At the heart of every great company is a strong culture. It’s what drives employees to do their best work and helps companies attract and retain top talent. We even go as far as ranking the best businesses, the most influential being Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. What would being on that list mean for you and your business?
If you’re looking to improve your company culture, here are some tips to get you started. Use these tips to improve your company culture by creating a more positive, productive, and enjoyable workplace for everyone.
Define company culture and what it means to your employees
- List your core values in your manual
- Come up with a cultural ‘tagline’ for quick reference
- Make sure your core values and tagline are visible in your business
- Clearly lay out company goals and employee contributions to said goals
Every business is different in some ways, and it’s important to make sure the entire team is on the same page. There are a few things you can do to make your values clear.
Making sure that new employees know what to expect during the interview process will help keep your turnover rates down. Employee retention begins at your first interview.
Connect people to your core values
While it is important to list your core values in your manual, you might consider how you list them. Simply saying you want a focus-driven, hardworking team won’t relay much to your employees. Saying things like, “We look for team members who are customer-focused; who are willing to go the extra mile for our customers and our business.”
You don’t want to just list character traits, you want to give examples of how traits benefit your business. You want people to see themselves adding to your team, and know exactly how they can do that.
Foster a sense of ownership and responsibility for the company’s success
Take the chip off your shoulder and realize that while you might be the owner, none of this is possible without your employees. Make sure that they know that too, that they have a sense of importance and urgency to their tasks. If everyone isn’t contributing to their fullest potential then your business won’t be successful and that will hurt your employees.
Of course, you don’t want to scare your employees or add extra stress to their tasks, but just make sure they know their importance to you and your business.
Build strong employee relationships
As a business owner, it might seem hard to keep up with your business, customers, and employees. But, we promise you that this is a way to improve your company culture.
Plan monthly, quarterly, or yearly outings as a team. Schedule one-on-ones with each team member. Spend time working on employee engagement and building trust with your employees. Simple monthly meetings can go a long way to ensuring your employees feel respected and listened to by their leadership.
Get a calendar to put as many important dates as possible. Put all the birthdays you can, and not just your employees, try to figure out their kids’ birthdays and anniversaries are great to remember too. Get a bunch of gift cards and a set of blank cards to keep in your office.
You don’t have to go all out, a $10 coffee shop gift card and a happy birthday card can go a long way.
Let employees make choices, have freedom, and express themselves
More and more you are seeing people leave jobs because they are just simply not happy. For some, being happy with your day-to-day job, the company you work for, and the people you work for is more important than pay. Having a work environment that people feel comfortable in is so important. You want people to feel like they have some control over can help overall job happiness tremendously.
Allow people the freedom to decorate their desks or offices. Promote office creativity, let people have a say in the design aspect of the office, and have space for people to relax at work.
Reconsider your policies against tattoos, dyed hair, facial piercings, and other things deemed “unprofessional” by previous generations. Your claim could be for hygiene issues not to have visible piercings, but dyed hair and tattoos won’t hurt the quality of your product. Things are changing, and is it really necessary to stifle creativity at your company?
Promote work/life balance
The next generation of employees is not interested in spending all of their time working or thinking about work, and they will not settle on that. Time off, flexible work hours, paid maternity leave, a hybrid work environment, benefits and bonuses are just some of the ways to promote a steady work/life balance. Respect your employees’ lives outside of the office and we promise you will get more out of them in the office.
Encourage employee recognition
We know that in bigger corporations and businesses it can be hard to ensure employee recognition. There are quite a few ways you can be more consistent with your recognition:
- Regular weekly, monthly, or quarterly rewards
- Bonuses or incentives
- Regularly thank your team in creative ways
- Provide ways for your management and team leadership to recognize and reward their specific departments
Setting aside money in the budget for these things can go a long way. It can be as simple as providing breakfast once a month to ensure everyone feels recognized. You can also go all out and organize competitions to reward the hardest workers. There are several ways to recognize your team’s continuous good work and to foster even more hard work from your team.
Lead by example
All of these tips have a chance for you, as a business owner or corporate leader, you can take part in improving company culture. If you are doing these things, then you are showing your employees just how important they are to you. You can create a strong company culture by following these tips yourself.