Becoming A Great Place To Work
Written By: Leslie Snavely
As the work world begins to establish the new normal, each of us contends with a war for talent and our employees working to determine what their post-pandemic work life may look like. With that in mind, I believe one of the most important things we can do is to build a great company culture.
What does it take to become a great place to work? Over my career, I have worked at some amazing companies. Each place taught me something about what makes a company great (or not so great). But, where I have learned the most about being a great place to work is at my current company, CHG Healthcare. We have consistently been represented as a top place to work by Glassdoor, Fortune magazine, Modern Healthcare and, locally, The Salt Lake Tribune. Although the awards aren’t why we focus on building a great place to work, they are accolades we are certainly proud of achieving. So, what have I learned in over 11 years here about creating a great place to work?
Trust is at the core of cultural success. In fact, part of Fortune's evaluation to achieve a spot on their Best Companies list requires that you have a culture of trust (as measured by an employee survey). It measures "management credibility, the respect with which employees feel like they are treated, and the extent to which employees expect to be treated fairly." While this is Fortune’s yardstick, my personal experience aligns. A trusting environment accelerates people’s desire to see the organization succeed, which drives their contributions. Plus, it is just a better place to spend your days.
2. TRANSPARENCY & VULNERABILITY
Transparency and vulnerability build trust. To achieve this, employees and leaders must be transparent with each other as to both the current reality of the business as well as their personal level of engagement in the organization's mission. Some of my most powerful moments as a leader have been when I share the real person I am with my team or when I share explicitly that I don't know the answer to the problem or issue at hand. Through these moments, my team sees it’s both okay to be who they are, as well as to admit when they don't know the answer. By doing this, we resolve the challenges faster and come up with better solutions than any of us could ever do on our own.
Accountability builds trust. Most of us as business leaders aim to grow our company's top and bottom-line results. Sometimes, I read about companies building a great culture by adding high-end benefits, sabbatical programs, super cool workout facilities, etc. Although all of these are great, and do certainly make a work environment better, they aren't the only things that make a great culture. Delivering on the results we set out to achieve, through personal and team accountability, creates wins for the organization and individuals. If we are accountable and deliver what we say we will deliver, we build a culture of trust.
4. HAVE FUN & BE PROUD
We need to have fun and be proud of what we do. Work is work, but the more my team members and others around me can enjoy what we do, the people that we do it with, and be proud of the work that we do, the better our culture becomes. To be proud of what you do, it may take something different for every single person within the company. As individuals, we need to find our way to be proud and feel connected.
5. NEVER STOP
Building a great place to work never stops. One of the biggest mistakes that leaders make when working to build a great culture is that they see it as a project or an initiative versus a sustainable organizational commitment. There is no big bang, no silver bullet to building a great culture. Instead, it is a series of steps, both small and large.
During these times of organization transition, with many of us working to bring our organizations back together after we’ve been working from home, or our clinicians who have been working around the clock, it is important to set our sights on the long term. To me, building a great place to work is one of the only sustainable strategies to help us achieve our goals.