Find out your TRUE company culture from the way you hold your meetings
How you conduct your meetings can be a big giveaway into your company culture. When you carefully assess them they can tell you a lot in terms of your company behaviours, attitudes and processes. They are a unique chance to see how people interact in a group setting, giving you a complete overview. 🤔
Here are the key factors to look out for in your meetings when assessing culture:
- How do people speak to each other, are they casual and relaxed or do they seem formal and professional?
- Does everyone in the meeting know what’s going on or do they seem a little confused and lost?
- Is everyone participating or is it just a few select people talking?
- Does everyone seem comfortable in sharing their ideas?
- What is the tone of the meeting; fun and light-hearted, brief and to the point, formal and in-depth or friendly and conversational?
Let’s look at an example:
You are a retail company and you say that your company culture is flexible, efficient and friendly.
You hold a monthly meeting to go over your latest processes and products and notice a few red flags 🚩;
- Before the meeting starts you notice that managers chat to each other and to a few ‘favourites’ in the team, but other staff members are left on their own with no one to talk to. This could suggest that your company is not as friendly as it claims to be. All managers should be encouraged to talk to everyone and they should actively talk to employees when they can see they are feeling left out.
- During the meeting you notice that it isn’t very structured and staff go off track a lot, this could suggest that your company is not as efficient as you had hoped it was.
- You also notice that when the managers start talking about processes they receive feedback from the staff about why they think the processes won’t work. Rather than the managers taking the feedback onboard and saying that they’ll discuss it with their regional managers, they simply say that this is the way they’ve been told to proceed and things have to be done like that. This shows that perhaps your company is not as flexible as you like to think it is.
What to do if you don’t like what you see in your meetings 🤷♀️
The best things to do are:
- Make a note of all the things you have seen in your meeting that don’t align with your company culture.
- Write down what you would have done differently and how your approach would align better with your desired company culture.
- Write down new guidelines for your staff to follow e.g. If managers are not listening to feedback it could be because they feel like they would be causing problems or grief if they disagree with the way things are done. In this case, you would need to make it clear that if processes or procedures are challenged it should be encouraged to listen to the feedback and change the plans accordingly.
- Go through your notes with your managers so they are aware of the issues.
- Incorporate culture training into your staff’s routines, so they are aware of what kind of culture you want to promote. You should include more scenario based questions such as:
“If your colleague is late to work and is wearing the wrong uniform”
A). Help them out, see if you have anything spare and ask around for them. (Friendly and relaxed culture)
B). Report them to your manager as this is poor performance. (Strict and formal culture)
C). Help them in a reasonable amount of time, if you aren’t successful you should both find a manager. (Friendly but efficient culture)
So what are you waiting for, go and sit in on your company meetings to find out what your company culture is REALLY like and not just what you say it is!
Other posts that may be of interest to you:
How to get your employees to tell you the truth
6 things that you think your staff love but they actually hate
6 things sensitive staff need for a better employee experience