Every one has a company culture. Whether it’s good or bad it’s there – but does your company culture add to your organisation’s impetus in achieving its goals, or does it prevent it from doing so?
Company culture is often described as a fingerprint, unique to only that company.
Think about this for a moment. Your product range, service offering or business strategies can change tomorrow; replicated or dissolved for something better.
Yet, even when this happens, one thing remains – company culture.
So what is culture?
Company culture is a set of shared beliefs and values set by the leadership that is emphasised across all business units and departments through various communication methods, with the hopes of employee buy-in.
Company culture shapes employee behaviours and perceptions of the company; ultimately characterising an organisation.
So why should you care about company culture?
You should care about your company culture because quite simply it defines your organisation.
Think of it as your company’s personality.
Would you engage a person with a bad personality or do you tend to avoid any type of engagement altogether?
If you have a bad ‘personality’ a.k.a culture you could find employees who do not want to interact with you. Even worse, just like you wouldn’t go out of your way to introduce a person with a bad personality to your friends, your employees wouldn’t go out of their way to introduce new customers to you.
This is a problem.
Culture defines how your company engages with its employees, customers and suppliers. It’s your DNA. Ultimately it's the handbook that sets the expectations for employees, customers and other stakeholders. It’s part of your offering to attract new employees, customers or partners.
Employees want to work for the best companies and customers want to do business with the best companies because it aligns with their values.
Here are 8 simple, actionable ways to give your company culture a boost today:
1. Set a vision, mission and values.
First set a vision, mission and establish core values. You can remind your employees of your company values can be done in a fun, non-corporate-speak way.
Introduce a 30 seconds-style game using your values or create tradable cards – because employees want to feel part of the process.
They want to have a sense of purpose and belonging so keep encouraging them to push forward because what they do is far bigger than they realise to help the company achieve its goals.
2. Step up your company collaboration game.
Enough with the overscheduling. Back-to-back meetings are not productive and create a meeting culture rather implement an agile, collaborative culture.
Implement modern collaboration tools and boost transparency across projects, teams and the company as a whole.
Easy, efficient ways to connect with colleagues allow for opportunities to communicate in a modern, social way that makes room for real connections.
For instant chats and quick notes try Slack or Yammer. For a really great way to project manage and stay organised, try Trello or Jira. To create a sense of flexibility for your employees, especially if they need to take a personal day to take care of sick kids or parents, try video conferencing tools such as Skype, GoToMeeting or Google Hangouts. If employees feel as though they are still able to maintain a work-life balance they will be more willing to go the extra mile for the company.
3. Be transparent with your employees.
Transparency has a positive effect on the whole company.
Sharing company success motivates employees to continue doing great work while sharing company challenges can promote innovation.
Transparency builds respect and trust from within the company. And respect and trust are attributes of great company culture.
4. Strengthen coworker relationships.
Encourage stronger coworker relationships. People are social creatures. According to Gallup, people who with a good friend at the office are seven times more likely to be engaged and satisfied with their job.
Take a look at some significant stats relating to the benefits of strong co-worker relationships:
- They are 43% more likely to report having received praise or recognition for their work in the last seven days.
- They are 37% more likely to report that someone at work encourages their development.
- They are 35% more likely to report coworker commitment to quality.
- They are 28% more likely to report that in the last six months, someone at work has talked to them about their progress.
- They are 27% more likely to report that the mission of their company makes them feel their job is important.
- They are 27% more likely to report that their opinions seem to count at work.
- They are 21% more likely to report that at work, they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day.
Is your culture cultivating strong co worker interaction?
If not, read on for some more ways to boost your company culture.
5. Give recognition and reward for great work.
Did you know that high-recognition companies have 31% lower voluntary employee turnover than companies with poor recognition cultures?
Think about how much money a 31% employee turnover reduction could save your company.
One way to achieve this is to identify employee behaviours and performance that are aligned with your business goals and of course, your values.
Next, recognise it, make it public and reward such behaviour and performance to encourage repeat performances.
But empower all employees and managers to do the same – don’t just make it a top-down recognition strategy. Empower everyone in the company to recognise those behaviours and very soon, it will become part of your culture – a culture of recognition.
Peer-to-peer recognition is very effective in instilling recognition and reward as part of your company culture.
It equips all employees to recognise their peers for a job well done and enables organic recognition across the company.
6. Give your employees feedback.
Companies don’t give their employees enough feedback. This results in employees not understanding their role and having a sense of purpose.
And nope, the yearly performance review isn’t enough!
Employees cannot wait 12 months for feedback – during that time, how can they improve if they don’t know what to improve on?
Timely feedback from employers from a manager can impact performance whether you’re a start-up or a mid-sized company.
Give your employees timely feedback – it’s a powerful tool to help them understand what they are doing well, and what they aren’t and more importantly how to fix it.
7. Cultivate team spirit
When you use the word ‘team’ instead of ‘employees’ to engage, you immediately create an understanding within the company that you don’t just view them as random individuals grouped together.
Instead, you are promoting collaboration and collective accomplishment. No silos but unified teams all focused to deliver great results for the company.
8. Encourage your employees to have autonomy.
When you want to create a company culture that inspires trust, you first need to trust your employees.
If you’re going to be successful, you will need to create decision-making opportunities for your employees, establish autonomous teams and have a workshop on micromanaging with some of your managers.
When employees fully embrace autonomy, they migrate from blaming others to taking accountability for their actions.
Building a great company culture takes time.
For any company culture to be great, all stakeholders need to buy into the company vision and values and make sure that it aligns with their own values and beliefs.
You don’t want employees to merely accept your company vision and values; you want them to champion it.
Company culture is ever-evolving. Therefore, dedicate time and resources to cultivating a great one so that your employees can truly live it.
Drop us a line in the comments section below about what you’re doing to boost your corporate culture.