Company culture continues to be at the heart of many discussions around employee engagement, attraction, and retention for organizations of all sizes and in all industries. According to Gallup, only two in 10 U.S. employees feel connected to their company’s culture, and just 27% strongly agree that they believe in their organization’s values.
Having a strong company culture is the key to long-term success for many companies, but effectively building and evolving it in today’s rapidly changing workplace is challenging for organizations of all sizes, across industries.
Let’s take a closer look at why culture matters and what elements are most important to employees when it comes to creating a truly remarkable workplace.
Why Culture Matters
Company culture is an important aspect that brings people together and gives them a reason to feel motivated and happy at work. When a company has a strong culture that employees believe in and want to uphold, you will find professionals who take pride in their work and are extremely happy in their workplace.
“There is a correlation between employees who say they are ‘happy at work’ and feel ‘valued by [their] company and those who say their organization has a clearly articulated and lived culture.” (Deloitte)
- 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct corporate culture is important to business success
- 83% of executives and 84% of employees rank having engaged and motivated employees as the top factor that substantially contributes to a company’s success
Company Culture Priorities
How can you proactively create and nurture a thriving company culture? Great Place to Work offers these suggested areas of focus:
- Build trust by showing you genuinely care about employees
- Investment in employees’ well-being
- Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging (DEIB)
- Dedication to serving local communities
- Invest in talent development and performance management
- Engage and develop talent for business success and employee retention
- Foster meaningful relationships within the workplace, with opportunities for personal growth
- Genuine commitment to DEI initiatives
- Set goals and work toward real progress, getting employees involved
- Embrace in-person and online work
- Approach return-to-office strategy with thoughtfulness and compassion
- Bridge virtual and in-person experiences and maintain a sense of connection and belonging
- Push back on polarization
- Focus on building meaningful connections between fellow employees as well as helping employees connect to the organization’s purpose and goals
By dedicating time and effort to building your organization’s culture, along with clear communication and persistence, you can be on your way to creating a workplace where top talent wants to work and stay for the long term.
7 Tips to Promote a Positive Company Culture
Does your company culture need a boost? Studies show it’s one of the most important factors in attracting and retaining engaged employees. Here are some helpful tips to consider when trying to improve your company culture.
Tip #1: Actively define and communicate your company culture
What does your organization stand for? If you can’t answer this, you probably don’t have a robust company culture. Define what your organization’s purpose is and the values on which it is founded. Communicate this through every channel, from internal communication and meetings to social media presence to your hiring process.
Tip #2: Encourage mental health awareness
You want your culture to focus on empowering your employees to take care of themselves. An increase in stress and burnout has a detrimental effect on employees’ mental and physical health which ultimately affects their productivity, motivation and performance.
Encouraging employees to take time off, take breaks when needed and prioritize their personal lives is key to a happy workforce. Employees want to feel like their companies care about them and that they can focus on themselves when they need to, without employers reprimanding them.
Tip #3: Consider flexibility when possible
Allowing employees to have flexibility at work is another important way to promote work-life balance and show professionals that they are valued. It is the quality of work that they produce that is important and not just being seen at their desks. Flexible schedules enable people to take care of issues such as health appointments, family emergencies and other personal matters that may come up.
The benefit of this is that when the employee has taken care of personal matters, they will be completely focused on their job and have good performance with peace of mind.
Tip #4: Focus on recognition
A company culture that prioritizes recognition will make employees feel valued and appreciated. Employees want to know that their hard work is being acknowledged. Shoutouts, thank you’s, small gifts and gestures are all ways to make your employees feel like they are being noticed.
Additionally, recognition also lowers stress and helps professionals feel like their contributions matter – increasing their overall satisfaction and happiness at the company.
Tip #5: Promote team bonding
Everyone wants to feel a sense of belonging at the place where they work. Having team bonding sessions and informal meetups and gatherings (virtual or in-person) is a great way for coworkers to get to know each other and interact socially.
We spend so much time at work, so getting to know our team outside of it helps us feel closer to the organization and improves morale.
Tip #6: Provide career growth opportunities
Having a company culture that enables employees to focus on their career growth is important. Professionals want to keep growing and want to be challenged instead of feeling “stuck.” Through mentorship, training and learning opportunities, you can offer opportunities that employees may be interested in to further their careers at your company.
Additionally, if a coworker seems to be interested in projects outside their scope of responsibilities, it could be a good opportunity to let them explore it. With new opportunities, employees will continue to stay engaged and interested.
Tip #7: Get feedback for improvement
Last but not least, you want to get feedback to know what is working and what can be improved. Conducting employee surveys and talking to your coworkers is a great way to understand how company culture can be improved, how connected people are to the culture, and what might be missing so that executives can do better in the long run.
Implementing these improvements will also show that the organization truly cares about its employees and wants to build a better workplace where its employees can thrive.
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