Creating a Strong Company Culture - How to Do It Right

Business.com / Managing / Last Modified: August 23, 2017

Workers thrive in cultures that encourage support, personal growth and open communication – but this isn't always easy to achieve.

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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.

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

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Keep it personal

Promoting personal development and success will create 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 and important to the rest of the company. 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 will also make them more comfortable and encourage questions, feedback and teamwork. 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, therefore keeping quiet when they want to pitch an idea or ask questions about a task.

You can avoid these problems by simply speaking with your employees. Be forward with your expectations, the company's benefits, assignments 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. These are some examples of core values:

  • 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 our current company culture?
  • What are our company's values?
  • How do we communicate our vision for organizational culture?
  • What kind of people do we want?
  • How do we want our 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.

Sammi Caramela

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