Work culture encompasses your company’s ideologies and principles as well as the beliefs, thought processes and attitudes of your employees. Or as Entrepreneur.com has defined it, “a blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths all companies develop over time.” Your company culture is your company’s personality. A positive work culture can have a great impact on your company’s success, and the opposite is true as well. A poor work culture can really bring your company down.
Some companies think that a good company culture consists of providing exorbitant perks to new hires. While bigger, hipper offices and free food are definitely not downsides, they are not all that matters for a truly successful positive company culture. You need to create an environment where people feel free to express their ideas, even their disagreements, where people want to come into work every day and where they feel they are contributing in a meaningful way. I’m sure we all know what’s it’s like to be at a job strictly for the money; it stinks. The saying goes, “money can’t buy you happiness,” so it’s important for companies to make their culture fulfilling in other ways as well.
What are some things you may be doing that is hurting your company culture without even realizing it? A couple of things that might be hurting your business are:
- Not being flexible – Flexibility is key for much of the workforce these days. It can mean something small – like flexible hours and vacation time, or larger concessions – such as transferring office locations, telecommuting, and family leave. Letting your employees have more freedom to make choices in their work environment more than likely won’t affect your profit margins, but it will earn you the respect and loyalty of your staff.
- Reputation – Your internal reputation is just as important as your public image. People like to work for companies that do good and mean it. Having a good reputation can actually draw or repel potential customers and employees. It can also ultimately decrease your turnover.
Rob Markey, an employee loyalty expert, has said, “Loyal, passionate employees bring a company as much benefit as loyal, passionate customers. They stay longer, work harder, work more creatively, and find ways to go the extra mile.” Markey’s point is that creating a positive work culture is well worth the investment. You may be wondering how this affects your bottom line? It’s simple. Employees who are invested in their job will produce a better end product. Unhappy employees are less engaged at work and can have a negative impact on your bottom line.
What are some things you can do to help contribute to a better company culture? Here are three quick tips that can help your employees feel more at ease:
- Praise/Communicate – Try to create an environment where employees feel safe to express their opinions and ideas. Give praise openly for good work both present and past, it’s never too late! Also remember to be honest with your employees about what is really happening in the company. A bad surprise is the worst kind, and honesty can go a long way towards employee loyalty and dedication.
- Help them develop – As a company don’t you want the most competent, knowledgeable, dedicated, professional workers? Then why not help them get to that point? Professional development can help your employees know you care, not just about the job they do for you, but for them as a professional in your industry.
- Celebrate – Although good company culture isn’t strictly about perks, they can help. Sometimes people need work to be fun, if only for a little while. Having corporate events and celebrating things as silly as Pi Day on March 14th can help boost morale and make things a little more fun.
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What are your favorite aspects of your company culture? Comment below and let us know.