Company Culture: How Your Workforce Operations Define It

March 25, 2021 Kristen McPherson

We often think about company culture in terms of the fun perks and benefits that a company offers. If you look up examples of a great company culture, you’ll quickly find images of pool tables in break rooms, beer fridges in the kitchen, and other unique offerings that you don’t see at the majority of companies. But while these can provide a nice value-add for some employees, these perks on their own don’t define and won’t help your organization maintain the culture you desire.

Company culture is at the core of your organization and can take on an identity of its own. Essentially, it’s not what you as a leader say you want it to be, it’s what your employees say it is. And that can leave human services executives wondering how exactly they can cultivate and maintain the right environment for their workforce to thrive.

Start with Your Mission, Vision & Values

The good news about company culture is that there’s no single, right type of culture. Your culture is, and should be, as unique as your organization is, reflecting the specific values that are most important for your organization. This may look like a collaborative, supportive, and relaxed work environment for one organization, while another may find success focusing more on accountability and competition.

For your organization, finding the right characteristics means taking a close look at your mission, vision, and core values. What is the driving force of your organization? What do you want your organization to achieve in the long run? And what are the core values that you uphold and expect your employees to uphold on a day-to-day basis? The answer to these questions can give you a good sense of what your ideal company culture should look like. It also gives you a point of comparison against what your actual company culture looks like right now. And the difference between these two images is where you can find your opportunity to exact change and find success.

What You Do is Who You Are

With the real and ideal versions of your company culture identified, you can start to look at workforce strategies that align with your ideal culture. This is where many organizations start to struggle, falling back on “easy” solutions like ping pong tables and nap pods and equating these with being a fun and innovative company.

However, emulating the big tech companies that are known for these perks is likely not the right solution for a community-based human services organization. Instead of looking outward at what other organizations are doing, a better option is to look inward at what you’re currently doing and what your employees really value about your current workplace.

On any given workday, your employees are primarily focused on their tasks at hand, whether they’re a front-line worker meeting with patients all day or an executive crunching numbers from the latest budget report. At all levels of the organization, what makes up the bulk of each worker’s day is work.

The employee experience and general job satisfaction is greatly affected by the operational processes and workflows that dictate how employees complete their tasks. If those processes are streamlined, easy to follow, and provide a smooth experience, employees will feel a greater sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Likewise, an organization relying on manual processes and inefficient workflows is going to create unnecessary frustrations and stressors for the employee.

With operations defining a significant portion of the employee experience, it’s worth looking here first for ways to improve. This can be as simple as asking employees, “What would make your job easier?” Or, it can be as analytical as running reports that identify inefficiencies and taking a proactive step toward fixing them. In either case, the steps you take to improve your operations will also be steps toward improving the employee experience and overarching culture of the organization. What you and your employees do – the operations – go a long way in defining who you are – your company culture.

Discover the DATIS Solution

If you’re interested in gaining visibility into your workforce and getting the data you need to make operational improvements, you can find a solution tailored just for human services organizations at DATIS. Our HR and Payroll software takes a holistic approach to workforce management and provides the data-driven insights you need to help your organization achieve its mission. Contact us today to learn more about how our unified solution can help address your workforce management pain points.

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