  It creates very real decision making problems.  If managers and workers aren’t talking to each other, or don’t feel safe bringing up new ideas, your company is going to suffer.  Cultures with limited dialogue, can make it almost impossible for the best ideas to see the light of day.

Sometimes the culture of a business isn’t necessarily bad, but it might be a bad fit for you.  The company might need its workers to follow an exact written process in order to maintain quality, but you may be looking for autonomy and freedom in decision making.  In that case, you are not a good fit for the job.  If that fundamental misalignment is not recognized, you’re going to have a culture conflict.

Alternatively, You might be young and single so staying late to work on projects and strolling in at 10am might be what works best for you.  But if everyone in your office has kids at home and wants to leave at 5pm sharp to be home for family dinner, the culture of your office might not be a great fit for what you need.

What can you do if you’re stuck in a bad culture

How you deal with a bad culture effectively comes down to two choices: Fight or Flight.  Here are two things you should analyze before you make your choice.

  1. Determine the Cause
  2. Understand your ability to affect change

Determine the Cause

If you don’t know what’s triggering a bad culture, you can’t fix it.  Figure out if your culture issue is being triggered by one person, conflicts within groups, conflicts between groups, bigger factors out of everyone’s control, or maybe even you.

Sometimes the issue is a bad manager or partner. Sometimes your company has had friction and mistrust between groups that has existed for years.  And sometimes everyone is just so disengaged that nothing is getting done.

Diagnose the cause of your company’s culture issue, then assess your ability to impact change.

Understand your ability to affect change

Sometimes your ability to affect change is limited.  If you are a low-level employee affecting widespread culture problems is nearly impossible.  The good news?  If the cultural problem you’ve identified is limited to a single group or a single individual, making a positive impact can be easier than you think.

If the problem is limited to one individual you can try direct dialogue.  Talk to the person about how the negative consequences you are seeing and try to understand their perspective.  If direct dialogue isn’t working, you should get advice from HR on how you can address the situation constructively.

If the problem is a team dynamic, make sure you understand the perspective of each of the key players.  Don’t judge, just listen.  If you can build trust between yourself and each of the parties in conflict, you can start to act as a mending bridge.

I’ve found these two books to be tremendously helpful resources when attempting to tackle cultural issues:

Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition

by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler is a great book for understanding how to deal with difficult conversations and breaking down what triggers the anger and fear that stops us from changing our own behavior.

Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change, Second Edition

by the same group of authors who wrote Crucial Conversations (along with David Maxfield).  It helps you breakdown the difference between managing through influence and managing through control, which are key skills for influencing culture, since most of the time you won’t have direct positional power over the people you need to influence.

Sometimes you just have to leave

If you aren’t a fit for your company’s culture, or the factors influencing the company’s cultural problems are too widespread for you to affect from your position within the company, sometimes it’s just be best to look for a new place to work.

Life is short.  Too short to not love the place you work.

(About the Author: Michael Flynn is a graduate of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and has experience working in Brand Management, Product Management, and Digital Marketing for companies ranging in size from Fortune 500 publicly traded companies to bootstrap startups. He has above average hair and is now the Head of Marketing at Traba.)

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#TChat Recap: The Talent Science Of Cultural Change

The Talent Science Of Cultural Change

Every week our #TChat Community takes an in-depth social look at what’s going on in the World of Work. This week was particularly interesting because we discussed how data and analytics are shaping organizational culture. Our guests: Brent Daily, Founder of RoundPegg, employee engagement software that increases business performance through applied culture science; and Natalie Baumgartner, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specific focus on assessment and additional training in strength-based psychology, know closely how talent science can affect the way employees change their perception about organizational culture. The revolution in HR technology has paved the way for organizations to realize how great company culture rewards them with employee engagement and workplace productivity. Before we can begin to understand the makeup of company culture, we must start to:


You can’t begin to form and understand culture until you know what your employees truly value. You have to learn what matters to them. If you want to walk into an office full of organic creativity and passion, then start by asking the right questions. Begin to:

