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4 signs you need a Culture Officer

Here’s a quick question for you. When was the last time you evaluated your company culture? If your answer is never, then right now may be a good time to do so. If you care about building a positive culture at work for increased productivity and sales, we have a proposition for you. 

There’s an exciting vacant position at the C-suite: Chief Culture Officer. Don’t believe us? Take Microsoft and Google's word for it.

Often regarded as a responsibility of the HR team, big companies are now rapidly hiring for roles like Chief Culture Officer, Chief People Officer; Vice President of Culture; Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and Head of Employee Experience. The CCO is responsible for aligning company goals with employee experience to make sure each employee is emotionally invested in the work they do. Currently, company culture is an important factor for 46% of job seekers

Soooo should you really care about measuring your company culture? YES!

Should you consider hiring a dedicated Culture Officer for your company? Also, YES.

Need someone to give you telltale signs your company needs a culture upgrade? Yes, we will. Read on:

1. Subpar performance 

7 out of 10 of your employees are disengaged and unhappy at work. The reason? Hint: It has everything to do with the company culture. Companies desperately need their employees to be incentivized and motivated. Here’s some food for thought: I believe that most people want to perform well, they sometimes just don’t know how to. Don’t leave your people with a take-an-initiative attitude out in the wild. Part of developing a strong culture is establishing clearly defined behaviors that employees should strive to perform consistently. When realistic standards are set and timely feedback is delivered, an employee is more likely to take ownership of their work.

Incentivise your employees to perform better in exchange for a healthy and transparent work environment. That’s how your culture managers can help your people see work as a ‘place’ instead of just a ‘thing’.

2. Lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you definitely know the importance of building a diverse, inclusive and safe environment at work. We’re way ahead of casually sexist remarks and racism at work. As people leaders, it’s alarming if this has not been on your agenda in the last few years. A truly global and modern workplace is one that has adequate policies to support every race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and even people with disabilities.

Post the much needed wake up call of #MeToo, more than half the companies in America were forced to revisit their policies, while others appointed specialised people to tackle non-inclusive work environments, formed resource groups and councils. If you were to listen to diversity leaders, organizational culture is the number one challenge in the way of their objectives. 

Believe it or not, having a diverse workforce actually increases your team’s performance, creativity and even elevates the status of your employer branding. As per the 2013 survey of the Centre for Talent Innovation, 48 percent of organizations in the US with a diverse workforce showed improvement in their market share compared to the previous year. We think that when you do get a Chief Culture Officer (if you don’t already have one), make this the number one priority. Employees feeling represented and supported come with their best.

3. Unclear ethical standards

It’s a no-brainer, right? Do you know your company policies? If you’re making a pitch to an investor, do you just talk about your revenue or even the company policies each employer knows and swears by? We have come to believe that company values - which is the guiding light for each employee - often don’t exist or are not laid out clearly. Whenever a company is going through a major milestone like seed funding, or public listing, a merger, or even a public scandal, it is these values that help employees align themselves with the company. Moreover, these values also help position the company as a great employer brand.

A major predictor of a risky culture, unclear ethical standards can be taken up by your COO with the help of value-driven conversations at work and making your employees your ambassadors. 

4. High-pressure environments

We understand that as CXOs of high-growth companies, you’re always racing against time. But unrealistic deadlines, aggressive sales targets and poorly defined incentive structures is a MASSIVE reason your company culture is taking a hit. Top it up with an absence of resource units and grievance cells to hear your employees out, and you have the perfect recipe for a culture disaster. If you’re a manager who believes fear, deadlines and pressure will drive success for your company, you may be wrong. 

What does a good culture look like?

If you’re looking to hire and retain perfect company culture, here’s a list of 27 companies you can get inspired from.

When you're ready to take the next step, sign up with an employee engagement bot that chats with your employees on a regular basis to predict disengagement.

Now, more than ever business leaders need to make it their priority to build and sustain value-driven culture to withstand the ever-changing business environment. Take your first step today!


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Shivangi Gautam
Shivangi Gautam

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