The term company culture has become something of a business buzz phrase in recent years, but unlike so many other management buzzwords, it is one that can genuinely transform your business with quantifiable results. Now is the time for every SME owner to invest in building a stronger company culture.
So, what exactly is company culture, and how do you build it? Here’s what you need to know:
Why Is The Company Culture So Important?
Company culture is a term that ultimately describes the brand personality, atmosphere within the working environment, and general ethos of the business. In many ways, they are the guidelines for how the company performs its tasks—whether that relates to productivity, customer care, or any other aspect of the operation.
Every business has a company culture, even if they don’t realize it, and it can have a huge influence on a range of crucial features, including but not limited to;
- Staff turnover rate,
- Employee motivation and productivity,
- Colleague collaboration,
- Brand image for consumers,
- Brand image for investors, partners, etc.
Essentially, company culture is a crucial feature that aims to unlock maximum staff productivity as well as optimal customer appeal. As global giants like Google pave the way by paying careful attention to their company culture (with their informal TGIF meetings and 20-minute meeting limits), growing businesses can learn from them and curate their own cultures that can influence their everyday business practices and relationships.
What Can Your Business Do?
Appreciating the need to boost employee output and brand appeal through an improved company culture is one thing, but actually implementing it is another. In order to see the very best results, you’ll need to build a comprehensive culture that your employees work toward strengthening and protect your culture at all costs.
These five steps below can help you build an effective company culture that will motivate your employees, secure their loyalty, and propel your business forward with greater levels of productivity:
1. Utilizing Employee Rewards Program
Maintaining high levels of motivation is an essential ingredient in the recipe for optimal productivity. When employees have a genuine incentive to work harder, they will.
Financial incentives (bonuses, salary increases, etc.) are the most obvious—and typically the most effective—reward for well-performing employees, but there are plenty of non-monetary options, too. It could be a company party, a social media shoutout, or an hour off on a Friday afternoon—any show of recognition for good work is sure to leave a positive impact on your staff’s mindset and motivation and encourage them to keep improving their output.
If nothing else, employee reward programs prevent the threat of staff members falling into a lull. It motivates them to keep striving for more while the positivity gained from praise and rewards can inspire the team to work harder, too.
2. Building A Constructive & Safe Work Environment
The condition of the working environment can have a huge impact on staff productivity for a host of reasons. When the workplace isn’t held to a high standard of both safety and respect, you may lose employee trust and cause them to feel unsafe.
While removing any safety hazards—both physical and mental—from the office is your first priority, the concept of building a constructive workspace should extend to the politics within the environment. It’s important for businesses to establish and enforce no-tolerance policies for bullying, harassment of any kind, and other negative or inappropriate behaviors.
Aside from this, you should also establish a clear dialogue between employees and the HR department or management team. A reputation of responding to complaints in a fast and efficient manner will significantly enhance company culture.
3. Encouraging Collaboration
It’s the oldest cliché in the business manual, but teamwork really does make the dream work. Individual success and productivity will provide a solid foundation to build upon, but smooth collaborations will take the business to a whole new level.
As far as tech infrastructure is concerned, using cloud-based communication and project management software will work wonders. The idea of building a united team should extend to remote-based employees, which is why video chat and team messaging apps can prove invaluable additions.
As well as encouraging employees to collaborate with colleagues in their team and other departments, you must be accessible too. Supervisors should communicate frequently with their subordinates so they know their voice is heard and understood. The more secure they feel in sharing their ideas, the more innovative their suggestions will become. And as they collaborate with you and their colleagues, creative ideas can build off each other to reach solutions that may have otherwise never been discovered.
4. Investing in Activities Outside the Workplace
Company culture should not be restricted to activities within the office or during working hours. Extracurricular activities as a team can be a great tool for bringing your staff together, especially when you unite to give back to the community or support causes you all care about. When employees can genuinely take pride in the company, they will display improved mood and productivity.
Arranging work outings such as sporting events, celebration dinners, or team building days can be a great way to ensure that colleagues get to know and understand each other better. Seeing that their co-workers have regular lives outside of work can help your staff have more sympathy towards one another and work harder to collaborate while at work.
Take for example, IronEdge Group, a Houston-based Managed IT Services Provider who regularly invests in activities outside of work. “Actively pursuing activities outside of our day-to-day work lives absolutely contributes to the productivity of our business,” says IronEdge Group’s COO, Andrew Moore. “Whether it’s tickets to a Houston Astros game or a community involvement event for charity, we’re always looking for ways our team can interact outside of the workplace and strengthen their relationships.”
A team of people that trust each other and feel comfortable discussing problems and solutions within the workplace will inevitably perform at a far higher level than one that doesn’t.
5. Recruiting The Right Personalities
Establishing a positive company culture is one thing, but maintaining it is another. After investing heavily in building a company culture that unites your staff and develops greater productivity, it’s imperative that all future employees follow suit.
Recruitment is one of the biggest challenges facing any modern company, but picking candidates solely on their qualifications and experience is never a smart move. The personality of an individual will have a huge impact on their productivity as well as the survival of your well-built company culture. Do not hire an employee that you think might have issues fitting in with your culture.
Choosing the right candidates will ensure that your business continues to strengthen its company culture and perform to the desired levels for maximized productivity and profitability.
In sum, a good company culture is one of the most important aspects of business management as it will influence the output of all staff members and, consequently, the success of the business as a whole. If you want your business to thrive, aim to create a company culture that even your clients and customers can tell is working. Your business will be on the road to great levels of success in no time.
How to Create a Great Company Culture
Source: HR.com Articles