A good company culture represents the company and its employees' shared beliefs and values. A good organizational culture defines the proper ways to uphold these shared beliefs and values. Most importantly, it helps businesses overcome common challenges in attracting and retaining employees.
Having good company culture is beneficial to both the company and employees. According to CultureIQ, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is vital to business success. Moreover, YesElf adds that good company culture leads to 33% higher revenue and a 15% increase in productivity and engagement among employees.
Believe it or not, it's never too late to build and boost your employee culture — which may improve the metrics talked about above (e.g., increased engagement, revenue, etc.). The key is to understand better what organizational culture is and the best ways to implement it into your workplace.
Organizational culture is a defined collection of all your company's beliefs, values, expectations, and practices that model how team members are supposed to behave. This means focusing on essential company values that ensure the workplace environment is positive, productive, engaging, and successfully contributing to the growth of your business.
For instance, some common company values include trust, honesty, passion, fun, accountability, and a commitment to customers. Practices and expectations that would likely go with a company value like accountability would be the ability to own your mistakes and learn from them. On the other hand, a company value like passion would likely pair well with a team member who genuinely loves what they do for the company.
To have a winning organizational culture that does just that, you will need to have a clearly defined guide that aligns with your employees and potential hires. This will ensure everyone is on the same page and has already aligned their values with yours.
When done correctly, you can benefit from increased retention, employee satisfaction, and a boost in competitive advantage. You will also see a boost in productivity, revenue, and engagement when more team members are working toward a common goal.
Here are the best ways to improve organizational culture:
Employers and employees should have clear lines of communication to address any challenges, concerns, or questions. This is most commonly practiced with an open-door policy and often creates a more inclusive and trusting environment. Clear communication also ensures that any current or potential conflicts are addressed and resolved before they become a bigger problem.
When you encourage collaboration among your team members, you reinforce that you are all a part of a team. When you do this successfully, you benefit from more creative innovations and ideas. According to Go Remotely, nearly 75% of employees consider collaboration and teamwork necessary, and online collaboration tools and digital workplaces facilitate increased productivity by up to 30%. You can encourage collaboration by promoting a communal working environment and supporting open communication.
It would be a mistake to rely on yearly reviews for feedback on where you and your company need improvement. Waiting so long can cause employees to forget important suggestions or concerns. Instead, you should collect feedback as often as you can and put it into your plan. The more often, the better. Consider doing 360 feedback — anonymous and confidential — so employees can help you find out what you need to improve about your managerial skills. This will ensure you're improving in ways that contribute to better company culture.
People want to have meaning in their work, particularly when working towards a higher purpose. The Harvard Business Review reports that as many as 9 out of 10 people are willing to make less money if it means they are doing more meaningful work. Even more, their research also found that "on average, our pool of American workers said they'd be willing to forego 23% of their entire future lifetime earnings to have a job that was always meaningful."
Believe it or not, giving recognition can make a significant difference for your current employees and the talent you attract to your business. Just having simple recognition programs can go a long way in making employees feel more appreciated and valued. Research shows that more than half (69%) of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were more appreciated, yet 65% of employees haven't received any form of recognition for good work in the last year.
Along with basic onboarding like filling out forms or learning job duties, you should also onboard new employees socially. This is an important addition because they are better integrated into the group smoothly. You may have already noticed in the past that new team members are often shy and hold back until they're comfortable about their surroundings. Social onboarding reduces the time it will take for them to get comfortable and skips forward to them contributing to the company's success.
Work-life balance makes for a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce environment. You must make sure you aren't pushing your employees to sacrifice their work-life balance to complete projects. Otherwise, you may have to deal with more significant issues when your employees burn out and create unhealthy working habits.
Hiring selectively is not the same as "hiring for culture." The problem with hiring for culture is that you may exclude valuable but diverse candidates. Instead, you should be on the lookout for employees that are likely to enjoy working for your company, even if they are not a perfect company culture match.
Outsourcing administrative burdens can go a long way in ensuring your company culture is appropriately defined and followed. This is because it frees up Human Resources' time to focus on improving company culture and employee satisfaction. Otherwise, too much time may be spent on doing things like benefits administration, payroll, and other administrative burdens instead of caring for the team members that keep your business up and running.
While these nine tactics are all undoubtedly beneficial, it may not be necessary to implement all nine into your plan. It's better to identify which ones are most useful to your goals and aligned to your company values. This means making sure the methods you choose will fit with your pre-existing employee culture. Don’t "start from scratch" when planning company culture. That would be a mistake. Instead, design an improvement plan that considers your employee culture right now and your goals for improving it in the future. Then, outsource HR for the best results.
Learn more about outsourcing HR by downloading our free eBook "Which HR Functions Should Your Business Outsource?" or contact us to chat with a Specialist.