Does your company even care?
We’ve all heard the phrase, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” And it’s true. Most of us can resonate with this personally. But what about professionally?
In this post, we'll share another reason why Click Rain’s culture has been so successful. The reason? Care. Genuine, interpersonal care and healthy workplace culture go hand in hand.
Caring is Courageous
First, let's address one assumption. Caring could easily be interpreted as too soft a word for the professional world—too feelings-oriented compared to the raw dollars-and-cents data of business. In my experience, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The kind of caring I’ve seen at Click Rain is courageous. And practicing courageous care as an organization has helped us foster healthy, dependable employees whose work generates sustainable growth and brand awareness for our business. There's nothing soft about that!
Now let's compare and contrast company and personal forms of care.
At the company level, caring looks like:
- Making people the driver of your decision making. This means profit is considered—it’s part of the decision making process—but it doesn't have the final say. People do. People are at the forefront of every decision, weighted with healthy doses of profitability, and leading to balanced decisions of give and take. We don’t always do this perfectly, but we do it well. Whether it’s project timelines or health benefit decisions, considering your people first is key.
- Making investments into your people. Opportunities to invest are around every corner, at every price point, so here's a guiding principle: If you find something that would energize your people, and it makes sense for your business, do it. Better coffee? Yes. Company bikes? Yes. A mother’s room? Of course. Birthday holiday? Sure. Company swag? Why not? More internal training, monthly lunches, better policies? Yes! If you can't afford bigger price point items right away, consider how you might plan for them in the upcoming year. Let your people know you’ve heard them and communicate the plan. Lastly, be sure to re-evaluate what fills your team's cup as they grow over time, and adjust as necessary.
- Making relationships priority. Click Rain leans heavily into our people-first mission and core values. This means relationships and respect are priority. Hiding behind our screens as a digital marketing agency is not acceptable; we strive to foster real connections with our peers and our clients. This is how we all win. In a world where it’s easy to disconnect and isolate, forming real human connections is the life source that fosters a caring attitude for others. And that's what we all crave, isn't it? Connection.
At the personal level, caring looks like:
- Empowering our people to think outside the box. This applies to the whole organization, but specifically our people managers. If we are doing the company-level caring well, employees will often share areas of struggle or big life events with managers. And when that occurs, we try to take action. First, we encourage employees to take advantage of their robust health benefits, designed with the whole person in mind. But we're also not afraid to think outside the box if further care is needed. Sometimes this means alternate work hours, hiring help at home, stepping up to give in some way, providing meals, throwing a bridal shower, or simply committing to check in more often. These acts of personal care go a long way and nurture deeper trust amongst our team.
- Involvement in culture at every level of the organization. Yes, top-down leadership is essential, but the real magic happens when everyone in the organization personally commits to contributing to company culture in a healthy way. Click Rain has a culture team, called Atmosphere, that meets monthly to discuss our core values, company events, and ways we can care for our team. Notably, this group is composed of people from all departments and levels within the organization. During our time working remotely this year, the Atmosphere team was critical to the personal care of our staff. They dreamt up creative ways to stay connected, kept an open mind during hard times, and actively cared for our team members.
- Commitment to the hard conversations. If you’re going to commit to caring well, you can't skip this last point. Caring isn’t all fluff and fun. Caring means having the courage to confront hard conversations. If someone isn’t meeting the mark, and you’ve made relationships a priority, you’ll care enough to talk about it, offer solutions, and gracefully move forward. Caring also means having hard conversations with yourself. Ask: Why aren’t things going well? Am I fulfilling my duties? Have we failed to meet a need? While perhaps not the fun part of caring, it is caring nonetheless—and a critical part of building a better culture.
If you’re reading through this thinking you have a lot of work to do, don’t fret. Pick one or two areas to focus on and build from there. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is great culture. Simply communicating to your team that you're committed to great culture is an essential first step. How has your company cared for you in the past? Or how do you care for the people you manage? We want to hear!
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