What do companies such as Warby Parker, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, and Atlassian have in common? They all have award-winning company cultures.
This week, we attended Culture Summit in San Francisco and we learned all about what it takes to create a distinguished company culture in order to help retain and attract employees. We heard panels with culture experts from some of the U.S.’s greatest places to work and here’s what they want companies struggling to build their culture to know.
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Connect Company Events to Your Mission
Almost every panelist and keynote speaker emphasized how important it is to communicate and consistently embody your company mission and values into the day-to-day operations. Engaged employees are driven by your mission, so it is crucial to remind them of it as often as possible.
“Mission and values are what you anchor around to build culture,” Helen Russell, chief people officer at Atlassian, said.
Pinterest’s head of culture Cat Lee said in her keynote that their CEO, Ben Silbermann, repeats the company mission at every weekly Q&A meeting, as well as their monthly all-hands. By doing this, Silbermann ensures that employees are reminded of what they are working towards, which further embeds their mission into Pinterest’s culture.
“Annual events can be an opportunity to re-communicate company values to employees.” – Cat Lee, Head of Culture at Pinterest
You can take this one step further and craft company events around the core of your mission. For example, Pinterest’s mission is “To help people discover the things they love, and inspire them to go do those things in their daily lives.” From employee-led workshops to open mic nights, Pinterest allows their employees to teach, learn, and discover things they love — all within their work environment.
[bctt tweet=”Engaged employees are driven by your mission, so don’t forget to remind them of it frequently.” username=”@reflektive”]
Let Employees Show Off Their Passions
Going off of the last example, one great way to build your culture and engage employees is by giving them an opportunity to showcase their talents.
With the support of your employee success team, work to plan employee-led events both during and after work hours.
Pinterest sets aside two entire days that they call “Knit Con” for employees to celebrate and demonstrate their hobbies and interests. Though this is an extreme version, smaller companies can do micro-Knit Cons or one-off sessions and workshops to kick off the idea.
[bctt tweet=”Give your employees opportunities to showcase their talents. ” username=”@reflektive”]
Give Employees Time to Give Back
One of Warby Parker’s main tenets is their commitment to giving back to the global community. Similar to the famous shoe company, Toms, Warby has a “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” model, which allows consumers to donate a pair of glasses to someone in need.
This core value is what draws many of Warby’s employees to the company and it is also why Warby incorporates service into one of its many employee perks.
“High retention comes from employees who are connected to the purpose of your company.” – Susan Lee, VP of People at Warby Parker
From quarterly “Do Good Trips,” to anniversary service trips, to paid volunteer days, Warby gives employees numerous opportunities to give back to their local and global communities.
This is one of the many reasons why Warby has an industry leading retention rate. Try incorporating one of your company values into perks and activities for employees and you will likely see higher employee satisfaction and engagement.
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