At HireBetter, we take culture seriously. We know firsthand what a positive and cohesive company culture can bring. For one, it can help you recruit, retain, and develop better talent. It’s much easier said than done, but with putting enough effort into it, you will be able to harness the powers of a culture committee.
Forbes says that culture committees bring different perspectives and experiences together. They help you assess your current culture in all its glory — as well as the bad and the ugly. A clear, accurate understanding of your culture as it is now, and a vision for what you want it to look like, is essential to create effective strategies for change.
So, how does a culture committee work and how can you create an effective one? We have firsthand experience to tap into here, so let’s dive in together and bring your company culture to the next level.
- Culture Committees are highly under-rated
- Identify your culture ambassadors
- Start with a purpose
- Getting Feedback from the Team
- Get the activity-planning started
Talent turnover has always been a problem that entrepreneurs have to go through. The bad news is that it’s not letting up, it’s getting worse! We commiserate with you on this, but remember that while factors like leadership and salary are highly credited as major reasons for employee turnovers, the number one driving factor why employees pack up and leave is company culture.
We have always believed that if you don’t take your culture seriously, no one else will. And what we have seen over the decades is that our successful clients have formed committees to drive and nurture an intentional culture.
The positive impact of this investment is astounding and can reward you with a 360 degree turn in successfully retaining talent. If you are one of those companies that’s on the fence about creating their own culture councils, trust that you’ll miss out on a lot of talent opportunities.
The first step in the process is taking stock and identifying culture leaders to form your committee. These individuals will be your culture champions spearheading efforts and activities within the organization, but they’ll need all the support you can give. Naturally, you can’t only rely on human resources so broader team participation will be essential to its success.
Full disclosure, I’m part of the Vibe Hive — our culture team here at Hirebetter composed of other Hirebetterans from different departments. It’s important that as a team we have cross-functions in the daily operations so that we get to see the whole picture when we collaborate.
Having cross-functioning members in the culture committee means having representation that spans across roles, departments, seniority, and tenure. This also ensures that the variety of voices and perspectives are heard. The diversity of members is very valuable as this helps gather ideas that are representative of your team in its entirety.
Creating a culture committee is a really big step and one that needs a well-thought out plan to ensure the committee will achieve its goals and intended purpose. Having the capability to define your expectations will lend itself to achieving the desired goal of the committee.
First, consider what you want to achieve. It’s important to have the buy-in and direction from the leadership team about the purpose and goals of the committee, even going beyond the statement to improve or maintain a positive company culture.
As for the Vibe Hive, we worked with the leadership team and chose our own purpose statement to guide our actions. This was one of the first tasks our committee accomplished and proved to lay the groundwork for working together collaboratively.
Once the committee is formed, the members can decide how often they should meet. A good plan to build the framework of the committee and start implementing the first activities will be to meet more frequently for the first few months.
Getting feedback in the beginning is important, but you won’t really know how successful you are unless you continue to get feedback from the team. So before jumping into the first social activities, the committee should get feedback from the rest of the team about their thoughts on the state of your company’s culture.
There are a variety of ways to obtain this feedback, like having open forum meetings, through email, or providing surveys. Make sure that you use the method that you think your team will respond to openly and honestly. Be open-minded and consider the opinions of your team members as valid.
If you aren’t sure which method will work best for your organization, try all of the above and assess your results to determine the best method moving forward. Open-ended questions helped us a lot because the answers were able to provide feedback on the positives and negatives. The committee will not be successful without this information to guide their decisions.
Also consider that climate in the workplace changes over time and being able to address those shifts will make for a more cohesive and positive culture. Getting feedback from time to time will really guide you well moving forward.
After you’ve received feedback from the team and the parameters are set by management, the planning can finally begin. Having a variety of activities in varying degrees of participation required is important. This will bring different groups of people together and will maintain connection when there isn’t a lot of bandwidth for the team to participate.
Happy hours and other group activities outside of the workplace are common because they are effective. Expand those activities to happen during normal working hours. Something as simple as a potluck lunch can go a long way in bringing the team together. Virtual get-togethers are advisable as well since this makes the activity accessible to anyone in the team as long as they have online access.
A common misconception is that the committee will oversee only the social and team-building activities. However, we have found that activities should go beyond the social aspect. Activities designed to address the areas in the culture that need improving are vitally important to creating meaningful change. Be as creative as you can be such as having your culture committee lead team meetings or tapping outside facilitators.
Ultimately, only you and your organization can know what type of culture committee will work best to achieve your specific culture goals. But considering its purpose, participation, feedback, and activities when forming your culture committee is sure to set you up for success.