Tips to Improve Company Culture
No business owner wants staff who are just putting in time to earn a paycheque. Ideally, your employees will feel invigorated by their jobs, invested in the overall business, and motivated to bring their best every single day.
Sounds too good to be true? It doesn’t have to be. Create an environment where people really feel that way by focusing on improving your company’s culture. Get it right, and you’ll enhance both productivity and employee retention while also turning your business into a desirable place to work.
If you think your workplace could benefit from an improved culture but you’re unsure of where to start and what to do, here’s some advice that will help you build a better office experience for everyone.
It won’t happen by accident
The company culture you want won’t grow all on its own. A little feeding and watering is required to create the optimal environment. To make sure it works, take it as seriously as you would any other important element of your business. Establish a system of personalized recognition and meaningful gratitude, including a peer-driven incentive program to reward top performers. Consider character, fit and temperament along with other personality attributes when making new hires. Remember to set the example you want to see followed, and encourage people at all levels of your company to do the same.
Don’t throw newbies in the deep end
Implement a system where all new employees learn the ropes from a peer or a group of colleagues in the initial days and weeks of their employment. Commonly known as ‘onboarding,’ this will ensure all incoming staffers properly and promptly learn the skills, jargon, practices and policies that will eventually become second nature. You’ll get the best results by getting beginners involved with their new office mates, rather than trying to learn the ropes by reading a big pile of paperwork about company policy.
Support employee efforts for personal growth and development
Set up a system where your staff feel supported in their efforts to improve and enhance their skills and training. Give people time off to take courses or classes, or offer to help pay the cost of training and education programs. You’ll wind up with grateful workers whose skills are better than they were before.
Integrate your office, and keep it fluid
Sitting at the same cubicle in a room full of like-minded colleagues every day of your working life is likely to breed boredom among employees. For a more dynamic office, mix people from different parts of the company together and rotating them through different groups and different desks. Moving people around prevents things from getting stale, while integrating teams helps build bonds across different departments, develops a sense of teamwork, and helps stimulate creativity and collaboration.
Trust comes from transparency
Employees feel ignored and neglected when they’re left out of the loop on decisions, or made to feel like the last to know about changes to company plans and processes. Foster a culture of openness and discussion at your workplace by creating policies that encourage people at every level to participate in big picture issues, and each other’s day-to-day successes and challenges. Be willing to apologize for bad decisions you make as a boss. Make sure your staff don’t face barriers to sharing knowledge and ideas by offering effective communication tools that utilize the most up-to-date technologies.
Be understanding about schedules
Whether it’s at the office or at home with the family, we all lead busy lives. For many people, juggling a hectic schedule is made easier when their workplace allows some flexibility. Whether it’s giving parents precious time to spend with their children at school plays, trips or sports events, allowing staffers with tough commutes to work from home here and there, or offering additional vacation time to those who deserve it, there are many ways to be adaptable and understanding while promoting a better work-life balance. Your employees will appreciate it, and they will pay you back with increased effort and commitment.
Take it outside the office
One good way to encourage a collaborative and creative spirit among your staff is to get them participating in activities together away from the usual environment of desks, computers and meeting rooms. Start up a softball team, meet for group hikes and nature walks, take a bike ride together or enter a corporate relay race. Alternatively, group meals and movie nights are easy-to-organize events that bring staff together in a relaxed environment and help build important bonds.
Treat staff like they’re your customers
Don’t just think of your employees as people who work for you. Instead, think of them as people who provide a range of valuable services that keep your business running smoothly, and represent the image of your company wherever they go. Treat them with the same respect and consideration you’d give to a valued customer. They’ll reflect that positive spirit onto one another, and onto your actual customers, making you and your company look good.