Learning & Development

Six Ways HR Leaders Can Create a Culture of Support

One of the most critical parts of a company is its culture. Company culture sets the standard for your employees regarding how they should behave, the quality of work they should produce, and how they can expect to be supported.

Company culture also gives insight into a business’s core values, vision, and mission. Your company culture must be inherently positive and overwhelmingly supportive for your leaders and employees to be at their best.

You shoulder much of the responsibility of defining, creating, and maintaining company culture as an HR leader. Here’s how to embrace this responsibility and develop a culture of support that employees genuinely appreciate. 

Ensure All Employees Understand Their Role

It’s nearly impossible to create a culture of support when your employees don’t understand their roles and how they fit into the larger organizational structure.

Ensuring employees know their roles and what they mean to the company helps them feel important. It also ensures they know whom to reach out to for whatever type of support they need, which encourages a greater culture of support.  

To ensure all employees understand their role and its fit in the company, create a detailed org chart, and distribute it to everyone. Your org chart should include each employee’s:

  • Photo
  • Job title
  • Location
  • Contact information
  • First and last name
  • Skills and expertise
  • Communication preferences
  • Length of time at the company

Hiring the right leaders is also crucial to creating a culture of support.

Hire the Right Leaders

As important as your lower-level employees are, creating a culture of support starts from the top down. If your leaders don’t value support, employee well-being, and positive company culture, they won’t prioritize these things.

On the other hand, if you hire dedicated, caring leaders who practice empathy and encourage trust, your company culture will reflect that. Devoted leaders are also skilled in making their team feel valued, heard, empowered, and admired.

Ensure your recruiting practices attract leaders who can help you create a culture of support. Craft job listings that drive home how important fostering a supportive company culture is to the role and what skills and experience you’re looking for to make this happen.

Create a diverse workforce, as well.

Build a Diverse Workforce

One of the best ways to create a supportive culture is to build a diverse workforce. You want people of all ages, races, ethnicities, cultures, backgrounds, and abilities to feel welcome in your company. Representation matters, and it’s a surefire way to emphasize your commitment to being as supportive as possible.

When you build a diverse workforce, it helps your employees feel secure and safe. In addition, people around them share the same experiences as them, which prompts a level of comfort that inspires authenticity.

Diversity and inclusion should be at the forefront of your recruiting and hiring strategy. Seek out differences, unique talents, and varying abilities in every candidate you bring on board.

In addition to building a diverse workforce, be sure you’re encouraging individualism.

Encourage Individualism

Encouraging individualism isn’t discussed enough in the conversation about creating a culture of support. When your employees can be themselves, they’re more likely to feel like the company they work for genuinely supports them.

Always encourage individualism in the workplace. For example, allow employees to express themselves in how they work and dress. In addition, create an environment where it’s easy for everyone to share their voice. 

Supporting professional development also contributes to a supportive culture.

Support Professional Development

A supportive company culture demands resources and guidance for professional development. When employees feel stuck in their positions and aren’t allowed to grow within a company, they leave.

You must provide resources and support for professional growth to help your employees feel like you care about their getting to the next level. It also betters the chance that your employees will stay with your company long term.

Sit down with each employee and create a professional development plan. Find out what they want to do next, and help them define the best pathway to get there. Consider providing in-house training or stipends for outside educational opportunities that help your employees advance their skill sets.

Flexibility is another factor in creating a culture of support.

Put Flexibility at the Forefront

A supportive culture acknowledges the fact that your employees are human beings, and work isn’t their whole life. Instead, they have responsibilities, passions, and projects outside of work that are incredibly important to them.

When you put flexibility at the forefront of your company culture, it supports employees in living a healthy, balanced life. So, offer flexible schedules. Support mandatory breaks throughout the day. Encourage and accommodate time off. Let your employees lead.

The more accommodating you are to your employees’ needs, the more supportive your company culture becomes.

Conclusion

There isn’t a company out there that can’t benefit from a more supportive company culture. Your employees will feel valued and appreciated, inspiring their best work. And it will be easier for your leaders to motivate and guide their teams. So, use the tips above to create a culture of support for your company. 

Katie Brenneman is a Guest Contributor at HR Daily Advisor.