7 min read
10 Effective Ways to Improve Company Culture
As you might have realized, company culture is no longer an industry buzzword. It has, in fact, the ability to make your employees more motivated and productive, and your company more profitable. So, it’s now become an essential ingredient for continued success.
But what exactly is company culture, and what are the benefits of strong company culture? In this post, we’ll look at these questions in more detail and show you how to improve company culture.
What is Company Culture?
Let’s start by looking at what company culture is. In its simplest form, company or organizational culture refers to the values, beliefs, characteristics, and attributes of a company that surfaces in its attitudes and behavior. Company culture also relates to how employees understand the company’s goals, mission, and values and how they see themselves helping the company reach its goals.
As such, a company’s culture includes:
- How employees act and engage within the company and with each other.
- Employees’ personal goals and how their goals align with the goals of the company.
- How employees interact and engage with the company’s customers.
- What value do employees place on their interactions and engagement, both with customers and with other employees.
Company Culture Examples
It’s important to understand that there’s no single company culture that can be defined as good or bad. As such, a company’s culture will depend on the company itself and what it wants to achieve. There are, however, some examples that can give you a broad idea of what company culture entails.
For example, more traditional companies adhere to a more traditional hierarchical structure with professional etiquette and more formal dress codes. These companies will typically also maintain a clear distinction between personal and work life and set out clear expectations that their employees should comply with.
On the other hand, collective companies are less focused on hierarchical structures and encourage contributions by all employees, regardless of their position or level. As such, collective companies might have a more relaxed dress code, open office spaces, and less of an emphasis on professional etiquette standards.
Another example of organizational culture can be found in achiever companies. These companies emphasize competitive skills and often seek employees that can deliver high-quality work to the company’s standards and can support the company’s status as innovative and success-driven.
Keep in mind, though, that these are just some examples and that there is a diverse range of company cultures out there as every company will, to a large extent, have a unique culture.
Why is a Strong Company Culture Important?
Now that we’ve seen what company culture is and looked at some examples, you might wonder why it’s important. There are, in fact, several benefits that you’ll enjoy if you’re able to develop and foster a strong company culture.
For one, when you have a strong company culture, your employees will work as a team towards a common goal. And when your employees work as a team, they’ll deliver exceptional service to your customers, which improves customer satisfaction. And, as you know, satisfied customers are returning customers, which directly translates into more revenue. Apart from this, improved customer satisfaction turns your customers into your business’s most vocal promoters, which then helps you attract more customers.
But it goes further than this, though. Apart from improving customer satisfaction, a strong workplace culture also improves employee satisfaction. This is simply because a strong culture makes your company a more pleasant place to work, where everyone knows what they should do to help the company reach its goals. This not only means that your employees will be more motivated and productive, but also that your employee retention rates will be higher, and you’ll attract the best talent.
Also, significantly, when your company has a strong culture, it’ll have a well-defined mission, values, and goals. Your employees will understand what these are, and it will guide them through every decision they need to make. As such, the decision-making processes across your entire business will improve which, in turn, not only makes your business more efficient, but also makes it possible to adapt to change faster.
Combined, all the above results in an ability to generate more revenue and guarantee continued success. It’s important to remember, however, that these are just some of the benefits that a strong corporate culture promises. As such, there are others, and the benefits you could get from creating and maintaining a strong company culture will depend on your specific circumstances.
How to Improve Company Culture
Now that you understand what company culture is and why it’s important, you probably want to know how you can go about creating a culture or improving company culture in your company. Here, we’ll give you 10 actionable company culture ideas that can help you do this.
Have Another Look at Your Core Values
Your company’s culture has, as mentioned earlier, its foundation in your core values. However, as your company evolves, you might find that these values change, or you might adopt new values. When this happens, you should ensure that these values align with your culture, and that they’re relevant to every employee and member of leadership.
If you don’t, you’ll find that your team will struggle to adopt these values, which, in turn, has a detrimental impact on your company’s culture. Moreover, you should try to keep the values you want to adopt to a minimum. If there are too many, your employees will struggle to adopt those values or, even worse, forget them completely.
See How Your Current Culture Stacks Up
When you know what your core values are, it’s vital that you assess your company’s culture to make sure that it aligns with those values. The first step in doing this is by considering how engaged your employees are, how well they work together, or if there are any signs of bad culture.
Once done, you should evaluate how well your current culture aligns with your company’s broader goals and if it helps you reach those goals. This will show you if there are any challenges you’ll need to overcome from a company culture perspective.
