Why should you care about company culture? Toxic workplace culture yields higher turnover, lower engagement, stressed employees who have to compensate for vacant positions, increased costs around recruiting and training, and even dissatisfied customers who are unhappy with a revolving door of company representatives or dealing with new hires who aren’t yet well-versed on your product or service.
Work-life balance is a common phrase you hear about when discussing company culture. Like the rest of the world, this balance we speak of was drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
As an essential business, our work never stopped. It couldn’t. Our Rapid Response team had to stay at the ready, our Environmental and Water Treatment Groups had to continue to work to maintain safe systems and practices for our clients, and our entire team had to rally together to adjust to a new work structure.
Two years later as things begin to settle, our work structure is still changing with the needs of our clients and team members. Like many, Solid Blend now functions with a hybrid work model. Functioning with some employees in the office, some employees remote, and some in between can be difficult. Here are our three tips to keep your work culture thriving despite seemingly constant change.
Communication is Key
Even prior to the pandemic, we functioned in what we now call a ‘hybrid’ work structure. Our Service Groups tend to be out on the job and on the road more than they’re in the office. We’ve always factored this into our process when it comes to culture sustainability. When your entire team isn’t in the office, it’s still important to keep your entire team communicating.
Although these seem like somewhat routine tasks, they are actually some of the biggest factors to our cultural success.
A simple initiative we’ve implemented is a daily check-in (DCI) to keep communication open, from leadership to our Service Groups to our development team to our financial team. What is sometimes only a few minutes is critical to giving our team the opportunity to ask questions, and discuss any job — or personal — needs. Plus, it helps to build relationships and camaraderie amongst the team. We also have weekly tactical meeting and monthly team meeting where we get the entire team together.
People First, Employees Second
From meetings to DCIs, we strive to see our team as people first and employees second. From the height of the pandemic, to the evolving work structure, we’ve utilized DCIs to of course, support our team members with their day-to-day job functions, but also to let them know they’re not alone, and they are supported in any aspect of life they need.
We believe a successful company purely comes from a team of employees who are just as dedicated to that success. At Solid Blend, we celebrate our people – not just your work anniversary or successful sale, but your birthday, your exciting life events, your hobbies, what makes you, you. We also strive to create a culture where you can grow and learn in your role, in the industry, and as a person. In fact, we commit more than 1,000 hours to continued education for our team members annually.
This perspective helps to create a culture where your team feels recognized, celebrated, supported, and excited to strive for the company’s collective success.
A big piece of this is making sure to get your employees’ input on what — and how — they want to be recognized or celebrated. It’s much more effective and personal when you know one person prefers an under-the-radar email to recognize a job well done, while another person appreciates the public recognition in a staff meeting. Assuming a one-size-fits-all approach is impersonal, disappointing to the recipient, and can even be disastrous.
Check Your Process
We put a lot of emphasis on employee retention, but don’t forget to also pay attention to employee recruitment. With a hybrid work structure, we’ve paid close attention to our new-hire onboarding process. We make sure to bring new team members into the office to acclimate them to their job functions and set them up for success. Our constant communication helps us to ensure new team members feel comfortable and have all the tools and resources necessary if working remotely.
With all of the recent change, your processes —like ours did —might need a tune up. Start here:
- What is your current work structure? Is it working? How can you create a better process to make sure everyone has what they need to thrive in this new work structure?
- Dive into your company’s values, purpose and mission. Are you living those out? Are you functioning according to them?
- Look at your communication with your team members. Are you talking to everyone? Are you giving them an opportunity to express what they need? Are you celebrating them as they want to be celebrated?
- What kind of culture does your company currently have? Is it the kind of culture you want?
In order to take care of our clients at the highest level, we have to take care of our team first. The pandemic didn’t change that, it amplified it. With communication, people, and processes in place, we’re able to not only maintain but continue to evolve our culture despite changes.
Don’t just take it from us, hear directly from our team on what it’s like to work at Solid Blend. If you know someone who wants to do great work for a great company, send them our way.