Does your company have a culture committee? Before you swipe left, let me say that they are present in Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and everything in between. What are they and why would you have them? Let’s start with why people start them.

Typically, companies form Culture Committees because they are experiencing  a lot of turn-over, complaints or grievances. In some cases, they are being threatened by unionization and figure this would be a good defense. Some develop out of company social and fun committees. As more companies study how to retain good employees they have found that people leave because no one seems to care about them as a person. Common sense has suggested that giving people more opportunity for input, and for controlling their environment and how they work can be huge motivator, and the lack of input and control, a de-motivator.

What do Culture Committees do? In some cases, they are limited to being the social committee. They organize celebrations and create fun outside of daily work. In others, they articulate and help enforce the values and behaviors within the organization. Usually they represent every department. They meet at least monthly and different members take turns being the lead on projects or activities.

More importantly, they are a voice for the associates to management. I’ve heard several stories in the last few months about how the Culture Committee created safe spaces to discuss sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior within the company. It gave a voice for how people wanted to be treated, and alerted management to problem behavior that needed to be addressed before it became a legal matter.¬†Because associates already had a voice, it was a lot easier to take the temperature of how the company was behaving.

If for no other reason than that we are at full employment, and your good employees can leave very easily, it is worthwhile to consider what is being done to listen to your team. If you have a Culture Committee, ask them. If you don’t, this week consider how you are regularly taking the temperature of your team to improve the climate you are creating for success. Culture Committees can do all of the above.


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