Melissa is right about listening to employees. She’s also right about getting employees involved in shaping company culture. Who better than employees to understand what their organizational culture looks and feels like? Employees carry with them the data to uncovering what organizational culture should be. Of course:

Yes, data and analytics can help light the way for our talent science. It can shed light on what can’t be seen clearly without technology. It can even shed light on paths we did not know are available for us to take. Great company culture comes from understanding the makeup of employees. It’s not about presenting employees with flashiness and disillusionment of what you’re selling. Employees know what they crave. Brent reminded us that:

The key to realizing what your culture is and what it can be comes from having meaningful conversations with employees. Remember, they carry the data to uncovering what your organizational culture can be. HR technology helps remind us of this, and teaches us to recognize the obvious about company culture. You need to get employees involved in shaping company culture by strategically implementing ways for them to add feedback and grow within the organization. Cultivating culture is a science, not a cheap magic trick. Data and analytics gives us the insights we need to understand our organizations, but it’s finding the will to change is what makes it all worth it.

Want To See The #TChat Replay?

 

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

Thanks again to our guests: Brent Daily, Founder of RoundPegg, employee engagement software that increases business performance through applied culture science; and Natalie Baumgartner, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specific focus on assessment and additional training in strength-based psychology.

#TChat Events: The Talent Science Of Cultural Change

TChatRadio_logo_020813 #TChat Radio — Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time? Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to The Talent Science Of Cultural Change.

Note To Bloggers: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the engagement experience?

We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it! If you recap #TChat make sure to let us know so we can find you!

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Save The Date: Wednesday, August 20th!

Join us next week, as we talk about Surviving a Bad Workplace Culture during #TChat Events. The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our new Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels! Passive-Recruiting photo credit: Andrew Morrell Photography via photopin cc

Workplace Bullying: Bully Be Not Proud

As we all know, Congress is dysfunctional.  But legislative activity at the state and local level is hot, particularly in the employment arena.

State and local governments across the U.S. have passed a spate of recent bills on myriad issues ranging from protecting the right of employees to carry a concealed weapon in their vehicle to limiting when employers can do criminal background checks to prohibiting employers from asking applicants or employees for their social media password.

Yet, there are no laws in the U.S. prohibiting bullying in the workplace.  Since 2003, anti-bullying bills have been introduced in 25 states. Everyone has failed.

Puerto Rico almost became the first jurisdiction to pass legislation in this area. But the Governor vetoed the legislation just last month.

But the absence of legislation specific to bullying does not mean that it is lawful.  If someone is bullied because of his or her membership in a protected group, such as gender, race or sexual orientation, then the bullying may be unlawful harassment (depending on, among other factors, severity).  But bullying unrelated to a protected group status generally is lawful.

For example, equal opportunity bullying is not unlawful.  Nor is bullying based on personal animus so long as the animus is not related to a protected group.

The problem is huge. A study published by Career Builder published 2012 indicates that 35% of employees feel they have been bullied at work.  Other studies show similar statistics.

The cost of bullying – both emotional and physical – on its victims can be substantial.  It can affect witnesses too, who may fear that they may be next and quite often leave.  Simply put, bullying is bad business.  Engagement cannot exist where bullies roam.

What are some of the steps leaders can take relative to their organizations?

1. Training

a. When training managers on harassment, include bullying, too. Tone at the top is particularly important when it comes to bullying.

b. Provide specific examples in training of what may be bullying; don’t rely on just the generic label.

c. Make clear that managers must do more than refrain from bullying; they must respond to bullying by subordinates. To ignore is to condone.

2. Evaluate

a. When we evaluate employees, particularly leaders, we should consider how they treat others.

b. Employees who engage in bullying or other disrespectful behavior should pay a price on their evaluation—and their compensation.

c. Indeed, sometimes bullying  should be cause for termination.

3. Complaint procedure

a. Employers may want to develop a procedure by which they can report what they perceive to be bullying behavior.

b. However, employers need to be careful not to include too specific a definition of bullying.  What is the difference between raising your voice and yelling? Sometimes, simply perspective.

c. Anti-bullying policies also may have quasi-contractual significance.  Don’t create expectations you cannot live up to.

d. An anti-bullying policy or procedure may collide with the NLRA as interpreted by the activist NLRB  so you may want legal advice to minimize (not eliminate) that risk.e. Make clear that bullying is what Company says it is.  By making clear that bullying is what the Company says it is, you reduce your risk of not adhering to your own policy.  You want to be progressive and protective but not a defendant for doing the right thing.

