As a business leader, it doesn’t matter if you have a 10 person team or a team of 10,000, cultivating a strong company culture that reflects your core values is imperative to your Associate’s engagement, their connection to the company’s mission, and their performance. In order to fully understand the impact of your company culture, finding ways to track and measure your efforts will allow the company to understand just how effective those efforts are. Those in the workforce today are not only drawn to companies who have a strong workplace culture, but they are usually specifically looking for a company that prioritizes their investment in their Associates. According to a 2016 Gallup survey, millennials value development more than other generations in the job market and is a top factor when it comes to attracting and retaining great talent.
If you have a poor company culture and are looking for ways to revitalize what you are currently doing, here are four key elements that will help fill the gaps within your company’s approach to establishing a strong workplace culture.
Target and Measure Company Investments
For a company of any size, it is important to prioritize investments in order to have a successful business model that provides in-demand services for a profit. However, your Associate’s professional development deserves to be approached with the same care and needs to be seen as an important investment. Professional development is a tangible asset, much like real estate or technology. Finding ways to connect to your Associates as a whole and supporting their professional development within the industry your organization serves is a priceless investment.
Associates are an asset to a company’s success, and when professional development is prioritized and the leadership pipeline within your company is strong, Associates will not only be highly engaged, but their commitment to the company mission and the work they do every day will be seen and felt in their job performance. Even though engagement efforts were different in 2020 when compared to years past due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our team at Signature Performance knew it was imperative to find a healthy balance of transparency and empathy in our internal communication efforts. Prioritizing this communication approach allowed us to be effective leaders, not just within the healthcare industry, but to each and every one of our Associates during a time of stress and uncertainty.
According to a 2020 Gallup survey, only 36% of employees nationwide were classified as engaged at work. Through internal engagement surveys conducted this past year, it highlighted that 81% of Signature’s workforce were classified as highly engaged at work. Companies with highly engaged Associates show lower absenteeism, lower turnover, and higher overall productivity, according to Gallup. These kinds of results have all been experienced throughout Signature’s tenure.
When the investments into company culture have been identified, it is imperative that there is not only a way to measure the impact that is being made, but that there is also a way to decipher how that measurement compares to the industry standard. Associate experience data is essential information that can help determine the overall effectiveness of professional development and internal engagement opportunities. By collecting and reviewing internal experience data frequently, a better understanding of the overall health of Associate engagement can be known by company leaders. This type of data allows company leaders to study the strong points of engagement and review areas that may need to be revisited in order to make the company one that the best talent wants to join.
A high-level of connection within a company results in a willingness to recommend and refer talented friends and family members to apply for open career opportunities. In 2020, 34% of Associates who were hired by Signature Performance were referred applicants. This percentage reflects that for every three Associates who joined our firm, at least one of them had been personally referred by a current, high-performing team member.
Calculate Return on Professional Development
When professional development opportunities are implemented and viewed as an asset rather than an expense, a key component to measuring the effectiveness of the development opportunities is having a way to calculate the company’s return. What kind of value have these opportunities brought to your company or Associates? In most cases, thoughtful professional development leads to higher retention rates. When Associates are highly engaged and connected to the work they are doing, there is less turnover within the company.
When less turnover occurs, less time, money and other valuable resources need to be spent on retraining incoming Associates to replace those who have departed from the company. At Signature Performance, between Q2 and Q4 this past year, our 2.5% increase in engagement levels resulted in a stronger retention rate. The improved retention rate allowed our team to put a backfill training class of 23 on hold. This is a prime example of when higher engagement is occurring, higher quality of production and Associate retention is the outcome.
When turnover is low, a significant amount of money can be saved for a company. These funds can be redirected for new or enhanced development opportunities within the company. In conjunction, those who are in the job market can quickly gauge the reputation of the company based on retention rates and reviews that confirm how long an individual has been with a company.
Celebrate Strengths and Diversity
In every business, it is important to not only value a job well done, but it is important to value those who put in the work. In order to cultivate a healthy company culture and organization overall, it is important to celebrate what makes each team member unique. Diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace are what fuels creativity, innovation, and is essential to effective critical thinking. When Associates see first-hand that these values are prioritized in the workplace, it creates an environment where each Associate feels heard, included, and safe. A diverse workplace is also a key component to innovative thinking and problem solving. By genuinely understanding Associates’ greatest needs, they are given the opportunity to be the best version of themselves in the office and in their personal lives. When Associates feel that their expertise and time are valued, they will gain an undeniable confidence within their position and that will be felt by the client.
Signature Performance Prioritizes Professional Development
Our Signature Way culture and consistent investment in the professional growth and empowerment of our Associates is what allows us to work as a united team as we assist our clients’ through some of the biggest challenges in the healthcare industry. The success we see at Signature Performance is a direct reflection of our Associates working toward a common mission. We take our mission of improving the health of our clients’ business and making the lives of the people we work with better seriously.
We are committed to cultivating a highly engaged company culture that enhances the overall well-being of every Associate. Our commitment to inclusion across race, gender, age, religion, identity, disability, and experience is forefront in our efforts to make Signature Performance the best place to work for our Associates. When you show up at Signature, show up as your whole self. We see what’s right in you.
Mark Mathia is the Chief Experience Officer at Signature Performance Inc., in Omaha, NE. Mathia is also a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. Signature Performance is an industry leader in reducing healthcare administration costs for private and public healthcare sectors. Our unmatched experience in serving both the payer and provider side of healthcare financial management allows us to implement innovative solutions for every administrative demand.