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Creating a Strong Company Culture: How to Do It Right

business.com editorial staff
business.com editorial staff

Workers thrive in cultures that encourage support, personal growth and open communication.

  • Creating a strong company culture is imperative to having a strong company overall.
  • In order to create a strong company culture, be personable, practice open communication, and promote your core values.
  • Having a strong company culture can help define your identity as a company, help with employee retention and more.

Company culture directly affects employee recruitment, retention and turnover. Workers thrive in cultures that encourage support, personal growth and open communication – but this isn't always easy to achieve.

When you have a diverse company with numerous employees, it's difficult to keep everyone on the same page. However, there are ways to address this issue and ensure workers are performing with the same goals in mind.

How important is company culture?

If you are wondering why company culture is so important, according to Jostle Blog, here are three compelling reasons:

  • It defines your identity. One of the top reasons company culture is important is that it defines both your internal and external brand identity.

  • A positive culture improves employee retention. Another reason company culture is important is because it helps you retain valuable employees.

  • It streamlines employee onboarding. Another great benefit of a strong company culture is that it makes onboarding more easy and efficient.

The tips outlined below are simple yet essential techniques to engage and retain employees. Follow them to create a strong company culture.

Keep it personal.

Promoting personal development and success creates a positive company culture. You should focus on individual talents and goals to keep employees happy and inspired.

If employees are engaged, they're more likely to perform efficiently and will be motivated to do so. However, according to the State of the American Workplace report by Gallup, only one-third of employees are engaged at work. Fifty-one percent are not engaged, and the remaining 16 percent are actively disengaged.

 

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Make sure you are supportive of your workers and their performance. As a leader, you should make sure your team members feel their work is valued. This will reduce voluntary turnover and improve employee retention.

Additionally, treat your employees like humans – they have personal lives and should not feel pressured to stay late or be available for contact after hours. Overwhelming them will impact the quality of their work, and thereby impact your company's bottom line. It's difficult for workers to perform efficiently if they are stressed or anxious, struggling to achieve a work-life balance.

Knowing your employees on a personal level also helps them to feel more comfortable and encourages them to ask questions, give feedback and act as a team member. You can be friendly with your workers while still holding them accountable and maintaining a professional relationship with them.

Practice open communication.

If you are not communicating clearly with your employees, and they don't know about core values or any company changes, your business is at risk for many issues. For instance, employees may feel indifferent or passionless because they aren't involved in major company decisions.

Without communication, employees also won't know how they're performing or if they need to improve in certain areas. This can cause confidence issues, and employees may feel too timid to take risks or be creative. They may also feel intimidated when speaking up, instead keeping quiet when they want to pitch an idea or ask questions about a task.

You can avoid these problems by speaking with your employees. Be clear about your expectations and any information your workers should know. Also, hold meetings regularly to keep everyone up to date and on the same page. Make sure you encourage questions or ideas from employees; no one should be treated like their voice isn't important.

Promote core values.

Your company's core values should always be kept in mind through every task you and your team complete. Each person in the company needs to understand and respect the company's principles to ensure everyone is on the same page, no matter their position or status.

Leaders should practice these values to set an example for the rest of the company and remind everyone what's important to the company instead of getting sidetracked. Values provide a common ground for all workers. Some examples of core values include:

  • Teamwork
  • Personal accountability
  • Respect
  • Support
  • Hard work
  • Honesty
  • Courage
  • Education

Gallup's State of the American Workplace report stated that every organization needs an employee value proposition (EVP), which outlines the benefits and rewards of the company. Your EVP should match your company's core values, and focus on employee satisfaction and appraisal. Recruiting.com offers a few tips on how to build your EVP.

Understand the culture yourself (and encourage feedback).

You should especially be aware of your own interpretation of your company's culture, and how you're communicating that to your team. Here are some questions to ask yourself to build and understand your culture, according to TINYpulse:

  • What is your current company culture?
  • What are your company's values?
  • How do you communicate your vision for organizational culture?
  • What kind of people do you want?
  • How do you want employees to grow?

Be honest with yourself. If there are any gaps, address them with your team.

On the other end, to know how your workers are accepting your company's culture, you need to offer ways for them to provide feedback. Ask these same questions to employees to ensure they're on the same page as you, and question them on their satisfaction at work, what they like about their company's culture and what they think needs improvement.

You can gauge feedback from them through direct confrontation (individually or in group meetings), surveys and an anonymous tip box.

Managers should also give feedback to employees by their managers to clear up any misunderstandings or possible issues. This comes back to open communication, which is overall the most important asset of a company.

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