While bullies may appear strong, they are not.  They often need to make others feel bad about themselves to feel good about themselves.   We want to empower employees.  Sometimes that means un-empowering the bully.

(Author’s Note:  This Article should not be construed as legal advice or as pertaining to specific factual situations.)

(About the Author: Jonathan A. Segal is a partner at Duane Morris LLP in the Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group. He is also the managing principal of the Duane Morris Institute. The Duane Morris Institute provides training for human resource professionals, in-house counsel, benefits administrators and managers at Duane Morris, at client sites and by way of webinar on myriad employment, labor, benefits and immigration matters.

Jonathan has published more than 150 articles on employment issues, and more than 50 blogs on leadership, legal and HR issues. A contributing editor to HR Magazine, he has published more than 100 articles for the magazine. Jonathan also is a frequent contributor to Fortune/CNN and BusinessWeek.)

To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter and G+ conversation anytime. Learn more…

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday. To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

Do you have great content you want to share with us? Become a TalentCulture contributor!

 

#TChat Recap: How Talent-Centric Recruiting Improves Business Outcomes

How Talent Centric Recruiting Improves Business ROI 

You know, it used to be that employees were complacent; they kept their heads down and focused on their work, and it got done. It was business as usual, and then, magic began to happen. Employees became self-aware and management could no longer get away with its robotic-systemic approach to doing things. Since then, the world of work has been playing catch up. Going from process-centric thinking to cultivating a talent-centric mindset. Why? Employees are people, not just components to your business. They matter.

This week on #TChat, powerhouse guest Elaine Orler, President and Founder of Talent Function, joined us to discuss the business about talent-centric recruiting and its current state. According to Elaine:

Simply put, recruiters and hiring managers have to shift their approach to a more talent-centric one. And here’s why:

Developing a talent-centric recruiting mindset and culture has to be held accountable past the hiring process. Why? Because measuring performance is what drives the world of work today. Fortunately, we have talent analytic tools that can help tell us how much fun we’re having.

Here are some metrics that recruiters and hiring mangers should be measuring:

Thanks to technology we’re able to measure our success and failure. A knighted necessity in today’s business world. However, we must not forget about the big picture and that is:


Yes, people do matter and they are why we innovate. Employees are the driving force behind work. They hold the keys to the success factors of your business. If you want better a ROI, then develop a talent-centric mindset.
 

Want To See The #TChat Replay?

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

Thanks again to our guest Elaine Orler for showing how talent centric recruiting can improves the bottom line in business. Click here to see the preview and related reading.

#TChat Events: How Talent-Centric Recruiting Improves Business Outcomes

TChatRadio_logo_020813

#TChat Radio — Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time?

Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to How Talent-Centric Recruiting Improves Business Outcomes.

Note To Bloggers: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on talent-centric recruiting?

We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!

If you recap #TChat make sure to let us know so we can find you!

We Want To See You On TalentCulture! Become A Contributor Now!

Sign up for the newsletter to get the scoop on next week’s guest, topic and questions!

Save The Date: Wednesday, May 21!

The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our new Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels!

 

#TChat Preview: How Talent-Centric Recruiting Improves Business Outcomes

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. #TChat Radio starts at 6:30 pm ET (3:30 pm PT) and the convo continues on #TChat Twitter chat from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT).

Last week we talked about building resilient workplace cultures, and this week we’re talking about how talent-centric recruiting improves business outcomes.

Progressive organizations today are looking for every possible advantage to attract and retain the best candidates. These organizations are continuously searching for new ways to engage candidates earlier, communicate their compelling employment brand story, and enhance the candidate experience, as well as the recruiter and hiring manager experience.

The 2013 Candidate Experience Awards survey results from nearly 50,000 candidates from over 90 progressive companies show the emerging importance of communicating a company’s culture as a key point of differentiation, as well as decreased emphasis on job benefit details.

