Your company’s culture isn’t made up of bean bag chairs, a beer fridge, and a ping pong table.
While those are great perks, those items aren’t necessarily going to bring your team closer and promote collaboration — especially if your entire team or a majority of your team isn’t even in the same state.
Your culture needs to have a set of values that empower your team, giving them the tools and resources needed for them to feel supported and truly do their best work together.
Having a culture where your employees feel unified around, you’ll find that they’re more productive, creative, and just overall happy.
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Making a shift in your culture and improving collaboration isn’t something you can achieve overnight. In this infographic, G2 outlines 14 tips to help you build a collaborative culture and work environment that will empower your employees.
Building a collaborative culture that empowers your employees
1. Hiring high performers who embody your core values
Finding the right people for your team is essential. Whether you’re hiring someone in-office or remote, it’s important to find someone that’s not only going to be a rockstar in that role, but also truly lives your core values.
We’ve developed our core values -- the key qualities we look for in our team on a daily basis as well what we use when bringing new people onto our team. Our managers and talent team are looking for people who are helpful, passionate, and dependable and we keep these in mind in every stage of the hiring process.
Hiring someone is a major investment, both in terms of time and finances. Here are some methods and activities to ensure you’re hiring high performers:
A. A 30-minute video call with the manager of the department that’s looking to fill a position
While HR and department heads have a role in the hiring process, it’s important to have the team filling a position to have a major role in the hiring process.
At IMPACT, any manager who’s looking to fill a position has a 30-minute video call with the applicant, allowing them to build rapport, but also dive deeper and understand if they have the expertise and fully understand what the role will entail. It also gives you an opportunity to share a bit about core values and discuss them with the applicant.
B. Situational activities
A situational activity, which is putting the applicant into a situation they’d be in if they get hired for the role they applied for, is a great way to put their skills and expertise to the test and also see if their core values show through.
First off, your team will get an understanding of whether or not the applicant would be successful in an everyday situation.
Secondly, the situational activity will give the applicants a more accurate representation of the role, allowing them to evaluate if that’s something they can see themselves doing.
It’s an important step for everyone.
C. An in-office interview
You want to give your team, specifically everyone on the team who would be working directly with the applicant, the opportunity to meet.
This gives them the chance to ask more role related questions, determine if they can see themselves working with this person, and evaluate whether or not they feel they would be a good fit for the role.
During this and the other the various stages of your hiring process, it’s important to ask questions and identify if the applicant embodies your core values. Similar to finding high performers, you also want to look for someone that fits your culture.
2. Effective training and onboarding for new team members
Effectively onboarding and training new team members is essential to setting them up for success in their role.
G2 mentions many managers take the sink or swim approach.
As a manager, you and your HR team, should develop a detailed onboarding and training process that prepares and provides new team members with the necessary resources that will help them collaborate with coworkers and problem solve like they’ve been on the team for years, not days or even weeks.
Your onboarding process should also hit upon these key areas:
Company culture, mission, vision, purpose, history, as well as who everyone on the team is and what they do.
Company policies regarding sexual harassment, vacation, cyber security, employee handbook, etc.
Department playbooks and software relevant to their role
Training roadmap outlining essential activities that will get the new team member acclimated to the role and what they need to read and do to become successful.
3. Transparency & open communication
Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.
However, communicating is not only about putting tools in place to reduce the clutter of email; it’s about fostering a culture where team members can approach leadership with questions, concerns, and even feedback.
Being transparent is a great way for management to open the door for communication —allowing team members to feel “heard” and in the loop at different levels of management.
Everyone on your team whether they’re seasoned or new team members, should feel like they can talk to anyone on your company’s leadership or management team.
When it comes to transparency and an open communication policy, it’s essential for everyone in your company to be open and receptive to feedback.
Receiving feedback from various members of your team is a great way for you to grow. While, people can provide feedback, it’s also about how the members of your team receives it.
It’s about knowing when and how to go about giving positive and negative feedback, that will help build a collaborative culture.
At IMPACT, all of our managers read the book, “Thanks for the Feedback” by Douglas Stone. It’s a great resource for handling difficult conversations, as well as outlining tools they can use for receiving challenging or even unsolicited feedback.
5. Culture & connection between remote & in-office team members
With more companies starting to hire remote team members, it’s important to create a culture that is able to bring the two groups of employees together.
If you work in an office, it’s easy to stand around the proverbial water cooler and chat about someone’s weekend, family, and/or hobbies. It’s easier for you to build connections with people from different teams.
Having a full or partial remote team, that’s unlikely to be the case.
You have to be intentional about connecting with teammates from different teams and states to help build that connection. Often times, that starts by having the right technology.
With 60% of our team working remotely, having the tools and technology in place to connect all of us is extremely important.
Some of our favorite tools include Slack and Zoom. Slack enables us to have real-time conversations and with Zoom, we’re able to get on a video call and see those team members in real-time as well.
When we do get together as a team, there are always jokes about you’re not just a face or you’re much taller than I thought you would be.
We also don’t make our technology solely about work.
We have a variety of channels in our Slack dedicated to connecting people around various shared interests. Some examples include Parents, The Bachelor, Bob’s Mug (what our CEO would like for Christmas), football, puns, Aunts and Uncles, and even IMPACT pets, to name a few.
In this digital age, your company needs to develop a culture that brings people together, while also allowing your employees to feel empowered to not only perform their best work, but also allowing them to take ownership of their jobs.
To see all 14 ways your company can build a collaborative culture, check out the full infographic below: