A strong employee culture should recognize and embody the core goals and mission of the company. It should be based on strong standards, merits, and shared vision. More importantly, it should encourage teamwork within an organization and offer every employee a sense of belonging. Such a culture should also be geared towards boosting individual and collective productivity while creating positive lasting impressions with customers as well as other individuals.
But how do you come up with such an impactful and lasting company culture?
1. Embrace transparency
Don’t just vet performance metrics—come up with performance goals and enforce them on employees. They will work better show more commitment and be more productive if they understand how the business operates. Creating a strong culture in your organization starts by letting employees in on the decision-making process. Organize regular brainstorming sessions, either roundtable departmental meetings or anonymous online sessions, where employees are encouraged to air their views about a particular project.
2. Reduce management bureaucracy and micromanagement
In the spirit of transparency and making every employee feel like they belong, consider adopting a flat and open organization model. This starts by eliminating the unnecessary layers of management common in most companies. These create communication hurdles and strangle the spirit of equality and potential collaborative efforts.
For instance, some smaller businesses might not need an extended management hierarchy. Dismantle these unnecessary barriers and make it possible for employees to have a direct access to business owners or managers. This makes them feel valued and increases their sense of belonging.
3. Empower employees through information and freedom
Most employees want to work with brands that make the most use of their skills. They also want to work with management teams that value and respect their dedication to self-improvement. This can be achieved by giving employees time off to complete courses and putting their new skills into good use through promotions.
The surge in popularity for remote working is also a testament to the fact that employees need some level of freedom. This calls for a shift from the nine-to-five mentality and requires business leaders to reconsider valuing quality and quantity of tasks over to the number of hours spent in the office.
4. Invest in your employees
Customer loyalty is gained through customer service skills and employee loyalty. The strongest company cultures, on the other hand, are built on a brand’s investments in its employees. Treat your employees like your customers by showing them that you value them and their contributions towards the company.
Some investments, like organizing retreats or sponsoring holidays, may take a toll on your bottom line, but others need no more than time and the right words. For instance, sending an employee a thank you card, a gift card, or attending their child’s graduation ceremony only takes a fraction of your time but goes a long way in showing that you value them.
5. Foster collaborations
Unlike management-initiated culture cultivation strategies that require time to take effect, employee initiatives are fast and long-lasting. However, most of these can only be born out of collaborative efforts.
Therefore, take every available chance to foster such collaborations by creating teams within the organization. Give employees the freedom to create their own rules of engagement and approaches to the tasks at hand, as these often unchartered rules soon grow into some of the most formidable company cultures.
A strong company culture improves productivity in all departments and makes management easier. It also reduces staff turnover rates and fosters stronger relationships that extend beyond the workplace. But it all starts with embracing transparency, empowering and investing in your staff, and giving them relative freedom.
For more insight on creating a positive workplace culture, see Make Dignity The Default.