The good news is that according to the CandE data, the top marketing content employers make available, and the content candidates consume, includes company values, why do people want to work here and why do they stay, and other related “cultural fit” topics.

Talent acquisition processes and systems that are built around the unique needs of not only candidates, but recruiters and hiring managers as well, are what give those progressive companies a competitive advantage.

Creating a personalized recruiting experience that is talent-centric, fostering consistent employment branding through video, continuous peer-to-peer collaboration and critical analytics are what lead to better business outcomes like faster recruiting, better hires, and improved retention.

Join #TChat co-creators and hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we learn more about how talent-centric recruiting improves business outcomes with this week’s powerhouse guest: Elaine Orler, President and Founder of Talent Function.

Sneak Peek: How Talent-Centric Recruiting Improves Business Outcomes

Elaine and Jeff Interview

Watch Now!

We spoke briefly with our guest Elaine Orler, to learn a little about improving business outcomes with talent-centric recruiting. Check out our YouTube Channel for videos with other #TChat guests!

Related Reading

Elaine Orler: Candidate Experience 2013: The Good, The Bad, The Better

Adam Eisenstein: Putting the Candidate First: MHFI wins Candidate Experience Award

Kevin Grossman: How to Improve Your Recruiting Strategy Through Candidate Sourcing Data

Meghan M. Biro: It Takes Talent To Become A Top Recruiter 

Maren Hogan: What They Tell You To Do About Candidate Experience

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guests and the TalentCulture Community.

#TChat Events: How Talent-Centric Recruiting Improves Business Outcomes

TChatRadio_logo_020813 #TChat Radio — Wed, May 14 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with our guest Elaine Orler!

Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, May 14 — 7pmET / 4pmPT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and our guests will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What is the current state of recruiting for candidates, recruiters and hiring managers? (Tweet this Question)

Q2: How can companies improve the overall talent acquisition process? (Tweet this Question)

Q3: What does it mean to be talent-centric versus process-centric? (Tweet this Question)

Q4: What are three key recruiting performance metrics that drive actionable talent analytics? (Tweet this Question)

Q5: How has technology impacted candidate, recruiter and hiring manager engagement experiences? (Tweet this Question)

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday.

To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

Do you have great content you want to share with us? Become a TalentCulture contributor!

Photo Credit: M I S C H E L L E via Compfight cc

#TChat Recap: Building A Culture Of Resiliency

Building A Culture Of Resiliency

Tonight, #TChat-ers took to Twitter and made their voices heard loud and clear on #TChat Events, even if it was only through a 140 characters. The reason being is because our community, along with this week’s guest: Michael H. Ballard, a resiliency expert who specializes in developing and delivering workplace programs, know that building a culture of workplace resiliency is about adaptability and creating a model that allows it to flourish in. It’s not about finger pointing or being afraid to fail. It’s about getting back up when you get knocked down. What other way can we move forward if we don’t?

The #TChat discussion began by asking a simple question, what is a resilient workplace?

Michael brings up an interesting point about giving employees the training required to problem solve and create. Without the right kind of guidance and model for employees to apply their set of skills, then how does workplace resiliency ever get built?

 

Yes, a resilient workplace should be able to adapt quickly to its own strategies and goals. It has to create a model for resiliency.

It’s through this model that leaders and organizations can promote trust, transparency, and optimism that harness cohesive awesomeness around your workplace. Remember…

 

Resiliency has the resources (trust) and tools (transparency) to bridge leadership and employee engagement together.

 Want To See The #TChat Replay?

 

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

Thanks again to our guest Michael Ballard for teaching us how to build a culture of resiliency. Click here to see the preview!

#TChat Events: Building A Culture Of Resiliency

TChatRadio_logo_020813

#TChat Radio — Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time?

Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to How to Build a Culture of Resiliency.

Note To Bloggers: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on resilient workplaces?

We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!

If you recap #TChat make sure to let us know so we can find you!

We Want To See You On TalentCulture! Become A Contributor Now!

Sign up for the newsletter to get the scoop on next week’s guest, topic and questions!

