YOUR QUICK GUIDE TO CREATING A POSITIVE COMPANY CULTURE

YOUR QUICK GUIDE TO CREATING A POSITIVE COMPANY CULTURE

What do I mean when I say “Company Culture?” What started as a trendy corporate term has developed into a crucial idea that involves establishing and implementing organizational values. If your mission and vision is putting your organization’s values into words, company culture is taking action on those and demonstrating how you live it.

The newest generation of employees value the culture of the company they are working for more than ever. There is no better time to work towards demonstrating your companies values to improve your workplace. Cultivating a positive corporate culture also helps your organization build a trustworthy reputation with its external publics and stakeholders. Below is our quick guide to building a positive company culture.

BENEFITS OF BUILDING A POSITIVE WORKPLACE CULTURE

Building a better workplace culture has a variety of different benefits. Knowing these benefits can be a motivating factor as you understand and implement organizational values. Below are some improvements in your organization you may notice when working towards your workplace culture:

SAFETY

Employee safety is a major part of creating a company culture where people feel comfortable going to work everyday. Making safety a priority will significantly reduce the number of on-the-job accidents, which is an excellent way to contribute to a positive workplace culture.

Consider workplace safety in the context of your industry. What kind of safety values should you consider? Some of them may be:

  • Fall Prevention – Keeping areas clutter free, and taking care of spills quickly to reduce the amount of falls.
  • Chemical Safety– Proper use of chemicals used in the company, this can range from acids used in machinery to office cleaning solutions.
  • Electrical Injuries- Taking away electronics with frayed wires, using appropriate procedures when wiring electronics, and keeping properly maintained equipment.
  • Illness Prevention– Having employees not at work when they have a possibly contagious illness, using disinfectants, and offering flu shots.
  • Workplace Violence Prevention – Having a zero-tolerance policy on violence and harassment.

CONSERVATION OF MATERIALS/ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS

Supplies are a necessary expense, but a lot of supplies are wasted, broken, or somehow lost in the shuffle. Focusing on conservation is a great organizational value that will save you money and even reduce your environmental footprint.

ENGAGEMENT

Engagement is a state in which an employee is content, committed, and involved in their job. Some of the common traits of engaged employees are:

Emotional attachment: This refers to having an emotional connection to one’s company, position, and the work he/she does.

Understanding: This refers to understanding the company’s goals and values, and how they contribute to achieving those goals.

Motivation: This relates to employees willing to invest effort in bettering their performance.

An engaged employee works hard and cares about the company they work for. They waste fewer materials, and have strong customer service skills. Those same employees are usually motivated to develop new skills and further their careers in the company.

IMPROVED EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE

A happy worker makes a happy company. Having a corporate behavior that promotes safety, recognition, and engagement (to name a few) creates happy employees. Here are some ways your employees’ performance can improve:

  • Better customer service
  • Rise in productivity
  • More positive work atmosphere
  • Fewer wasted resources and supplies
  • Less absenteeism
  • Better team work
  • Better communication with co-workers

There are an immeasurable number of categories for a positive company culture. The trick is finding out what behavior you need your company to adopt. This could include adopting values like punctuality or safety. A great corporate behavior can make or break a company, so it is important to provide the appropriate support for your employees.

CLARIFYING ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES: WHERE TO START

In order to take action on building a positive company culture, you must prioritize your organization’s values. Some ideas to consider when clarifying your organization’s values are:

TYPES OF VALUES AND ETHICS

A value is a standard of a person’s behavior. There are two types of values; terminal values and instrumental values. A terminal value is a value that a person would like to achieve during their lifetime. Some examples of terminal values are:

  • Having wisdom
  • Having self-esteem
  • Having inner peace
  • Having a real and meaningful friendship
  • Being content in life

An instrumental value is a behavior used to achieve your terminal value. Some examples of instrumental values are being:

  • Loving
  • Independent
  • Polite
  • Responsible
  • Clean

What it means, in a nut shell, is that if you want to have great success in business, you have to work hard. The terminal value is having great success in business, and the instrumental value is working hard.

Ethics are moral foundations that regulate a person or group of people’s behaviors. Some examples of ethical behavior could include:

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Loyalty
  • Accountability
  • Respectful

Ethics and instrumental values may seem like they are the same, but they are not. An ethic is a moral basis, it is not hinged on accomplishing a value. An ethic is a conviction that a person or a group of people have because they feel like it’s the right thing to do.

