Culture is what gives an organization its
power. It permeates all of our operations
and teams, binding us together for good or
ill. Whether we acknowledge it or not, there
is always power in our company's culture.
When we are intentional about driving positive culture...
we can harness that power to increase employee engagement and productivity. Additionally, culture and brand go hand in hand, so a strong positive culture can go a long way toward positioning your company as a front-runner in your industry.
If we ignore culture in the workplace...
we do so at our own peril. Culture exists regardless of our attentiveness. When ignored, it becomes toxic and destructive, causing uncertainty and concern among employees, which in turns leads to poor productivity and increased turnover costs.
Gone are the days when employees were
evaluated only annually. Employees
thrive in an environment of frequent
feedback and recognition. Without such
an environment, employees become
misaligned with company objectives, find
themselves uncertain of their role, and
lose their desire to excel.
Gather candid employee feedback.
Building shared meaning with our employees can be invaluable. Management teams often become entrenched in stale patterns, and alternate points of view can break the cycle and illuminate opportunities for improvement. Without well-established and safe channels of communication, employees will either suffer in silence or eventually express their feedback in unproductive ways.
Recognize excellence in every employee.
We make a commitment when we hire an employee. A good manager recognizes that everyone has opportunities for improvement. Great managers can identify moments of greatness in every employee, even if they are not a natural-born world-shaker. Shining a spotlight on those moments effectively encourages our better angels to overcome our lesser tendencies.
Operating from a growth mindset, we
realize that all persons in any
situation can grow and improve. This
frame of mind allows us to have a
realistic expectation that any employee,
managed properly, can excel in their
profession. It is also important to
note that every dollar spent on
developing employees has a measurable
benefit to productivity and
The old paradigm attempts to prove that the employer made a good-faith effort to give the employee ample opportunity to comply. When that effort has been willfully rebuffed the employer supposedly is left with no choice other than termination. The flaw in this logic is that it disregards the supervisor's responsibility to develop talent and expand the capabilities of their team. Front line supervisors can be either our greatest asset or our greatest liability.
Employee development programs on a large scale are laudable, but engaging with every employee identically is like trying to eat fifty hard boiled eggs in one sitting. You are going to lose more than a few.
Employee development programs on a large scale are laudable, but trying to develop every employee identically alienates a significant portion of your workforce. Remember that employees are like snowflakes: no two are the same. Also, a lot of them together can make quite an impact.
Staying compliant is a healthy combination of
preparation and paranoia. Big
Brother is not really coming to
get you. Yet.
An ounce of prevention...
Compliance definitely takes time, effort, and resources. Considering the potential fines that can be incurred, however, the investment is worth the expense. For example, an audit of your I-9s can result in minimum fines of over $200 per error, and a fines can be assessed for multiple errors per form. A remediation audit can save thousands in fines, and training for supervisors can resolve problems before they happen.
Acronyms don't have to inspire dread.
ADAA, IRCA, USCIS, WARN, FMLA, SOX, EEOC, OSHA, HIPAA, ERISA, PDA, PPACA, GINA, SUTA, DOL, EPPA, ADEA, COBRA, FLSA, NLRB, OFCCP, USERRA. What if you knew someone who understands all of these and could walk you through them step-by-step? (Wink.)