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#WantedlyMeetup Recap: Company Culture - and now?

It's a vital part of any company culture: values. They're meant to be what really matters, your HOWs next to the WHYs and WHATs in the world of Sinek and the very essence your coworkers live and breathe every day. Having clear values holds huge advantages for companies. They ensure that your teams' vision is aligned and that you agree on important rules and maximes in your day to day worklife, which has positive impacts on productivity and overall well-being of empoyees.

However, Gallup found out in a recent study that only 23% of employees strongly agree that they can apply their organization’s values to their work every day. When it comes to believing in them, merley 27% strongly agreed. This is an alarmingly low number and shows that the work definitely doesn't end with stating our values on career pages. So how can we really live up to our brand?

The first step is to find and define your culture and values. Even if you have already done this, do check whether your culture both really reflects reality and where you want to be. Defining your values can be a long process and should involve employees, management and colleagues from various departments and functions to really ensure an authentic picture.

At our last #WantedlyMeetup, we discussed how to proceed after having defined those values - how can we make sure that they are really lived?

Our speakers Christian Unrau, Business Partner at Vivelia, and Florian Gansemer, Managing Director at kununu engage, shared their experiences on how to foster and encourage their company culture long-term.

The importance of open communication

One of the greatest success factors for companies are open and transparent communication. Florian mentioned that companies which are divers, inclusive and value teamwork, while providing challenging tasks to their employees are most likely to succeed. While this does not necessarily translate right away to values - it is nontheless a way to measure whether the chosen values are lived, accepted or appreciated.

Openness is a crucial factor influencing overall ratings, kununu found out.

Christian also stressed the importance of open communication and that the company has to provide ways to enable this. He made the point that in his weekly jour-fixes he can talk with his supervisor, both about work and private probems - and feels comfortable doing so. Vivelia has also assigned a head of trust in case one would like to discuss some topics with someone else rather than their manager.

How to practice what you preach

Christian pointed out that it's important to communicate the values clearly to everyone in the organization and then also live up to it. In his opinion, values were a way to take away stress and help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance and work atmosphere. This is why in his company they allow sabbaticals, have a budget for personal groth and practice mindfulness at work.

At kununu, weekly kununu engage surverys, regular all hands meetings and "Feedback festivals" ensure open communication across departments and countries and give an insight to the mood of employees. This is a very important source of feedback and ensures that company values are lived and reflect reality. Employees are being asked about various topics, including the company values or other work related topics, and fellow coworkers can vote them up or down depending on importance. The CEO then picks the five most highly rated issues and comments on them - providing direct feedback and solutions on their concerns.

Values vs. benefits

A point, which was also mentioned in one of our earlier meetups, was made by Florian - a company should not confuse values with perks. While perks can be used to re-enforce values they are merley a tool, not a solution. Companies might want to be known for the benefits they provide to employees, but external motivating factors cannot replace intrinsic values - which are in the long run the stronger drivers for motivation.

If you'd like to get access to speaker slides and not miss any upcoming events, join our exclusive Wantedly Community (it's free and awesome) or sign up to our next event in June!

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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