Company culture is a really crucial component of your business. Your team’s satisfaction, cohesion, and productivity all hinge on it, so learning how to improve culture can give your business a pretty big boost. Of course, it’s a complicated thing influenced by all manner of workplace features like employee personalities, work ethic, expectations, schedules, breaks, décor, and so on. In short, everything that occurs within your office will in some way contribute to its culture. So you really want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to create a culture that pushes you forward instead of drags you behind! Here are seven ways to get your company culture on track:
Seven Ways to Improve Your Company Culture
Change Culture from the Top Down
Your company’s culture has a role model – and it’s you. Make sure you’re modeling the behavior that you want to see in your teammates each and every day. If you’re trying to stop office gossip, then don’t contribute to it and shut it down immediately when you hear it. If you want to see more punctuality on deadlines, then always meet your own or complete projects ahead of time. This will ripple down to influence your coworkers, and they’ll put a lot more stock in your directions since they know you practice what you preach.
Adopt Some More Flexible Work Practices
For your employees, one of the most prominent features of company culture is how controlling or laid back the boss is. If they’re putting up with passive-aggressive comments for being a few minutes late, getting lectured for working on a project in their own way, or just feeling like they aren’t appreciated, then expect a lot of dissatisfaction and burnout.
You want your employees to genuinely care about what they’re doing. You’ll see a lot more productivity if your team is motivated by passion than if they’re working out of fear. Adopting more flexible work practices can improve your company culture almost immediately. Of course, “flexible” doesn’t mean you should let everyone roll in an hour late or put off deadlines until the last minute. But having the option to do some work remotely, rewarding hard-workers with paid leave, and just showing general respect for your team’s autonomy goes a long way.
Have a Long Talk with the Talented Jerk
No one, no matter how much they bring to the table, should be above the rules set for all other employees. Too often does “top performer” status exempt a worker from showing up on time, being kind to others, contributing to projects, participating in events, etc. It may not seem like it, but their stellar performance doesn’t make them a valuable employee – factor in empathy, maturity, and support and you might find out just how invaluable other employees are!
Have you ever seen the incredible amenities that top companies like Google and Facebook give their employees? Gyms, meditation classes, on-site healthcare and child care, great dining options, tennis courts. It might sound like a bit much, but it does wonders for the company culture.
It’s ok if you can’t afford those things, but making sure your employees feel well-treated is essential if you want to create a constructive company culture. Consider investing in a wellness program for your employees by giving them little gifts like gym memberships, gift cards for the spa, or tickets to a movie or concert.
Company Crisis? Take Advantage of It
If you want to improve your company culture in fast and enduring ways, dealing with office crises the right way is essential. When things go awry, running your employees into the ground or doing little more than striving to get back to business as usual isn’t going to be helpful. Instead, treat the moment as a learning experience and get everyone motivated to come back stronger than ever! If you can integrate this type of thinking into your company culture, it will have some seriously positive outcomes.
Align Culture with Company Values
Every company should have an ideal set of values that all employees follow. No one really expects an office to match up with it perfectly, but the more you can bring your company culture in alignment with those core values the better! For instance, if a core value of your company is collaboration then you should foster collaboration among your team every chance you get. That might mean tweaking the work environment, shifting around the desks, making some changes to the schedule, or planning some new types of meetings and events – do whatever you can to encourage the right frame of mind and interactions to make it happen.
Leave no room for the idea that employees who work to their breaking point are ideal workers. Burnout will make them dread coming to work, they’ll grow resentful, and sour the entire mood. Give your team ample time to socialize and get some fresh air. This is way more important than most companies seem to realize, and quite a few top businesses credit their more laid back work environments for their employees’ high productivity.
Improve Company Culture FAQ
What is company culture?
Company culture is the overall “personality” of the workplace. It’s made up of a lot of factors like the environment of your office, the atmosphere, the personalities of the people you hire, the length of lunch breaks, the perks you give your employees, your company’s mission statement, and so much more. It’s an elusive but powerful component of your business, and it’s a strong predictor of success and productivity.
Why is company culture important?
You know how you just “click” with some people but not with others? The same thing can happen with employees and your company’s culture. You want to hire people who identify with your company culture rather than those who hate it or poke fun at teammates for participating in it. Some executives don’t put much value on improving company culture, but if you think productivity and engagement are important factors, then it follows that company culture, which greatly influences both, is worth looking into!
How do you describe company culture?
You and your team should be able to identify your company’s culture pretty easily. Just brainstorm about the words that come to mind when they think about the workplace “personality.” Do your best to avoid cliché words like “innovative,” “ambitious,” or “dedicated.” Focus on more meaningful and truthful words.
Here are some helpful questions: Is your company team-focused or is your team at its best when they can work individually? Do you give the direct orders or is there a lot of diplomacy? Do you give everyone a carefully structured plan or are you pretty flexible? What are your company’s missions? Do your employees feel well-treated? How excited or bored does your team often look? These are a few of many questions that could help you narrow down the qualities of your company’s culture, but make sure you open up the floor to hear your team’s thoughts.