November 18, 2014

5 Simple Steps To Better Company Culture

5 tips or better culture

It’s very simple to have a decent office culture.I’ve never quite understood why so many cultures aren’t so good, and so many employees are disengaged.

Why would a manager want to create that type of environment? Is it really unintentional? Are there that many managers that do this unintentionally?

I have so many questions around this subject, but one thing I know for sure, is that creating a great organizational culture is actually quite easy to do.

Don’t get me wrong, it takes time and effort, but it’s not complicated.

There has been so much research in the last few years showing that a good company culture has direct benefits to a company, in the form of increased productivity, lower absenteeism, higher retention, better customer service, more shareholder return, etc.

Yet I still hear stories almost every day of employees that work in horrible environments.

In a recent article, I talked about how employees aren’t passionate at work, and according to a report from Deloitte, 88% of employees aren’t passionate about their jobs.

As a manager, you can easily increase this passion by focusing on a few things. 

I’m going to give you 5 tips to have a company culture, but like I said, it really boils down to a few simple things. Treat employees with respect, be honest with them, give them opportunities for growth, help them grow, show them that you genuinely care. 

1. Hire The Right People

This is really where it all starts.

If you hire the right people, you’ll be much more likely to have a good culture, built on a foundation of passion and respect.

The best advice I can personally give when it comes to hiring is hire for culture, train skills. Everyone needs to be taught the way that you do things at your company anyways, so you need to be hiring someone that will fit in with your team.

An easy way to make sure you’re doing this leads perfectly to my second point.

2. Core Values And Mission

Once you have a mission, and core values established, every single decision your company makes become easier.

If what you’re trying to decide on helps you get closer to that mission, do it, if not, don’t do it. Simple.

Officevibe has its core values painted on the wall so that we always get to look at them. This is an important point. You don’t necessarily have to paint them on your wall, but you definitely need to keep reminding and repeating them to your employees.

One of the biggest motivators for employees is feeling like they’re part of something bigger (purpose). This is why it’s so important to keep reminding them that what they’re doing is bigger than just what their job title is.

Convince them that they’re changing the world!

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3. Frequent Feedback

Employee feedback is one of the most important things for personal growth. 

One of our core values at Officevibe is “More than yesterday, less than tomorrow” to remind ourselves that we should always be learning.

How will we ever know how we’re doing if we’re not getting frequent feedback from both our peers and managers? 

Many companies treat feedback as a chore and don’t spend nearly enough time cultivating their employees.

I’ve written extensively about the performance review process, and how you can’t only do them once per year. The annual performance review is okay, but there needs to be frequent check-ins as well, at least once every 2 weeks. 

Not long ago, we released an infographic about employee feedback, and it showed the importance of frequent feedback.

2 of the more important statistics on there, were that 4 out of 10 workers are actively disengaged when they get little or no feedback, and there is 14.9% lower turnover rates in companies that implement regular employee feedback.

4. Be Transparent 

Being open, honest, and transparent is the foundation of a good culture, because it’s the foundation of a good relationship.

A truly collaborative team that works well together trusts each other.

There’s no way to establish that trust if you’re having secretive closed-door meetings, and are never updating the employees on what’s going on in the company.

Good or bad, everyone has a right to know what’s going on.

My favorite example of transparency is Buffer, they’ve even gone as far as publishing everyone’s salary and the formula behind how they calculate salary.

Check out my CultureTalk with Carolyn Kopprasch, the Chief Happiness Officer at Buffer:

5. Be Open-Minded And Respectful

This is important for establishing a long-term, healthy relationship with employees.

This is so obvious, but it’s important to remember to treat employees like humans. Show them the respect they deserve. I understand it’s always an awkward situation when money is involved, but it’s a give-take relationship.

If you give employees a little freedom and flexibility, let them take time off, encourage them to spend time with family, they’ll thank you for that in the form of higher productivity.

It’s also important to seek ideas from all of your employees, no matter what their position is.

The front-line workers are the ones with the deepest knowledge of what really works and what doesn’t.

I’m sure if you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a better culture.

How Do You Create A Good Company Culture?

Any tips or tricks to share with me? Let me know on Twitter @jacobshriar or @Officevibe.

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