10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Company Culture
If you own a business, you must know how difficult it can be to keep it afloat. Working with clients, tracking sales and strategic planning aren’t simple activities. Good company culture can be the golden thread that ties everything together. While this might seem unattainable at times, there are many benefits, which is proven both holistically and scientifically.
If we take a look at companies such as Zappos or Google, they manage to employ top talent even without paying highest industry salaries. They invest time and energy into building a positive company culture which permeates their business. When we speak of methods, here are ten steps that can be taken in order to infuse your business with much-needed company culture change:
1. Create a Culture of Transparency
Lack of information sharing can be a factor in hampering productivity and overall happiness in your company. If you establish a system where workers have open access to company operations and planning, this will make them feel like they have a voice. What’s even more important is that this will also build trust between company leadership and the employees. This is the foundation of any successful business. In order to achieve this, open communication channels in the company – use chat services, video conference software, project management platforms, so all workers can be up to date on the latest news.
2. Have a Developed Vision and Mission
One of the key aspects of any quality business is how developed these two aspects are. Company leaders must know what core values shape their business, what their approach to clients will be and how success is defined and performance is measured. If these “big three” are answered and put into concise short statements, it can help workers better understand the company’s mission.
3. Welcome New Ideas
This can be very tricky, but it’s one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy company culture. Management often believes that their situational awareness gives them an advantage over employees. Workers might lack that level of awareness, but due to their unique position, they know best what really works and what doesn’t, and their advice is to be heeded. The truth is, they both hold pieces of the puzzle, and workers should be encouraged to share their ideas and experiences. Even mistakes should be shared and learned from as that is the best way to develop solutions for the future.
4. Deal With Problems
Create lines of communication through which employees can voice their concerns regarding everyday company operations. This should be your early warning system and a bulwark against management-induced mistakes that can cost you customers and/or profits. Act quickly and effectively in this regard and keep your employees in the loop when solving these issues.
5. Be Flexible
A great way to reduce turnover and improve overall morale is to give your employees more leeway with their work-hours. Allowing workers to take sabbaticals when needed, not have a fixed time when they have to be in the office, or allowing a parent to go and see their child’s play can have a very positive effect. This can be even easier to do these days with modern online attendance management systems which can boost your flexibility in this regard.
6. Find The Right People
Reflect on your values and beliefs and then find candidates which reflect these values, especially if they command a specific skillset which complements your company. Establish a selection process where you will test a future employees’ motivation for the work they’ll be performing.
7. Train Your Staff
Every HR knows training is key to developing a successful, knowledge-based business. Allow your employees to choose their own additional education and specialize according to their preferences. Create a large enough budget for training, so your employees can go to conferences, have access to e-learning or even bring educational speakers to your own firm. Make this process transparent and encourage workers to participate. When an employee expands their skill set, that is a direct boost to the quality of your company.
8. Give Staff Small Benefits
Things that seem minor can brighten up your workspace and create a much more relaxed atmosphere. If you cannot afford big paychecks, make sure to have fruit in the kitchen, for example, make mulled wine on a Friday, make it a thing to bring cake to work, have lunch together once every week. This might seem trivial, but it is exactly these small things that give us enough energy to move forward and actually make work much more bearable.
9. Live The Narrative
One of the trade secrets of really big players is the skill to unearth a company’s history and then craft it into a unique story. This is called the power of the narrative and it is the very core of culture creation. Find your story, shape it and then sell it.
10. Go all The Way With it
Building this kind of company culture requires a large time and energy investment. One of the main goals is to create a culture which reflects the values you have established. This is not an easy task, and can do more harm than good if you don’t follow through. It is also important to note that this process does not end, it is a constant, living thing which can be, a never-ending source of energy and enthusiasm for everyone in the company.
About The Author
Stacey Cooper is a freelance blogger, a journalist and a media manager. Through her work, she tries to connect her different interests- passion for writing and interesting business tips, with a just-right dose of humour. A highly creative and enthusiastic individual interested in new business strategies, marketing and entrepreneurship.