Save The Date: Wednesday, May 14!

The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our new Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels!

Photo Credit: Lean In Collection, Getty Images

#TChat Preview: Building A Culture Of Resiliency

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. #TChat Radio starts at 6:30 pm ET (3:30 pm PT) and the convo continues on #TChat Twitter chat from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT).

Last week we talked about creating a better candidate experience for a better ROI, and this week we’re going to cover building resilient workplace cultures. Because without resiliency, the ability to bounce back from life’s everyday obstacles and overwhelming adversities would be a daunting task.

Workplace cultures that build resiliency create more productive and safer environments.The good news is that resiliency can be learned; it’s a process, a belief system and a skill set. Resiliency is also a top-down, bottom-up and side-to-side cultural process for every organization.

Join #TChat co-creators and hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we learn more about creating resilient cultures with this week’s guest: Michael H. Ballard, a resiliency expert who specializes in developing and delivering workplace programs.

Sneak Peek: Building A Culture Of Resiliency

We spoke briefly with Michael H. Ballard in a G+ Hangout to learn a little about building a resilient workplace culture. Check out our YouTube Channel for the full video!

Related Reading:

David Lee: How To Build A Resilient, Stress-Resistant Workforce

Meghan M. Biro: 4 Ways To Be A More Resilient Leader

Eileen McDargh: The Critical Connection Between Resilient Workplaces And Diversity

Shawn Murphy: Looking Forward: Restoring Workplace Optimism

Gwen Moran: 6 Habits Of Resilient People

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guest and the TalentCulture Community.

#TChat Events: How Can We Build A Resilient Workplace Culture?

TChatRadio_logo_020813 #TChat Radio — Wed, May 7 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with our guest Michael H. Ballard!

Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, May 7 — 7pmET / 4pmPT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and our guest will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What is a resilient workplace and how does it benefit everyone? (Tweet this Question)

Q2: If resiliency can be learned, what actions can organizations take to promote it? (Tweet this Question)

Q3: How does resiliency impact employee engagement and the bottom line? (Tweet this Question)

Q4: What are the signs of a non-resilient workplace? (Tweet this Question)

Q5: What are three easy resiliency fundamentals all companies can implement today? (Tweet this Question)

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday.

To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

Do you have great content you want to share with us? Become a TalentCulture contributor!

photo credit: eppicphotos via bigstock

#TChat Recap: #Dice141 and the Candidate Experience

Improving The Candidate Experience

Candidate experience, it can sometimes feel like a moving target to increasingly burdened recruiters and HR Pros, but is it really so far out of our reach?

Last night we discussed how to make candidate experience a “given” for everyone involved and we had an amazing group  with Shravan GoliJohnny Campbell and Steve White! Someone from every sector weighed in on making the candidate experience golden.

We started with the most obvious question of all. What do candidates really want? HOW can we deliver a solid candidate experience without knowing the answer(s) to that question?

 

 

#TChatters Agreed That…

    • Tech communities provide a valuable service not just for recruiters but for tech talent as well. (Hint: Don’t spam and neglect to provide value!)
    • It’s not all about recruiting, show your current employees the love too.
    • Candidate feedback formula = timely + respectful + contextual
    • InMails may not be the way to a talented techies heart.
    • Tweets may attract tech talent, but the job description or ad is the real clincher.

 Want To See The #TChat Replay?

 

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

Thanks again to guests Shravan Goli, Johnny Campbell and Steve White for showing us the way to true candidate experience.

 

Click here to see the preview!

Related Reading:

Meghan M. Biro: Your Employer Brand Owns The Candidate Experience

Gerry Crispin: Net Promoter Score and Candidate Experience

Nick Price: Candidate Dispositioning – What does it mean and why does it matter? 

Siofra Pratt: How To Dramatically Increase Your Job Views on Twitter

Christopher Young: Incentivize Recruiters for a More Successful Hiring Process

#TChat Events: A Better Candidate Experience Means A Better ROI

TChatRadio_logo_020813

#TChat Radio — Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time?

Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to A Better Candidate Experience Means A Better ROI

Note To Bloggers: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on candidate experience? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!

