A great company culture is one of the best gifts that employers can give to employees. In workplaces where people feel valued, are productive, have fun, feel secure, have some autonomy and flexibility, and get along, employees do better. And when employees do better, the company does better.
A great workplace culture helps to attract and retain employees, deliver higher productivity, greater customer satisfaction, and better financial outcomes. This is why as a leader, you want to work hard to ensure that your organization has a positive workplace culture. It’s not something that just happens; it takes a great deal of intentionality and continuous work.
A positive, people-centered culture is a top priority for Healy Group’s owners, and they invest a lot of time and energy in building a culture-rich environment rooted in the company’s core values. Here are a few tips we’ve adopted in cultivating a great company culture.
1. Define Your Values….Then Live them Out
Several years ago, the owners at Healy Group got together to reflect on the key values that mattered to them and the organization. Out of that meeting, the Healy Spirit was born.
The Healy Spirit has four key tenets:
- Love Wins
- Do The Right Thing
- Be Better
- Make It A Great Day
Each of these values is supported by 3 ways to fulfill that tenet’s promise.
Clear core values help support great company culture. However, defining the values alone is not enough. They need to be continuously emphasized, widely communicated and modeled by the leadership.
At Healy Group, the leadership gives each employee a glass sculpture with the Healy Spirit imprinted on it. It sits on everyone’s desk, in front of their eyes, every day. At company-wide meetings that take place three times a year, an owner speaks about one of the Healy Spirit values and shares real-life examples that bring the concept to life.
During regular intervals, employees are honored and acknowledged – for birthdays, work anniversaries, years of service, and during team meetings – and these acknowledgements are tied to Healy Spirit values.
In addition to defining and building your company’s core values, it’s also important to focus on behaviors: the day-in and day-out interactions that the owners and staff have with one another, with partners or vendors, and with clients. There’s a feeling when you walk into Healy Group that “this is a special place.” People are friendly, kind, helpful. They smile. They go above and beyond.
2. Prioritize Human Interactions
Whether using digital tools to communicate, or through phone or face-to-face meetings, it’s important to keep in mind the tremendous value of human relationships. It’s the way things get done – when we trust each other and get along. Creating places where people can easily connect throughout the work day fosters interactions and connections between people.
At Healy Group, you’ll find owners and staff connecting in the kitchen, around the coffee pot, and in our community room during lunchtime. These informal relationship moments keep the fabric of the office tightly knit. Monthly gatherings for “food, fun, and fellowship,” where people come together for lunch and games or an ice cream social also serve to bring Healy Group employees and leadership together to socialize, have fun, and build positive connections
3. Adopt A Common Perspective
Investing in a common cultural “operating system” also has a tangible effect on workplace quality and employee engagement.
The Healy Group has adopted Choice Theory as a way of interacting with one another. Choice Theory prioritizes the importance of relationships and getting along. In addition, it teaches people about how we all have unique needs and to tailor interactions to individuals. Finally, it helps us remember that we can only control ourselves, and we can choose how to respond to situations. At the Healy Group, almost all staff have been trained in Choice Theory, and it provides a common language and framework for problem-solving and communication.
4. Find Leaders Who Walk the Talk
Leadership’s behavior matters significantly. People look at what leaders do, not what they say. When leaders walk the talk, have integrity and do what they say they will do, live out the core values, and model effective communication and problem solving. They lead by example and create a positive and powerful culture.
The Healy Group is blessed to have 7 passionate owners who exhibit effective leadership skills. This doesn’t mean that a leader will never fall short. We all make mistakes. However, effective leaders own their mistakes, take responsibility, seek forgiveness, and make things right.
Great Company Culture is a Win-Win-Win
Healy Group conducted an employee engagement survey in 2017. The results showed that 88% of its employees are engaged and “rowing in the same direction we’re trying to go.” Given that the national employee engagement rates hover around 30 percent, this was an extraordinary discovery. In addition, our client retention rate is nearly 99%.
This demonstrates that when the company invests in its people, the people invest in our clients, and the clients invest back in the company – a virtuous cycle, good for all.
It’s a testament to the great people that we’ve hired, an intentional leadership and ownership team that works hard to build and sustain a great workplace culture, driven by key values that we reflect on often, and underpinned by a way of working together. What a blessing and gift it is to work at Healy Group.
The next time you’re in a position to improve your workplace’s culture, take the leap! A positive work culture matters, and once you’ve been a part of one, you’ll see why.
About the Author
Dave Betz is the founder and owner of The Betz Group, which helps develop human and financial resources through training, professional development, management/leadership development, consulting, and coaching. Dave’s been instrumental in training and coaching Healy Group staff in Choice Theory and helping the organization grow and develop a successful and positive work culture.