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Unlocking Your Workplace Culture through Candid Feedback

3 min read.



Employer Branding, Brand Authenticity

Attracting top talent is an ongoing battle. To win, you need an authentic workplace culture that resonates. Here's how to uncover your culture's harsh truths through candid employee feedback...

Developing a strong culture helps define the truth about what it is like to work at a company and will help candidates identify whether that company and that role is for them.

Only applicants that are the best fit for that culture and find impact, purpose and belonging in the role, will stick around for the long term. The following strategies will ensure your culture is boldly defined and provide a firm foundation for your employer brand.

Find and fix your culture 

No culture is perfect, but some are more robust and clearly defined than others. Gauge the strength of yours by collecting anonymous employee feedback through surveys and focus groups. Measure the key drivers of engagement, satisfaction, and intent to stay.

When interviewing employees and leaders, a good question to ask is: "If it was your job to dissuade somebody from joining this organisation, and you couldn't lie, what would you say?"

It creates safety and signals that criticism is welcome, which builds the connection and trust needed for vulnerability and authentic sharing.

When you have heard the replies to that, ask: "What’s your advice for someone starting here on how to survive and even thrive?"

You will hear inspiring stories of grit, growth, camaraderie and persevering through adversity. Really valuable insight and a basis for creating great content later on.

Your employees are the real subject matter experts on your workplace culture, so actively listen to their perspectives and act on their insights. Look at metrics around recruiting, retention, advancement, and sentiment data to determine if your culture is delivering on its employee value proposition - the "Give" of compelling reasons to join and stay at your company. And examine whether employees are meeting the "Get" of high performance, growth, and cultural contributions expected of them.

Continuously monitor the Give and Get dynamic. If employees feel the Give no longer aligns with the Get demanded of them, your culture and employer brand will suffer. Make the necessary adjustments to close any gaps between what you promise and deliver as an employer. An authentic culture that lives up to its pitch resonates with candidates and keeps employees engaged long-term.

Hardwire DEI into your culture

DEI initiatives should be woven into the fabric of any workplace culture. Candidates today consider companies' diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments when making job decisions, so DEI efforts need to go beyond lip service. A focus on equity and inclusion is the best way to ensure you reach the desired level of diversity, rather than solely relying on quotas and other metrics. Embrace an equitable and inclusive culture that values different perspectives and backgrounds to create an environment where diverse talent can thrive.

But to make DEI work for your business align it with your company's culture and objectives, and measure its impact on those goals to secure ongoing leadership buy-in.

Explain the actionable steps you're taking, such as changes to sourcing, recruiting, training, promotion processes, and work environments. Transparently demonstrate your DEI progress and its effect on the business - it's critical for success and authenticity.

Go bold with your employer branding

Bland, forgettable employer brands won't cut through and capture the attention of a candidate audience. Your brand should go beyond merely being attractive to being compelling. Impossible to ignore.

Let potential and current employees know that joining your organisation means being part of something unique and dynamic. When developing GVC's employer brand strategy, we identified opportunities by analysing their competitors. This allowed us to create a distinct, ownable position that competitors couldn't replicate. The key is staying true to your authentic story while finding a fresh, attention-grabbing perspective.

While you may have an interesting and exciting workplace culture, if you don’t hook people into it through the use of great content. employer testimonials on video, great photography, blogs, and other user-generated content you are not going to capture the talent you want.

Developing a strong culture defines the truth about what it's really like to work at a company and will help candidates identify whether that company and the role on offer aligns with their values and needs. Ultimately, only applicants who are the best cultural fit and genuinely engaged with the role will stick around long-term.

Identify, define and differentiate your culture to bring in the right talent for your organisation.


 - Get brutally honest employee feedback. Create a safe space for criticism to uncover your culture's true strengths and weaknesses.

 - Look beyond surface-level engagement metrics. Measure if your culture is delivering on its "Give" (reasons to join/stay) and whether employees are meeting the "Get" (performance/growth expected). Close any gaps.

 - Hardwire DEI into your culture by aligning initiatives with company objectives and measuring the business impact, not just hitting diversity quotas. An equitable, inclusive environment allows diverse talent to truly thrive.

 - Don't settle for a bland, forgettable employer brand. Find a fresh, attention-grabbing perspective that's authentic to your story and sets you apart from competitors.

 - Tap into the power of user-generated content - videos, photos, blogs, etc. Employees' stories bring your exciting workplace culture to life and help candidates see if they're a fit.

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