If you recap #TChat make sure to let us know so we can find you!

We Want To See You On TalentCulture! Become A Contributor Now!

Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll be talking about building resilient workplace cultures.

Sign up for the newsletter to get the scoop on next week’s guest, topic and questions!

Save The Date: Wednesday, May 7!

The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our new Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels!

photo credit: MiiiSH via photopin cc

#TChat Recap: It's All About Gratitude People!

Taking Thanks To The Bank

Employee engagement doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, one of the simplest ways to start engaging your fellow employees is with gratitude, which is just what we discussed last night at the ever busy, and FUN #TChat with Lisa Ryan and Teresa Andreani. How can being grateful actually drive your organization forward?

While those of us who have been on the receiving end of gratitude in business realized how important it is to thank the people who work with and for you, it seemed that just as many #TChat-ers had suffered at the hands of a nitpicky, downright ungrateful boss or coworker. And you guessed it! The work always suffers.

 

 

It sounds like a lot of the responsibility lies with leaders but employees have responsibility too.

 

 

#TChatters Agreed That…

  • Leaders must show gratitude from the top down.
  • Nothing is less expensive than a smile.
  • Employees can benefit from showing gratitude too.
  • Gratitude is useless when not sincere.
  • Gratitude may just be the first step in becoming a better leader.

 Want To See The #TChat Replay?

 

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to guests Lisa Ryan and Teresa Andreani for introducing us to gratitude as a building block for leadership. Click here to see the preview!

Related Reading:

Meghan M. Biro: Create A Vocabulary That Inspires Employee Engagement

Susan Gaier: Three Steps to Improve Employee Engagement

Melissa Dawn: The Best Ways to Reward Employees

Damon M. Banks: A Positive Workplace Culture Is Simply Good Business

#TChat Events: Employee Engagement And Putting Thanks In The Bank

TChatRadio_logo_020813

#TChat Radio — Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time?

Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to Employee Engagement and Putting Thanks in the Bank!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on gratitude and employee engagement? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!

If you recap #TChat make sure to let us know so we can find you!

We Want To See You On TalentCulture! Become A Contributor NOW! (ummm, click)

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll be talking about how a better candidate experience can create ROI in your organization with Dice! Sign up for the newsletter to get the scoop on next week’s guest, topic and questions!

Save The Date: Wednesday, April 30!

The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our NEW Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels!

photo credit: chris zerbes via photopin cc

#TChat Recap: The Culture Advantage. Quantified.

Building a Cultural Advantage with Tim Kuppler

Culture has long been thought a nice to have by stakeholders and HR pros alike, but how much of a business advantage is it really? Last night, the bright minds and leaders of #TChat worked together with special guest Tim Kuppler to answer THAT very question.

We started at the top…literally asking how leaders knew that cultural change was in order.

@TalentCove said:

A1. When they see their employees only doing the bare minimum and not going the extra mile. #TChat

and

@marksalke said:

A1: If every action requires someone’s approval, you might need a culture makeover.

Isn’t that the absolute truth?

These #TChatters are preaching to the choir, so how to get the message of real culture change to everyone? In fact, where would one start changing an entire culture?

A2. Monitoring employee engagement on a regular basis will help you discover what works and what doesn’t.  said HerdWisdom, quickly echoed by Clear Company who stated:

A2. Monitoring goals closely and rewarding for the completion of them.

Okay, that makes sense. Goals and engagement are both extremely important, not only from the perspective of changing the culture and really making employees feel heard.

But coming down like a hammer was NOT recommended by our culture warriors:

@lotus-yon said: A3 A punitive environment is detrimental to innovation. Leaders at all levels should empower employees to take risks.

#TChatters Agreed That…

  • Leadership is ultimately responsible for cultural change.
  • Each employee could take responsibility for their own “corner” of culture.
  • Confidence is essential for culture building
  • Failure must be allowed
  • Employees must be allowed to take ownership and lead in some cases

Want to see the #TChat replay?

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Tim Kuppler, co-founder of The Culture Advantage and CultureUniversity.com for taking us on this company culture overview! Click here to see the preview!

