You’ve just made a new hire and you couldn’t be more excited to see what your new employees is going to bring to your organization. You spent months finding the perfect candidate, but now that you have her the real work begins.
Great employees don’t come prepackaged, they need to be engaged, connected with, and—if they’re going to perform in a high capacity—be with your company for at least a year.
Connecting your employees, especially new hires, with your organization’s culture is key to retaining them for years as well as keeping them engaged.
When employees are in-step with culture, they not only understand what your organization is all about, but they often come to embody that culture, becoming evangelists who let others know how great it is to work with your organization.
How often do you speak to people who absolutely love the company they work for? It’s probably not too often. Usually people have more negative things to say about the place they work than positive.
This indicates that they’re either working at a company with bad culture, or that they’re not aligned with the culture that’s already in place.
If your culture is bad, or you’re not sure what your culture is, this article won’t be helpful (but this one will).
However, if you have a great culture and you want to make sure that it is understood, embodied, and lived by your employees, you’re in the right place!
Ingraining your culture is a long term process that requires constant upkeep. There is a way to simplify the major aspects of this: using an LMS.
If you leverage your LMS correctly you can bring your employees aligned with your culture and also make sure that new employees understand the culture and maintain constant upkeep on that knowledge.
Here are three ways you can use your LMS to build and enhance your culture:
1. Make your upper level accessible
Culture starts at the top. If your upper management simply talk about culture without actually believing in or embodying it, then you will see this attitude trickle down through the rest of the organization.
The reason for this is that it quickly becomes evident to your employees when they’re being sold a culture that isn’t real. When the facade of culture drops, you will see a fast and sudden turn to disengagement as employees realize that your organization is simply pretending at culture.
Showing employees that upper management has fully bought into the culture and actually practice what they preach is one of the best ways to ensure that they too will buy in and embody your culture. A great way to do this using your LMS is to build courses that introduce upper management.
These should take the form of videos that show upper management talking about:
- Who they are.
- What their “why” is.
- The reason they love working for your organization.
This works on multiple fronts.
First, seeing the faces of upper level management helps employees understand who they’re working for and what those people are about.
Second, when employees see that their managers are not just preaching about culture, but are actually buying in and embodying it, they will be more likely to do the same.
2. Let your employees teach each other
You have training directors and L+D coordinators for a reason: they’re intelligent and knowledgeable on the ins and outs of your business and the legal implications for what goes on in the workplace.
However, there is a fine line between being knowledgeable on the “big picture” and how to train employees and being on the front lines everyday.
The people who are actually working with the product or consumer every single day are the types of people with intricate and intimate knowledge of the finer details of your organization’s employee experience.
You should encourage these employees to teach their peers what they know.
We were inspired by a client of ours who allows anyone in their organization to submit a proposal detailing their idea for a new course. They also offer a template to build out what the course would look like and fill in the information that would be presented in the course.
The proposal asks the employee to describe what the course is about and why it should be added to the LMS.
This practice works to solicit engagement from employees to take action in their own learning and the learning of their peers, and builds a culture of learning and teaching within the organization.
It also shows that the organization values the experience and knowledge of their employees and their contributions to the company’s learning culture.
Finally, this shows other employees that their experiences and knowledge are respected and valuable to the entire organization, and encourages them to consider how their own experiences can teach others.
You can do the same thing by creating a template that matches your LMS’s course format and allowing employees to submit a proposal as to why a course should be added.
Once approved, it makes sense to ask the employee who developed the course to deliver the information over video or via a voice over on presentations. This allows your employees to own their courses.
After all, if they developed the course, they probably know the information the best. And who better to teach your employees than one of their peers who will be working next to them everyday, or has worked in their position for years?
3. Build courses that define, discuss, and show examples of your culture.
You need courses that state your company’s mission statement, core values, and long term plans. Creating alignment between your organization and your employees can’t happen if they don’t know what they’re aligning with.
These courses should be mandatory for all employees, but especially new employees in the onboarding process. Onboarding is the time when new employees should learn about your core values, your mission statement, long term plans, and how the organization functions as a cohesive unit.
Be sure to touch on the interpersonal aspects of your organization: the type of people who work at the company and the best aspects of working at the organization.
Again, videos work best for this. Choose great employees that exemplify the best aspects of your culture. These videos will show new hires who they’re working with, as well as a model of someone who embodies your organization’s culture!
Pro Tip: Avoid creating culture propaganda. Don't try to sell your company or your culture. If a new recruit finds out they have been sold a culture that doesn't exist (which they inevitably will), they're likely to quit within months. You should be honest and convey your culture in the most authentic way possible.
An LMS is a powerful tool for business owners and leaders to build and enhance their organization’s culture.
By leveraging your LMS to enhance the culture within your organization, you can create a more cohesive and highly performing business, better engagement and increased retention, and evangelised employees who speak positively about and influence others’ opinions about your organization.
And that is the type of advertising that can’t be beat with a TV ad, social media posts, or heartfelt blog.