MANAGERIAL STRUCTURE

Managerial structure relates to how the management team is put together, and what types of employees make it up. Nothing squashes employee morale quicker than a poorly trained manager. A supervisor should meet three major qualifications:

Leadership Skills: Understand how to lead a team effectively. Understand the proper way to address employees and how to encourage and motivate them. Should have knowledge on how to give constructive criticism.

Departmental Knowledge: Knowledge of the processes and function of the department. This means that the manager should know how to perform the job tasks of the employees they supervise. The worst thing in the world is to have a boss that doesn’t know how you do your job, and wants to critique you.

Company Knowledge: The manager should be knowledgeable about what product or service the company provides to the public, and about what is new with the company. They should know what the company goals and values are, and what the future plans are for the company.

EMPLOYEE ACCOUNTABILITY

Employee accountability means that an employee takes responsibility for their actions. This could refer to positive or negative actions. So how do you promote accountability? It starts with the employees identifying with the company’s mission. As a supervisor, it’s also important to make sure the employees understand that the company wants them to take ownership of the results of their job. Suppose you were a janitor, and one of your job tasks was to remove the trash daily. The company does not want you to take ownership of the act of removing the trash. The company wants you to take ownership of the trash can being empty- thus making the area look clean. Accountability also relates to something that an employee is doing that is inappropriate. An employee who is constantly late for work needs to take accountability for their actions.

DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING ACTION FOR YOUR POSITIVE WORKPLACE CULTURE

If you are ready to start designing and implementing a positive company culture, it is important for you to set realistic behaviors for your employees to follow. Make sure to keep open, two-way communication and get as much feedback as you possibly can. Here are some ideas to consider when taking on the task of developing a positive company culture.

Group Planning: Having a group planning committee will help you maintain realistic goals, and help the employees become engaged in the process on establishing your company culture. When picking your group, you will want to get as many of the departments involved. Remember that the company was built by employees, and having employees in the group helps you see the big picture.

Define Preferred Organizational Behavior/Values: Being able to identify the type of behaviors the company needs and wants to inspire their employees to adopt is crucial. When it comes to identifying desirable behaviors, there are no black and white guidelines. It’s all subjective to the needs of your employees and company. You want to clearly outline the behaviors you want as specifically as possible.

Hiring
: When you are taking on new employees, it’s very important to try to hire people whose values align with your organization. Asking appropriate personality driven questions in an interview is a great way to find employees who will thrive in your company culture. Be sure to communicate your company’s values and provide an overview of its culture so your interviewees can also determine if they would be a good fit.

Training Employees: Training is always important, but it’s especially important when implementing new policies that will change corporate culture.

Not only do new employees need to be trained on policies and culture, but current employees also need training when new policies are implemented. Some training can be informal, but if there are a lot of changes, more formal training will be needed.

CONCLUSION

We hope this quick guide has sparked inspiration for building your company culture.

Are you looking to provide training on developing your company culture? Check out our Developing Corporate Behavior Workshop training materials today!

 Katelyn Roy on 

5 Ways Adult Learning is Unique and 7 Tips to Apply it to your Corporate Training

It can be easy to assume that the way individuals take in information is fairly consistent. However, have you ever considered how the dynamics of learning change as we age? Consider the strategies used to teach early elementary students, versus someone in high school. How is the classroom laid out? How is information delivered? What are the expectations of the students to help them learn?

This also carries over to how adults learn. It is called andragogy, and it is the study of how adults learn differently from children. We often associate the majority of our structured learning with our younger years. And while this is true, learning is a life long process that changes overtime, so understanding adult learning theory and its styles is crucial to delivering effective corporate training.

Learn more about adult learning and empower yourself to deliver your training accordingly with our guide to adult learning theory below.

MALCOLM KNOWLES’ 5 ASSUMPTIONS OF ADULT LEARNERS

Adult Learners

While the word andragogy can be traced back to the 1800s, the most popular research and theorizing of it can be traced back to Malcolm Knowles in 1968. Malcolm Knowles was an American adult educator who used scientific methods to determine the most effective ways to teach adults. Through this and his experience teaching at the YMCA and working for the Adult Education Association, he developed four assumptions about how adults learn (he added the fifth assumption several years later). They are:

1. SELF-CONCEPT

As an adult, our experiences give us a stronger self-concept. This helps us better understand our learning needs, style, and preferences. Along with this, as we move further into adulthood, we become less dependent on others, and shift to having a strong sense of independence. This can make it more challenging to sit in a classroom and learn from another instructor. This means that adult learners tend to prefer a more self-directed approach to learning, rather than instructor-led. Furthermore, because of this independence, adults tend to prefer to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction.