Related reading:

Nancy Rubin: Your Corporate Culture: What’s Inside

William Powell: Focus On Your Employees, Key To Workplace Culture Success

Damon M. Banks: A Positive Workplace Culture Is Simply Good Business

#TChat Events: What is the Cultural Advantage?

TChatRadio_logo_020813

#TChat Radio — Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time? 

Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to Engagement and Putting Thanks.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the workplace talent frontier? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!

If you recap #TChat make sure to let us know so we can find you!

We want to see you on TalentCulture! Become a contributor NOW! (ummm, click)

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll be talking about building a cultural advantage and how they can help both engagement and workplace happiness. Sign up for the newsletter to get the scoop on next week’s guest, topic and questions!

Save the date: Wednesday, April 23!

The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our NEW Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels!

#TChat Recap: How Employee Assistance Programs Engage And Nurture Talent

Employee Assistance Programs Help Talent Grow

Who would have guessed that programs built to assist employees keep them happy and healthy? Even more, these happier and healthier employees do their job better and strive to keep successes coming, both for themselves and the organization. Of course, the #TChatters already knew this little bit of wisdom and were happy to shine a light on the bigger picture.

Jen @JRW_SocialMedia said:

“A1) EAPs show employees that they matter enough to invest in.

and

@TFreedomToWork said:

“A1: by showing that an employees’ needs are top priority! Employees engage when they feel they’re needed

These #TChatters sum up how EAPs affect morale perfectly. Everyone has those times when home life finds its way into the office, especially with, as @HireQ_Inc descibed, the “always-on” lifestyles employees are now living. Assistance programs will help maintain a working office while still being sympathetic to the emotions of your employees and coworkers.

Working in an environment with differing personalities is overwhelming. People are complex and sometimes that causes tension, but without all those individual talents (and weaknesses), a team wouldn’t be a well-oiled machine. Of course, accepting personality differences is easier to say than do, so what can an employer do to help?

@15Five said:

“Q2 With our current culture we have personal development workshops that we rotate, so far it is transcending our team’s well-being

EAPs bear more than just emotional advantages though. Many companies offer lifestyle training courses and can even encourage employees to give up smoking or aid in weightloss as @BarbBuckner pointed out.

Basically, employees benefit from assistance programs and when employees are happy, they are more productive.

#TChatters Agreed That…

Employees and employers both have a responsibility in maintaining a productive workplace and in order for companies to both nurture and assist talent, there needs to be:

  • Encouragement
  • Flexibility
  • Mutual Respect

Employers should be actively encouraging the use of provided assistance programs while recognizing that in a world of humans, tough times happen. @TranslationLady said it is essential to “honor disconnection” and allow employees to have time away from busy work weeks. When there’s flexibility in the workplace, there’s less pressure. Above all, respect the individuals who spend their week in the office, keeping a company going.

@GreenChileAddict said:

“A4 .Treat and respect me as an adult. Think of me as a three dimensional employee not as a tangible asset.

Want to see the #TChat replay?

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Mark Sagor and Mark McAuliffe, Global Staffing Manager for Waters Corporation for giving us a look into EAPs and managing talent! Check out Mark Sagor’s blog at compeap.com. Click here to see the preview or check out the related reading.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the workplace talent frontier? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!! If you recap #TChat make sure to let us know so we can find you! 

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll be talking about building a cultural advantage and how they can help both engagement and workplace happiness. Tim Kuppler is going to be our radio guest and Nancy Rubin will be our moderator. See more information in the #TChat Preview this weekend (and if you haven’t signed up for our newsletter do so! You get all the questions early!)

Save the date: Wednesday, April 16!

The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our NEW Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels.

We want to see you on TalentCulture! Become a contributor NOW! (ummm, click)

Photo Credit: banspy via Compfight cc

Hiring Culture: Creating A Recruitment Ecosystem

Written by David Smooke

Every organization has its own unique “hiring culture,” in addition to its core company culture. Hiring culture deserves just as much attention as company culture, because the two are deeply intertwined. The way an employer acquires talent determines not only who works at the company, but also the very essence of how those people function.

