Perhaps you’ve heard the term ‘company culture’ here and there and are hungry for a few more details? Essentially, company culture refers to the behaviors and values which govern how the organisation interacts, beyond a strictly business sense.
Company culture is evident in every aspect of the business, from staff benefits to hiring decisions, company beliefs, office arrangements, and the satisfaction of employees and clients. It’s much about the relationship between staff, management, and the company practices overall.
Why is a strong company culture important?
In some businesses, a solid company culture will arrive organically without too much thought. Regardless, it’s also worthwhile to work on improving your current culture. With a strong business culture, you’re more likely to ensure that your staff are both engaged and happy. When employees have great job satisfaction and feel valued, high levels of creativity and productivity are more likely. You’ll also increase your chances of achieving consistent and impressive branding. Doing so will enable you to enhance your reputation within your target market. When a company culture is positive, the work produced will represent this.
1. Be flexible
Over time, common business practices and expectations change. An increasing number of companies are embracing the idea that offering more flexibility actually improves rather than limits productivity. Offering flexible office time, for instance, can be a great way to help employees to access more freedom, which in turn can result in more innovative ideas. Use the cloud and allow employees to work from home on occasion; offer days off on their birthdays; or the freedom to leave early due to family commitments. When you are flexible with your working arrangements, you’ll stand to improve your company culture.
2. Offer perks
Perks of the job can really help your company to improve the atmosphere and establish a sense of satisfaction and loyalty. Healthcare plans are one example, you could also offer wellness packages or free gym memberships. Regular exercise is crucial for both physical and mental health. In addition, exercise breaks help to boost productivity. Company retreats can be another valuable benefit as can training opportunities to study for a specific qualification. Offering the best work perks can make for a happier and more efficient office.
3. Obtain regular feedback
Hold regular one-to-ones with your employees to gather their feedback. Ask your staff if there is any extra training which they feel they could benefit from. Talk to them about the goals they have within their current position. Encourage them to tell you any ideas that they have or how they think the team could be improved. Employees will often have some great ideas which are based on their intricate knowledge of their role and the company. You may not be able to implement all of their suggestions, at least overnight, yet what you can do is ensure that you allow everyone to feel valued. Give your staff enough input toward the progression of their own role.
4. Revamp your office
The aesthetics of your office can really make or break the atmosphere. If your workspaces are dull and lacking charm, morale may decrease, and productivity will suffer. Create a vibrant workplace full of colour that reflects your branding. Use inspirational artwork, plus plenty of natural light and indoor plants. Each employee in your team is likely to have different working styles, so it’s useful to create an office space with this mind. Create open spaces with sofa chairs for those who like to chill with a notebook away from the computers. Design areas which can be used for collaboration, plus private spaces for those who sometimes require a quiet workspace. Remember to prioritise ergonomic furniture to ensure that staff do not sustain injuries from long periods of sitting down. Ensure that you conduct regular Safety Equipment Testing, depending on the equipment used in your organisation.
5. Team book club
Team book clubs can be an excellent way to enhance the company culture of your business. Firstly, such clubs give employees a chance to bond and discuss ideas beyond their set projects alone. Secondly, continuous learning is important for staff to stay passionate, stay inspired, and in-the-know about their industry. Offer staff free Kindles and choose industry-related books written by the top thought leaders in your sector.
6. Regular socials
Running regular socials for your company can allow everyone to get to know each other beyond a profession sense. When staff can relate to one another on a personal level, workplace morale will improve as will collaboration on projects. Drinks and dinner socials are pretty traditional, but why not shake it up a bit? Try group exercise socials or charity marathons, try escape rooms, or team-building retreats. We spend so much of our lives at work that it’s important to build healthy relationships with those who we work with. Failing to do so can mean a decrease job satisfaction and team spirit.
7. Shared values
Much of the time, culture is built upon the values of a business and it’s important that employees feel connected to these values. One way to ensure this, is to involve your staff when you are in a process of creating your company values. Call a meeting and allow your employees to answer the following questions:
- What do they believe to be the current values of the company?
- Which additional values could/should the company adopt?
- How can these values be adopted/reflected?
When you allow all staff members to collaborate together, it’s easy to create and work towards shared goals.
8. Mentoring programmes
Allow your more experienced employees to mentor those who are new to your company. Such employees could benefit from some training and advice. Mentoring can be an excellent way to promote a personable atmosphere and share skills. Often, those employees who are new will still be bringing plenty of new knowledge and tech skills to the organisation. Due to this, they will likely be able to teach their mentor a thing or two during their training process! Encourage your employees to reach out to their role models within the industry via LinkedIn. They can ask for advice and tips digitally via such platforms. Seeking out knowledge ongoing is key to feeling happy within your role, which in turn contributes to a great company culture.
9. Mental health workshops
Unfortunately, employee burnout is on the rise across many sectors. It’s not uncommon for staff to become stressed due to an inadequate work-life balance. With this in mind, providing workshops about positive mental health and be a great idea to help provide employees with appropriate coping strategies. Often, many of us know how to practice self-care at the weekend, yet when it comes to the working week- our good practices tend to decrease somewhat. Strategies like meditation can be great to incorporate into a positive mental health routine. For those who are a little unsure of where to start, guided meditation apps can be an excellent place to do so.
Companies with a strong work culture have a lower staff turnover than those who lack this. Inadequate work-life balance or job dissatisfaction is a key reason that many employees will choose to leave a job. While new employees are great for business, it’s a good move to create an atmosphere which attracts and keeps the best staff in the industry. Your competitors will know just as well as you do, that to keep the best staff you’ve got to create the right company. To create a company that impresses talented people, the key is in the culture.