A combination of hard work and an effective internal comms strategy has provided your firm with excellent employee engagement levels.
Employee buy-in is evident – business results are improving and workplace morale is high.
So when the time comes to expand your workforce, how do you get the new starters to buy into your organisation’s ethos? And how do you ensure you’re getting the right people in the first place?
While work experience is crucial, character is just as important.
Callum Austin has spent more than nine years in marketing and communications and he’s now the Internal Communications Lead at national recruitment agency Blue Arrow.
Here’s his top tips on how to get new starters to buy into your organisation’s ethos:
1. Be clear
Whether it’s your mission, vision or values, make sure they are clearly defined and easy for people to understand and appreciate. There’s no point in having a set of fancy long words on the wall if nobody really understands what they mean or how they can embrace them. There’s a saying that ‘people don’t buy what you do – they buy why you do it’, so make sure your induction and onboarding process helps employees understand the ‘why’ and not just the ‘what’.
2. Be consistent
No one wants to be constantly bombarded with the same words, PowerPoint slides or poster – but you do need to keep the vision and values in the forefront of people’s minds – so always look for opportunities to spread the word. It is, however, important there is consistency in the language and tone of voice used and don’t forget to brief your senior leaders and line managers – they are key communicators so it’s important that they are all on the same page.
3. Honesty is the best policy
As managers and fellow colleagues, you are a new starter’s role model, so make sure the organisation’s ethos is one you actually embody. If you tell the world you pride yourself on a set of values, your new starters will hope to see real evidence of this in the workplace.
4. Bring it to life and celebrate
Don’t rely on the words just speaking for themselves. Be creative and use case studies, testimonials and interviews with employees, clients and customers. Show how people are living the company ethos, building a better business and making the company a better place to work. Make sure you publicly reward and recognise those team members who demonstrate company values.
5. Make leaders visible and accessible
Great leaders inspire people when they talk about their vision, so ensure they can be seen and heard. Encourage formal and informal opportunities for new starters to meet with senior leaders to break down hierarchical barriers and show new employees that their contribution is valued.
6. Keep the conversation going
Never forget communication is a two-way process. Don’t assume that putting the mission and values on the intranet will make people read or even understand them. Use every opportunity to talk and, more importantly, listen to your employees to track their understanding of the company ethos. You can then learn from what you find and reinforce the key points where necessary.
7. Get good people
Your company ethos and values should be communicated publicly anyway, so make sure they are a clear part of the recruitment process to ensure you attract candidates who believe in your approach. If you employ the right people – who buy into your company ethos from the beginning – it will encourage individual identity and skills to shine through. This will make it easier for them to be themselves and enjoy work more so they are motivated to contribute positively to the company culture and the future success of the business.