9 Ways to Improve Your Company Culture
From salary and benefits to training and growth, there are a number of factors that contribute to employee satisfaction. But one—sometimes overlooked—piece of the puzzle is a big one: company culture.
What Is Company Culture?
Company culture is the combination of the values, attitudes, and behaviors that make up a workplace environment. It’s how employees live the organization’s mission and interact with each other—and it has the power to make or break a company’s workforce if not properly tended to.
What Are the Benefits of a Positive Company Culture?
There are a variety of good outcomes when a company’s culture is thriving, including:
- Higher employee engagement
- Better team collaboration
- Lower turnover rates
- A healthier atmosphere
- Increased productivity
In addition, you’ll strengthen your employer’s reputation and brand thanks to happy employees spreading the word and leaving positive reviews on sites like Glassdoor.
How Can You Improve Your Company Culture?
There’s almost always room to improve your company culture. If you’re looking to make a move in the right direction, read on for nine ways you can start making changes.
- Ask and listen. Before you start tackling the issues contributing to a less-than-ideal culture, you have to know exactly what they are. The best way to find that out? Ask. It’s something not every company leader does, yet it can make all the difference. Once you know what employees’ pain points are, you can take meaningful action.
- Be transparent. It’s OK to admit when things need to be fixed. Employees want to trust their company leadership, and one key way to make that happen is through honest communication. And that goes beyond C-Suite executives communicating about culture improvement—it should trickle down to all levels of leadership and involve important, candid updates about key decisions and company news.
- Foster a team spirit. Especially in an increasingly virtual work environment, it’s important to encourage strong employee relationships and break down silos. We spend so many hours a week interacting with our coworkers that it only makes sense to enjoy each other’s company. A positive—and even fun—team dynamic can go a long way to improving employee happiness. While team-building activities and events can be helpful, it’s even more impactful to help carve out time to connect and find ways for employees to strengthen their bonds.
- Create a safe space. Diversity, inclusion, and belonging efforts shouldn’t just be lip service. People who don’t feel they can be their authentic selves at work aren’t likely to do their best work or contribute to a good team culture. It’s also critical to be mindful of employees’ well-being and mental health. Having a true open-door policy can go a long way to fostering openness and identifying when someone needs help.
- Be flexible. No one wants to miss out on family time and personal obligations because their employer isn’t flexible enough. Promoting a healthy work-life balance and trusting your employees to get their work done is a must these days, and it will also pay off big time with a great company culture.
- Don’t tolerate bad behavior. It only takes one person to throw off the vibe of an entire team. If you learn about an employee who isn’t pulling their weight or has a poor attitude, it’s best to handle it sooner than later before it has a chance to pull down the culture.
- Celebrate success. Being recognized for their hard work helps employees feel appreciated and seen. Recognition can come in many forms—from company-wide shout-outs to tangible benefits like prizes and bonuses. In turn, employees will want to continue performing well and reaching higher.
- Encourage learning and growth. Career advancement is a big factor in job satisfaction. When you have a culture that promotes continuous learning and professional development, employees will feel valued and motivated to grow. You can also encourage employees to mentor each other, which will help them expand their skills and build an even stronger team.
- Promote the company’s values. A company’s core values and purpose can really set the stage for a strong culture. If your top principles are, for example, respect, trust, and integrity, it’s important to not only emphasize them to each employee but also to make sure your leaders are living by them as well.
If you still want to make more improvements or check in on your progress, you can always go back to step #1 and ask for feedback. Having a say and being respected for their opinions will only further contribute to employees’ happiness and a positive company culture.