2. ADULT LEARNER EXPERIENCE

The experience an adult has already gathered before entering a training workshop through previous education, work experience, and life in general is significantly higher than a child entering a learning environment. Adults have hands-on experience, accumulated knowledge, and have learned from making mistakes. This must be considered when teaching adults, as it can help them make meaningful connections that will help them better retain information. As a trainer, being mindful of the things your adult learners have experienced can help you better engage them.

3. READINESS TO LEARN

As adults, our readiness to learn is most prevalent when the topics resonate with our everyday lives, such as growth or advancement in our career. When there is a strong and relevant reason to learn, adults are significantly more interested in learning. If adult learners can’t see how they can apply what they are learning to their life – whether personally or professionally – they will be significantly less engaged in your workshops. If learning can help them better fit into their roles in society, they will be more likely to value the training they take in.

4. ORIENTATION OF LEARNING

The orientation of adult learning is less focused on content, and more focused on practicality. Adult learners want to learn things that will help them solve problems in their lives or careers. This shift in perspective means that adult learners prefer to take in information that they can immediately apply to better hone their skills, increase productivity, and advance their career and organization wherever relevant. This is also referred to as problem-centered learning rather than content-centered learning.

5. MOTIVATION TO LEARN

A child’s motivation to learn generally comes from the guidance of adults, such as parents, teachers, and mentors. Adult learners generally have a desire to learn based on internal factors. This includes personal reasons such as increasing self esteem or progressing in their workplace. An adult building maturity overtime leads to them better understanding what they need to learn to progress in life, and they will be motivated to train based on that.

TIPS TO SUIT YOUR TRAINING TO ADULT LEARNERS

So what does this mean? And how does it impact your corporate training? Below are our tips for providing corporate training to adults based on Knowles’ Assumptions for Adult Learning:

  1. Ensure you can back up your credibility as a trainer to build trust with your learners. This can help you keep your adult learner’s attention despite their increased independence compared to a child.
  2. Provide self-directed learning options if possible. As a trainer, it may feel like you are losing a sense of control in your training by providing self-directing options. However, for adults it can be just as – if not more – effective, as it better aligns with many adults learning preferences. Self-directed learning can be implemented through eLearning for convenient, instructorless training.
  3. Involve your learners. Adult learners like to feel involved in the learning process. As a trainer, sending notes or agendas ahead of time to your learners about what will be covered in your workshop can help your learners prepare any questions or other topics they would like to see covered when they enter the training. Giving your learners an opportunity to evaluate your training can also give you strong feedback that you can implement in the future and give your learners more of a say in their training.
  4. Encourage your learners to draw on their previous experiences. Take opportunities to let your learners share their experiences and relate them to your training. This could be through group conversations or activities that allow them to reflect on their experience. Being able to share this experience and apply it to your workshops will help the content better resonate with all the learners.
  5. Highlight the benefits and focus on the impact. Being strategic on your promotion and opening of your training workshop can set the tone for how engaged your learners are for your entire workshop, especially when it comes to adult learners. Consider your learner’s wants and needs. Career advancements? Increased professional value? General improvement of soft skills? Make sure you have some of these points ready to communicate to your learners so that they can understand the benefits of your training and how it can help them grow personally or professionally.
  6. Focus on training that can solve problems for your learners. This boils down once again to understanding your trainee’s needs. What challenges or obstacles are they facing that would make your training worth their while? Ensuring these solutions are incorporated into your training will make your workshops truly stand out.
  7. Increase motivation by focusing on the internal impact. Understanding your trainee’s motivation and how motivation is unique to adult learners will help you plan your workshops in a way that will keep your trainees engaged. Make sure your training is relevant to the factors that will motivate your trainees such as advancements in their workplace or personal development.

CONCLUSION

As adults develop more skills and knowledge, their learning style and experience impacts how they best take in information. By referring to adult learning theory and applying it to our training, you can ensure you are providing the best possible corporate training to your learners.

 

Posted by Katelyn Roy on