Culture: A Reality Check

Before we look at ways to elevate your hiring culture, let’s first look at how esteemed cross-cultural researcher Geert Hofstede defines culture:

“Culture is the collective programming of the human mind that distinguishes the members of one human group from those of another. Culture in this sense is a system of collectively held values.”

By extension, a strong definition of company culture emerges: “the collective programming of the human mind that distinguishes the members of one company from another.”

So, what attracts people to a particular company (and culture)? And what motivates them to move from one culture to another? Early interactions with a new company bring us face-to-face with that organization’s hiring culture. It’s essential to make those initial experiences as approachable and authentic as possible. How?

Elevate Your Hiring Culture — Focus On 3 Key Factors

1) Alignment With Company Culture

Hiring culture feeds off of company culture, and company culture feeds off of hiring culture. However, your company culture has more inertia. In other words, every day, a mass of employees brings your company culture to life. Each employee is essentially a walking, talking, full-fledged marketing campaign, demonstrating what it means to work at your company. Do those employees know what your business stands for?

Companies such as TOMS and Google are models of how to “own” a company mission that focuses on social good. TOMS employees speak proudly about how every shoe purchase leads to a free pair of shoes for someone in need. This positivity carries over to its culture. Google employees popularized the slogan, “Don’t Be Evil,” as a way of pledging not to abuse the company’s abundance of information.

Every employee at your organization should know what your corporate slogan means, and feel comfortable sharing that concept with others. For example, I’m proud to say that my company stands for Zero Unemployment.

2) Transparent Employer Branding

Adding transparency to your employer branding gives potential hires a better idea of the impact your company is trying to make on the world, and a more accurate impression what it’s like to spend a day in your environment. You want to attract people that want to be there. Therefore, you have nothing to lose by being bold and straightforward. For example, Zappos offers employees $2,000 to quit because, as they say, “We really want everyone to be here because they want to be, and because they believe in the culture.”

To increase the transparency of your employer brand, and attract people who will be passionate about your company, try these tactics:

•  Share authentic pictures of what it is like to work at your company (real pictures of real employees on the job)
•  Counsel employees on why and how they should talk about your company and share your brand message, and;
•  Be awesome. This cannot be faked. When a company’s mission, vision and values are worthy, it shows.

3) Streamlined Hiring Communications

Finally, take a careful look at your hiring process. Where do you see disconnects in communication? How do they affect the speed and quality of talent acquisition? Consider a more collaborative model. For example, with a team of 3 to 4 people (rather than only 1 or 2), the hiring manager draws on more perspectives for a well-informed hiring decision, and you can get your team more invested in each new hire.

No matter how you structure hiring teams, it’s essential to have a system in place that facilitates information exchange across all levels. Hiring managers must have a way to define and update the information they want from interviewers; interviewers need a simple way to capture and share their impression of candidates, and stakeholders need an easy way to review and exchange input, so they can make timely, effective hiring decisions.

Better Hiring Culture = A Better Business

According to HubSpot CEO, Brian Halligan, “If you’ve got a great product, it pulls in customers; if you’ve got a great culture, it pulls in employees.”

But here’s the rub: You can’t have a consistently great product without consistently great employees. And you can’t have great employees without a clear, coherent, compelling hiring culture. Hiring culture determines who you’ll attract as employees. Those choices will shape your company culture, and inevitably, your bottom-line.

Is your hiring culture attracting, closing and retaining the best talent for your company? What do you think it takes to develop and improve a hiring culture? Share your ideas in the comments area.

headshot(Author Profile: David Smooke is Director of Social Media at SmartRecruiters, the hiring platform. In addition to overseeing SmartRecruiters’ online communities, David is the Editor-in-Chief of the SmartRecruiting Blog and co-organizer of monthly Smartup events. He believes remarkable content determines the usage of every news feed.

David lives in San Francisco and enjoys walking the city, reading Dostoyevski, playing basketball, and discussions of the internet’s potential growth. Connect with David on Twitter at @DavidSmooke, and on LinkedIn at Linkedin.com/ClarkKent.)

Feature image credit: alborzshawn via Flickr