Transform your culture. Transform the way you communicate.
You know what question we should be asking each other more often?
“How’s your culture?”
In other words, how do people experience your brand?
Your culture is your company’s vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits. As the saying goes, how you do anything is how you do everything. Your culture is your company’s how, from your smallest daily action to your biggest aspirations.
If you want a quick culture temperature check, pay attention to your reactions when someone asks you what it’s like to work at your company. Does your body tense up? Do your eyes roll? Do you sigh? Do your arms cross? Those are body-language red flags. Do you launch into a list of complaints? Do you say “they” instead of “we” when talking about your organization? Those are all signs of disengagement from a company’s culture. And you’re not alone.
Gallup’s State of the American Workplace found only 33 percent of employees feel engaged with their company’s mission. The large majority, 67 percent, are either disengaged or actively disengaged. And that’s a crying shame, because engaged employees are more productive and more likely to stay in their jobs longer.
Engaged employees both create and keep the culture for your organization. They fully embody your purpose and your principles. They know your brand promise and exactly what makes your organization different from all your competitors. When somebody asks them what it’s like to work at your organization, they lean in, smile real big, and launch into what might very well amount to a manifesto.
You want engaged employees. I want you to have engaged employees.
How do we get there? How can you fill your organization with culture creators and keepers? You start with how you communicate internally. And I’m not talking about that internal newsletter you’re always trying to get a volunteer to put together. I’m talking about all of your internal communication: the way you talk to each other, the way you conduct meetings, the promises you make to each other, the way you handle conflict, and the way you set your vision.
We’ve found five ways organizations can communicate more effectively:
- Be Known: Connect personally
- Be Intentional: Structure connection for impact
- Be Consistent: Stick to the schedule
- Be Forward: Face conflict head-on
- Be Focused: Define success together
We’ll be covering all of these—and giving you some easy internal communication exercises!—in coming blog posts.