[Best Results] Improving Company Culture [in Financial Services]

By Jasmine Long
April 16, 2024
7 min read
Blog
Engagement

Ever walked into a party where no one’s talking to each other, the music’s off, and the snacks are stale? Well, bad corporate culture is kind of like that, but in the workplace. It’s where the energy’s flat, the morale is low, and nobody seems to really care about the work or each other. 

You might find folks watching the clock, counting down to quitting time or eyeing the exits. It’s the kind of place where collaboration goes to nap, and the only thing growing is the list of sick days. Yikes, right?

Improving company culture is more than paying for someone’s happiness. It takes clear goal setting, proper planning and empathy. Most importantly, it takes sound tactics and having the right tools to track and monitor the progress. In this blog, we’ll talk about how specifically financial services can improve their company culture. Often with geographically dispersed branches, banks and credit unions face unique challenges when cultivating connection and company culture.

What is the first step to build a positive company culture?

 

Geographically dispersed or not, one of the first (and most crucial) things you should do is define your organization’s purpose. And no, it’s not to “make money.” The purpose is about what value does an organization bring to its employees and the world. The purpose should provide a meaning for existence. It should also be something powerful that can bring your entire team together. Maybe you’re a community financial institution dedicated to helping underserved demographics. You care about your community and you believe in serving it right. This is your organization’s purpose and ensuring your workforce feels connected to this is paramount to building a positive company culture. 

Setting Precise Goals is The Foundation for Elevating Company Culture

 

Alright, you’ve got your purpose, now what? Time to set some goals, but not just any goals. We’re talking about precise, good goals, the kind that give direction, inspire action, and make sense in the grand scheme of your purpose. Instead of saying “Increase sales by 20% in Q2”, a better goal would be to “Increase the number of loans we approve for startups to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Goals have got to be clear, achievable, and, most importantly, they’ve got to matter to everyone within the organization, as well as make a change externally for the customers. When your goals resonate with the team, you’re not just ticking boxes; you’re building a roadmap to a corporate culture that’s robust, resilient, and ready for the future of the industry.

Company Culture Building Tools for Financial Services

 

Improving company culture for a business focused on financial services presents a unique corporate challenge. For credit unions and banks, creating a cohesive company culture isn’t just about bringing people together physically; it’s about forging a sense of unity and shared purpose across branches while providing clients with secure and reliable services This is where a solid company intranet tool comes into play.

 

An intranet turns multi-location business challenges into opportunities for connection and growth. It’s the go-to for HR teams looking to pulse-check employee engagement and nurture a corporate culture that transcends physical office space. With strategic use and heartfelt communication, an intranet becomes more than a tool—it transforms into the heartbeat of an organization, beating steadily to the rhythm of shared goals, compliance, successes, and a collective purpose.

 

6 Tactics of Improving Company Culture

 

Building a great workplace isn’t just about big ideas; it’s also about the useful tools and helpful strategies we use to get there. We’re going to dive into some practical advice on how to make a company a better place where everyone wants to be 

1 Unite the Team Around Passions and Meaningful Goals

 

You know how energized you feel when you’re part of something bigger than yourself? That’s what we’re aiming for in the workplace. When people are passionate about what they’re working towards, it’s like a buzz in the air—you can almost hear the hum of shared goals and aspirations. And hey, let’s be real, we all want to jump out of bed in the morning feeling inspired, not just heading to a job.

 

A company intranet can serve as a reminder of the bigger picture to all employees, by incorporating your brand imagery, messaging and quarterly goals into a dashboard that everyone sees daily. This helps each employee understand the mission and provides a visual representation of achievements. These are the most valuable assets that serve as a reminder for the purpose why they come to work. 

2 Turn Colleagues to Friends

 

Think back to your best day at work. I bet it involved a good laugh with a colleague or a shared success, right? That’s what turning colleagues into friends can do. It’s about having the right balance between the social and work aspect. 

 

This is where internal “social media” comes in.  Setting up a central virtual water cooler where everyone gathers to shoot the breeze can foster these moments of connection no matter where your team is. Share a picture from your weekend hike, give props to a team member’s killer presentation, or set up a quick poll for where the next team lunch should be. It’s all about creating those friendly vibes that make everyone feel like part of the office family where everyone is welcomed and cherished.

3 Create a culture of listening 

 

Active listening is the secret sauce for a team that’s firing on all cylinders. It’s when everyone feels heard that magic happens. It’s not that speaking up that matters—it’s about knowing that what you say makes a difference. That’s the kind of company culture where people don’t only work—they contribute, and that’s a beautiful thing.

 

This is where such a tool as intranet can be relevant. Picture a virtual bulletin board platform for voices. A place where polls aren’t just for show, where the ‘Employee of the Month’ is chosen by peers, and where the best idea for the office party theme gets the green light. It’s a place where you can run effective,  creative and engaging campaigns to build that close-knit corporate culture.

4 Celebrate People, Not Just Results

 

Let’s think about celebrations. Sure, numbers matter, but it’s the hardworking folks behind those numbers that really rock the boat. Imagine if we cheered for the assists as much as the goals—that’s how you build a team that’s solid to the core.

 

Instead of just talking about an increase in revenue in Q2, highlight the mastery or your sales team that brought in 5 new clients. Or the support team that encourages buyers to leave glowing reviews. Make deliberate space to celebrate people and motivate your teams to share kudos freely. Here at Intranet Connections, once every couple of weeks we make one of our morning huddle questions “Give Kudos to a colleague and put it on the intranet”. This simple act of camaraderie instantly adds to everyone’s day and brings all employees together in a celebration of our team’s overall purpose – to provide exceptional service to the customers.

5 Improve Employee Freedom and Independence through document management 

 

There’s something awesome about being able to handle stuff on your own at work, isn’t there? It’s that sweet sense of independence when you can simply grab what you need, and get on with being brilliant—no waiting around, no bottlenecks.

 

That’s freedom, and it’s huge for morale. It’s about making sure that when someone needs something, they can find it in the document library—no more of “Hey, do you have that file?” for the umpteenth time. It’s about self-service with a smile, digitally speaking. 

6  Develop Talent

 

Encouraging employees to learn new skills shows them that their organizations care about their growth and career progression. Not only does this foster trust within an organization, but it also has tangible benefits to the company.  Marketing teams can learn about new effective AI tools to improve workflows while IT members can discover and implement new security measures to help prevent breaches. 

 

The company intranet is where you can create a list of events and seminars staff members can sign up for and attend. Many of these online and in-person events are free so nothing comes out of your corporate pocket, but eager-to-grow team members get access to new learnings within an encouraging and talent-nurturing company culture.

 

Conclusion 

 

Fostering a positive company culture requires strategic planning, clear goals, and genuine empathy. Tools like a company intranet can aid communication, however, the real essence lies in listening, celebrating individuals, and nurturing growth. By uniting teams around meaningful goals, fostering friendships, and encouraging continuous learning, companies can create vibrant workplaces where everyone feels valued and motivated. 

 

Want to learn more about cultivating company culture? Check out our FREE E-Book available here

 

By Jasmine Long

Jasmine is passionate about harnessing the power of digital marketing to drive social impact. She previously was the Communications Assistant at Jumpstart Refugee Talent, a nonprofit dedicated to facilitating employment opportunities for refugees in Canada. She is currently the Marketing Coordinator for Intranet Connections!