Develop a Plan to Improve
When you’ve revisited your core values, assessed your current culture, and identified how these two aspects align with one another, you’ll know what aspects of your company’s culture need to be improved. When you know what these aspects are, you can develop a plan on how you’ll improve. This plan should include your strategy, budget, and by when you want to improve. As such, your plan will incorporate many of the aspects mentioned herein below.
Give Your Team a Purpose
Working with a common purpose is one of the pillars of creating a strong organizational culture. In fact, according to research, Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to want to work for and stay with companies that have a well-defined purpose. Here, it’s important to remember that purpose is something entirely different from your company’s mission, strategies, and values.
The best way to explain it is that your mission is what you want to achieve, your strategies are how you will achieve it, and your values are how you want your team to behave while working towards your mission. On the other hand, your purpose is the “why” behind all these things.
An effective way to give your team a purpose is to show them how their contribution contributes to the company’s purpose. When you do this, you’ll constantly remind your team of what that purpose is, and other employees will likely follow. In turn, this improves your company’s culture.
To foster strong organizational culture, it’s crucial that you be as transparent as possible. If you’re not, it will likely lead to a culture of mistrust. In contrast, when you’re transparent, you’ll create and maintain trust with your employee which, in turn, is vital to an exceptional company culture. In fact, 50% of employees say that, when their employers share information and data about the company, it makes them more productive.
One of the simplest ways to incorporate transparency in your business is to make it the default way of thinking. As such, you should rather default to sharing information than concealing it. This means sharing both the company’s successes and challenges as it works towards its goals.
Embrace Collaboration and Communication
Another way to improve transparency and, by implication, company culture is to embrace communication and collaboration, not only between you and your team, but also between employees themselves. As such, you should clearly communicate your company’s mission, values, and goals to your team.
You should also communicate your progress as everyone works towards achieving these. When you communicate effectively, you’ll reinforce the fact that everyone across the entire business is working towards a shared goal.
Apart from embracing effective communication, you should also encourage collaboration between employees. It’s a simple fact, when employees collaborate more, they’ll eliminate departmental silos, share more knowledge, and work better as a team.
To ensure effective communication and collaboration might involve implementing new tools, adopting new communication styles, or implementing communication and collaboration strategies.
Provide Feedback and Recognize Valuable Contributions
You should give your employees regular, consistent feedback to foster a strong company culture. This enables them to assess whether their performance aligns with your company’s culture. Moreover, when you give feedback, you should recognize employees for their contribution to your company. This serves two important purposes.
For one, when you recognize employees for their contributions, they feel valued and will continue embracing your culture. In addition, by recognizing employees’ contributions as mentioned above, you’ll reinforce the values and culture you want to create and maintain in your company, which then encourages other employees to embrace the same values and culture.
Encourage Strong Employee Relationships
Simply put, the higher your employee engagement, the stronger your company’s culture. One of the most effective ways to increase employee engagement is allowing your employees to build strong relationships at work. However, this could take some time and effort.
For example, you might schedule dedicated team-building activities and organize your office space in such a way as to encourage employee interaction and engagement.
To enhance your company’s culture, it’s crucial that you give your employees flexibility and autonomy. When you do, you’ll eliminate micromanagement which, in turn, creates a cultural environment of trust.
There are several ways for you to do this. You can, for instance, give your employees the freedom to make more choices themselves, create more decision-making opportunities, and establish autonomous teams.
Another effective strategy is foregoing a 40-hour workweek and traditional vacation policies, which allows your employees to come to the office when they need to. This gives them the flexibility to balance their work and home responsibilities. This, in turn, improves employee morale, engagement, satisfaction, and productivity.
Always Track Your Progress
Once your unique culture is in place, it doesn’t stop there. You should consistently track your progress. That’s the only way in which you’ll know if you’re reaching your goals or whether you need to make further improvements. This is especially relevant since, as mentioned earlier, your culture will evolve as your company and team do.
To track your progress, you should measure employee engagement to assess your culture across the entire company and also get feedback from individual employees. This will give you the insights you need to understand how well your company is performing.
Strong corporate culture can offer a wealth of benefits, including making your team more motivated and productive, serving your customers better, and generating more revenue. Moreover, company culture can help you attract and retain the best talent, which helps make your business more efficient.
With 20+ years of experience in software development, telecom and management, Amr prides himself on helping businesses of all sizes become more efficient to compete in today’s corporate world. He recognized the value of great customer service and tapped into his entrepreneurial spirit to found his own telecom company, ULTATEL.