Company culture is one of those vital elements of your business reputation, one that has an impact on what sort of employees you can attract, all the way to defining how the public perceives you – because what happens inside your walls will ultimately reflect on your entire brand presentation. However, as employees as the very lifeblood of your brand, making sure that you carve the optimal company culture for them specifically is the key goal of many growing businesses.
With so many different companies, it’s only natural to have at least as many different methods to create the right culture for each of them. The following tips are considered the golden rules of building a stronger company culture no matter what industry you’re in or how many people work under your wing, so you can implement them and watch as your internal relationships bloom. Rest assured, that alone will be more than enough to skyrocket your success and help you stay relevant in your community and beyond.
1 – Focus on Purpose
If your business doesn’t have a well-defined mission, vision, and goals, you cannot expect your employees to feel as if there is a clear road ahead for them within your company. Younger generations, the ones that are overwhelmingly taking over the workforce today, put an immeasurable emphasis on the importance of purpose. If their job is at a standstill, or if their work has the potential of being that “stuck in a rut” career path, they will walk.
Make sure that your brand exudes purpose. If Apple is all about innovation, and if bright, fresh ideas are appreciated, then all the employees will know that no matter their department or field of work, innovation should be in their core. Help your employees truly understand and love your brand, because that is the only way you’ll ever find and hire talented candidates that will not just be there for the paycheck, but because they believe in your aspirations.
2 – Encourage Transparency
Another crucial segment of a healthy company culture includes how you communicate and what kinds of relationships you encourage within your office walls. If your C-level teams keep to themselves and never exchange ideas with anyone in the “lower” ranks, you will soon experience culture problems. People need to feel as if they belong, and communication is a key piece to that puzzle.
Instead of instilling fear, you should inspire open communication, idea exchanges, regular one-on-one meetings, anonymous surveys, and let your employees know that all of their input matters. When they see that you take their words to heart, they’ll feel even more inclined to find other ways to enhance your productivity and overall effectiveness.
3 – Reward and Incentivize
Remember that we are, after all, humans. We like praise, we enjoy rewards, and we appreciate when others value what we do and how we contribute. Sometimes, all it takes is an email which puts forward specific ways in which you believe an employee makes a difference for your business. Words do matter in your relationships, so even a few words at a corporate gathering couldn’t hurt.
However, financial incentives of various kids can also do some talking instead. Now, instead of an impersonal check or picking out a nightmare gift, you can hand out Christmas gift cards that will express your gratitude for you, loud and clear. They’ll be able to spend the money in a manner they see fit, and you can make sure the gesture is more personal and thought-through on your part. Of course, the occasional extra day off or a weekend spa getaway can also do the trick, although it’s reasonable to expect that only the more prosperous businesses can afford such extravagant gifts.
4 – Foster a Learning Work Environment
In addition to purpose, modern-day employees are eager to advance as people as well as professionals. They will not settle for a dead-end job where not only can they not get a promotion (not even a title), but they also cannot expect to learn anything new and master new skills that will help them in search for a better-suited position elsewhere. Some employees will inevitably outgrow their positions, but the least your company can do is ensure that there is a learning curve to challenge them on a regular basis.
Every single job description you post should emphasize that there will be opportunities to learn and move forward. Whether you choose webinars, office lectures, conference trips, or mentorships within your company structure, every employee should feel that they are more than welcome to expand on their current knowledge. Instead of unhealthy levels of competition, they should perceive their own limitations and boundaries as their greatest challenge to overcome.
5 – Ensure Work-Life Balance
Finally, contemporary businesses struggle with extremely high levels of burnout among their employees. This is a natural consequence of highly competitive work environments, where only those who stay late and deliver results ahead of time are rewarded and praised. Don’t let this become your culture-killer, because sleep-deprived, anxious, depressed, and unhealthy employees can hardly stay at the peak of their performance.
Offer competitive health packages, ones that include regular fitness activities, healthy lunches, and of course, let them know explicitly that staying after hours will not be rewarded, since they need to build their social lives, as well. Let them know their personal lives do come first, and the sheer act of respecting these boundaries will enforce a company culture that is far more trust-based.
It will always be challenging to strike the perfect balance for any company culture and establish leadership as well as guidance as your core principles of running a company. These tips will help you get there, just keep revising your methods and make sure that you always listen to what your employees need.
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