Company Culture 101: Does Your Culture Measure Up?
Why Does Company Culture Matter?
You already know that you need to pay your employees fairly, but you need to do more than that to have a thriving business now. You need to make your employees like coming to work. You can do it, we promise. You can make them love it.
So, why should you bother? Well, essentially, happy employees are better employees. People who feel less stress and pressure at their jobs are noticeably more motivated and productive. Creating a company culture that values and respects its employees will make it easier to recruit quality employees, reduce turnover rates (turnover is expensive!), and imbue your company with a glowing reputation.
Any Size Company Can Have a Culture
You may think that corporate culture is just for huge brands like Google or Netflix, but small companies can do it too. In fact, every company has a culture—you can’t not have one—but if you invest some time and money into creating a well thought out culture that reflects your company’s values, you’ll benefit hugely. You don’t necessarily have to offer unlimited vacation or in-house fitness classes like those big corporations do—we get it, you’re not Google, you can’t afford that stuff—but you can create a positive company culture without a massive budget. Basically, it comes down to respecting your employees and making sure that they know it.
Every company has a culture, many just don’t think about it or consciously define it. Whether you like it or not, your company has a culture right now. Is it the culture you want to have? Here are some ways to identify the culture you have and some simple actions you can take to get the corporate culture you want.
How to Build a Positive Company Culture
You can implement the culture you want in the company you have, no matter the size of your budget. The first step is to figure out what you want your culture to be like. Think about your priorities as a company, make a list of core values, write or revisit your mission statement. Figure out what your main purpose is that is not related to profit and make that your jumping-off point for defining your brand’s culture.
When coming up with your ideal culture, use other company cultures as inspiration, but don’t try to become a carbon copy of another brand that’s already out there. You are a unique company and you need a unique culture that fits you and your employees.
Take some time to think about what your current culture is. What are you doing right? What are you doing wrong? Are you making your core values a priority in the way you run business, treat your employees, etc.?
The most important step in creating your company culture is to practice what you preach – writing out a list of good qualities you want your company to embody is all well and good, but it means nothing if you don’t actually implement them every day in your own role at the company. Self reflect and change your behaviour accordingly.
Make sure you hire the right people. That does not mean hiring employees who are all the same, but people whose skills and values compliment your culture. You want diversity, different experience/backgrounds, and varied opinions in order to create a well-rounded atmosphere.
If possible, conduct exit interviews. When employees move on from your company, ask if they are willing have a brief interview with you and ask them why they decided to leave. You may learn some ways that your company falls short of the competition and how to improve your culture.
Make health and safety a priority. One of the most basic and important ways to support and respect your employees is to make sure their safety is put first. Conduct proper safety training, reduce stress (less stress means less health problems), and make sure employees are comfortable reporting it if they feel unsafe in any way. You can also come up with team bonding activities that focus on wellness, like a monthly yoga class or a quick daily exercise (here at Think Profits, we all get out of our desks and plank at the same time once a day).
Communicate with your employees regularly to ensure that they know they’re appreciated, respected, and trusted. Be sure that you pay fairly, praise often, be understanding, and don’t excessively monitor behaviour.
Plan fun events for your employees. Bonding over non-work activities creates stronger ties, better communication, and a sense of loyalty amongst coworkers. A great way to participate in events that align with your company culture is to do something charitable as a team—try volunteering at non-profit organizations that align with your mandate.
Last, but not least, don’t forget to document your culture and share it on social media! Your reputation will benefit from posting photos of happy workers, fun team-building activities, and charitable events. If you want some help showcasing what makes your company great, check out our social media services.