A Strong Company Culture Starts with an Effective Training Program

Google employees embrace “Googliness.” While there’s no clear definition for the descriptor, it’s often applied to a core set of values, which include being honest, ethical, proactive, and goal-focused. Beyond the free lunches, visiting speakers, and nap pods, Google focuses heavily on building a positive company culture for its staff. The company’s mined thousands of data points to identify eight qualities of effective managers, which are now shared with all managers at Google to help them build better relationships with their teams.

Google has good reason for putting effort into effective training — investing in culture pays off. GlassDoor found that companies named to the “Best Places to Work” list consistently outperform companies on the S&P 500 by 115%.

Similarly, entrepreneur Andrea Cotter describes the beginning of her rich, lengthy career with IBM as “like learning a new language–a whole new set of behaviors.” Learning this new set of behaviors kept Cotter engaged enough to stay for 31 years. An assimilative company culture ensures that employees feel belonging; that they become a part of the company rather than just another replaceable part.

So how do you achieve this high-quality company culture? It’s a multifactor process, but most importantly, it takes consistent corporate training that’s crafted to reflect your brand and values as a company. Assimilation begins when a new hire steps into the training room, and continues each time your employees access corporate training materials or reference content.

Keep your training content in-house.

Take control of the way your content performs by bringing it in-house. Have a strong sense of your company’s brand and values, and know how to place culture at the forefront in each piece of learning content that you publish. Identify where your company’s strengths are in content development and delegate roles accordingly–look to subject-matter experts on your team to provide insight for training manuals and videos. They already know your corporate culture inside and out.  

Focus on your existing data to optimize training initiatives.

As Google did with its Project Oxygen, look at your company’s own employee productivity metrics to help you evaluate what content and communication styles are most effective to build a strong internal team, and make it clear to managers what their priorities should be. As managers get better at training staff and managing their teams, you will be able to demonstrate your success over time by seeing improvements in poor-performing teams.

Take advantage of customization.

Have a conversation with your workforce and understand what makes them tick. While you certainly want them to assimilate and be part of your brand, the best way to keep them part of your culture is to make sure that they’re being heard. There’s no need to have one-size-fits-all content when you can find out definitively that your employees love interactive content, or that they prefer a mix of text, video, and infographics.

Customize your content to reflect what engages your employees, using elements such as:

  • Easy-to-digest text, utilizing bullet points, short snippets, and well-placed complementary elements
  • Images as media, including infographics and flowcharts
  • Video and audio that reinforce and complement other elements on the page
  • Dynamic content that provides an interactive approach to learning
  • Social-based content, such as a message board for discussions (bonus: interacting with coworkers helps assimilation!)

Provide consistent new-hire training and ongoing development.

It’s easy to lose sight of corporate culture once new-hire training is done and your employees are sitting behind the desk or heading into the field on their own. First impressions are important, but ongoing development and reinforcement is integral to ensuring that employees stay happy and loyal, so give your team members access to mobile training content that they can tap into as the need arises.

Employee training is your first chance to help new staff feel comfortable at your organization and learn your company values. With the right learning content and approach to training, you can emulate that “family unit” functionality and loyalty that aids employee retention and gives your company a reputation as a great place to work.

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