Building Great Office Cultures

Ask a Recruiter - Employer Q&A

Ask a Recruiter

Q: We’ve had a lot of growth on our team since COVID-19 and our culture seems to have changed a lot. It feels like there’s a disconnect between our tenured employees and our new employees around company culture. How do we find more alignment on our team?

A: You won’t be able to find alignment until you can define what your company culture is. We view culture as how things get done around the workplace: what are the formal and informal systems, and what are the behaviors and values that are rewarded? How are promotions decided? How are changes communicated? Do employees feel comfortable voicing concerns to their managers? What stories get told? Do employees take PTO? Is there a big enough emphasis on inclusion?  

All of these questions can point toward what your culture is, and what gaps lie between your current state and your vision.  

If you’re feeling a disconnect between where your culture is and where you’d like it to be, we recommend: 

  • Asking employees — including the leadership team — how they would describe the culture. This includes questions about teamwork, what growth looks like, what personality traits are prized, who is visible, how feedback happens, the office rituals and stories, how decision-making happens, the physical (or virtual) space, the company perks and benefits, and more. Culture stems from people, and a crowd-sourced culture definition is likely going to be the most accurate and encompassing.

  • Gathering a core team of relevant stakeholders to define what you’d like your culture to be. Be sure to include both tenured and newer employees! 

  • Reviewing both your existing formal (handbook, policies, performance review process, etc.) and informal (phone calls or emails? Extroverts or introverts? Who are the decision-makers?) aspects of culture to see where areas of disconnect live. For example, if your culture used to be about team relationships, but you’ve noticed a strong divide between tenured and newer staff, you might want to focus efforts on team-building or reevaluate your onboarding process so that new team members are integrated more seamlessly.  

 

What you pay attention to grows, so grow the culture you want by paying attention to how your culture shows up! 

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