Sheri Kelleher is Senior Vice President of People Success at Incorta, a data and analytics platform that works toward unlocking the full potential of data from multiple complex source systems. Beyond that, Incorta has created a brag-worthy company culture worth taking a closer look at. The company was voted one of the Best Workplaces in 2022 by Inc.
The use of simple and to-the-point core company values, a focus on the employee experience, organization transparency and using employee data (they are a data and analytics platform, after all!) to create a people-first culture, resulted in a great employee experience.
Simplifying Company Values
Business leaders may sometimes struggle to come up with core company values. The results are often convoluted texts full of buzzwords without any meaning behind them. When Sheri started at Incorta, the company had its own set of values that she says were great, but she really struggled to remember the three paragraphs that read more like a story than anything else. She wanted to simplify them down, and what resulted was a list of core principles: think, act, be, love.
Much of their inspiration for their values came from their organization’s culture. When they decided to rethink them, Sheri and her team of Human Resources professionals surveyed other team members. Approaching it in this way helped them determine not only their new value statement, but it was also a good way of getting the entire company on board. In other words, they listened to their people.
Simplifying the company values also made it easier for everyone to remember exactly what they were. Narrowing them down made getting employees to rally behind them easier, and this resulted in a healthy workplace and company culture — exactly what you should aim for when it comes to core values.
Love is one of the more important values at Incorta. They love their people, community and customers and what they do with their passion. A focus on love ensures a positive experience for their team members in terms of company culture, which makes Incorta a great place to work.
The Importance of Employee Experience (EX)
Every type of employee in every industry goes through something called the employee experience (EX). From new hires to veteran team members, EX involves everything employees learn, see, do and feel when working for a specific organization. This employee journey is often referred to as an employee life cycle. Employers and HR leaders can improve their EX through something called employee experience management. The most important priority is to listen to your people every step of the way.
You can do so with a focus on employee engagement and by creating a positive employee experience that naturally results in employee satisfaction. Create a positive work environment through healthy company culture, flexibility, transparency and opportunities for career development. Take a note from Incorta and allow your team members to collaborate on core values, implement surveys to ensure that they’re happy and satisfied, and be transparent when it comes to major company changes.
These measures, combined with employee data analysis, will result in a better place to work.
Do More With Employee Data Analysis
Performance management is a tool that helps managers and other leaders monitor their employees’ work. You can use similar tools in your employee experience management. It’s important to combine this operation data with EX data — or data about their personal experience at your company. Using both will result in an employee experience strategy that is reliable and helpful for all.
Incorta makes great use of surveys when it comes to studying its organizational culture. When Sheri began, she launched a survey to gauge where the company was at, so that she could determine whether or not employees were satisfied. They had just brought on a new CEO and head of HR as well, so there were many changes to take into account.
While the results of the survey were great, she wanted to dig deeper to improve the employee experience even more. She got some clarity about what her people wanted, which included transparency and more established roles and responsibilities. The company shifted and sent out a new survey. The results were even better, but Sheri wanted to improve even more.
Based on the results of the surveys, the biggest thing that needed work was more transparency about changes. Making sure that your employees are aware of — and a part of — changes that go on in the company is called HR change management, and the EX data showed that Incorta lacked a proper strategy. The only way Sheri could have known that, was through the use of employee data and actually listening to her people. It’s proof that asking for feedback from your teams is essential.
How Managers Can Focus on Organizational Excellence
Organizational excellence works to establish frameworks and systems that are meant to inspire, motivate and engage employees to improve the customer experience and customer satisfaction as well as their own. When there is a focus on good employee experience, your people are more apt to be passionate about what they do, and these sentiments are bound to spill over to their interactions with customers. In other words, when your team members care about their jobs, they care more about the people who use the products or services your company provides.
Managers can bring a focus to organizational excellence through effective listening, transparency and ample feedback. You also need to create realistic goals and keep people accountable — from new employees to established team members and all the way up to executives. Everyone must be on the same page, and there must be an environment of employer and employee trust.
Creating a positive physical environment in the office as well as a sustainable digital employee experience if some or all of your team is remote can go a long way too. A strong employee experience will set your team up for success in the long run. Don’t underestimate the power of a good experience vs a negative experience. Remember the significant impact a positive EX can have across the board.
Can You Keep Your Top People? Identify Them First
No matter what industry you work in, there will be times when you slow down on hiring. As that pipeline shrinks, keeping your people — especially your top performers — is even more essential. You first need to identify your top people to ensure that they are satisfied. Then you can move on to putting in measures to keep them happy.
Consider implementing quarterly check-ins that include career development goals, questions about performance and what they would change about their working environment if they could. Alongside that, gather your executive team and determine who your top performers are. Make it a point to get to know those people and see what makes them tick.
Offer flexible working schedules if they need it and ask them where they want to go within the company. By recognizing their talent and skills, you show that you’re paying attention and are there to help them move along in their career. If you can offer competitive advantages like pay increases, all the better. And if you can’t, make sure that your top people have everything else they may need to flourish and thrive.
By simplifying company values, focusing on your employee experience, using real-time EX data and recognizing your top performers, you can create an amazing place to work. And when you have that, both your employees and customers will benefit. And what’s more brag-worthy than that?
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