4 Easy Steps to Improve Company Culture
The Bottom Line
Your employees are the backbone of your business. Hiring, managing, and retaining them is key to your success but it also takes a great deal of time and money to do so. If you’ve put defining and building a positive company culture at the bottom of your to-do list, you’ll likely want to reconsider.
It’s no coincidence that some of the most successful companies consistently rank as best places to work. According to Built In, 47% of active job seekers cite company culture as their driving reason for looking for work and 35% say they would pass on the perfect job if they felt the company culture wasn’t a good fit.
The takeaway? People are attracted to workplaces that focus on employee well-being.
Starbucks, for example, refers to their employees as partners and offers stock options, tuition support, health insurance and crisis funds. Video communication company Zoom has their own internal happiness crew that is tasked with planning events, outings, and volunteer opportunities for employees. Mars Inc allows its employees flexible hours, pet-friendly offices, and professional development through Mars University.
If you struggle with recruitment, consider an introspective approach, and ask yourself, “why are top candidates not applying to work here?” Once hired, happy, fulfilled employees are loyal, less stressed, and even more productive. Prioritizing your company culture is really a win-win.
Realizing you need to make a change is the first step. As always, actually implementing change is the hard part. Here’s a few ways you can build a more positive company culture.
1. Emphasize social connections
Prior to the pandemic, most of us spent a lot of time at work, probably more than we did at home. And while things have changed a lot, having friendly relationships in the workplace is still important to keeping your employees happy and connected. To continue to encourage social interactions, be sure to ask your team how they’d like to stay connected. Getting input will likely increase your chances of success. Of course, when it’s safe you might consider reintroducing social gatherings like happy hours, lunches, or even an amateur sports league for your team to bond outside of work.
2. Collaborate on goals
Individual goals are great, but team and company goals help to foster collaboration and connection to a greater purpose. Once you set these goals, check in on them regularly and, most importantly, reward key milestones and completion dates.
3. Focus on work/life balance
Being virtual has actually increased the hours many people work as they struggle to redefine balance. But work isn’t everything and individuals or companies that think otherwise are at serious risk of burnout. Show your employees that you value their mental health and their personal lives with things like limited email/text/phone hours, flexible schedules, extended maternity and paternity leave, sabbaticals — anything to help them feel like they aren’t constantly having to choose between advancement in work or fulfillment in their personal lives.
4. Prioritize corporate social responsibility
Employees feel more engaged when they view their work as meaningful. Aligning your business with a charitable cause or even a specific charity can help with that. First, educate your employees so they’re aware of and feel a part of the organization you choose. Then, keep it top of mind by raising money, volunteering (when available,) and encouraging/matching donations throughout the year.