Company culture and employee engagement must begin at the highest levels of an organization. A grassroots movement from rank-and-file employees cannot be successful if the company’s leaders are not on board. When your C-level team shows enthusiasm and willingness to participate in company events, allocate funds for team-building activities, and listen to and act on feedback from employees at all levels, your company culture will indeed thrive.
If you are unable to reduce employee turnover or you experience difficulty in recruiting, your culture may be to blame. If your CEO is conspicuously absent from the company picnic, or few managers participate in community events, employees take notice. There are not enough perks in the world to boost employees’ morale if those perks are given thoughtlessly or haphazardly. Conversely, if employees can look to their managers, and their managers, and see a common thread of enthusiasm, openness, integrity and motivation, it will make all the difference! Employees value a strong culture so much that they may refuse higher pay over better work culture. That’s why employers focus on improving work culture in order to retain their best talent.
8 great things you can do for your company’s culture:
- Develop a written mission statement for your company. Make sure it has meaning for you and the entire team, and isn’t just the buzzword of the month. Involve key team members in its development, and communicate the mission to your entire company. Don’t roll it out with pomp and circumstance at an annual meeting, and then just forget about it.
- Develop a written vision statement for your company. Again, not just lip service – make sure that your vision statement accurately reflects the goals of your team and the direction your company is headed.
- Be present. If you schedule a meeting, have a specific purpose for it, show up on time and participate in it. Invite only those people who truly need to be there, and then communicate the meeting results to others who may be affected. Don’t allow cell phones and laptops in a meeting; it is disrespectful of others’ time and serves as a negative example.
- Compliment publicly and often. Don’t wait for a quarterly meeting to recognize an outstanding employee. Instead, compliment or thank the employee by phone, via email, or best of all, in person. Be careful; “good job” only goes so far. Be specific, timely and sincere. For example, “Bob, I really appreciate the way you streamlined that reporting process. It’s going to save us a lot of time, and eliminate duplication of effort. Thank you for taking the initiative.”
- Let employees lead. Make sure team members at every level can participate in molding company culture with their input and participation. If someone is willing to share suggestions, volunteer their expertise or experience, or step up to lead an event or activity, let him or her take the reins and make sure the necessary support is available.
- Don’t settle for status quo. Actively seek out new ideas from your team members. Ask their opinions and listen. Have different people discuss topics or present information in company meetings, rather than hearing from the same department heads every time. When there is a problem, involve team members in finding the solution. Their creativity and problem-solving skills may surprise you!
- Don’t let negativity thrive in your organization. Kill it where it lives. Find the true source – perhaps it’s troublesome software, a lack of communication, stress from deadlines or unrealistic expectations – and address it as soon as possible so the related negativity doesn’t spread. If negativity already has nested in your organization, work with your HR department and managers to formulate a plan to eradicate it.
- Inspire others. Whether you are a receptionist, a mid-level manager, the company president or a customer service representative, shine with all you have. Be the example you want to see in others.
Company culture matters, at every level. When each of us does our part, we all reap the rewards. If you’d like additional guidance or training on company culture, teamwork, recruiting or employee retention, an HR Managed Services company or PEO like Staff One HR is a great place to start!
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