Anyone that has ever spent some time on leadership seminars or training will know that while the importance of measurable metrics and key performance indicators is talked about, one thing above all else will receive the most attention during leadership training – the company culture. Many employees will look for a company that has a great culture, as this inspires them and creates a workplace where people strive to do their best every day because they feel wanted, appreciated and that their opinions and thoughts matter.
In fact, some studies put this difference in engagement at somewhere around 200%. Building this culture can be challenging, but here are 4 ways that you can start your company on the track to great company culture.
1. Communicate from the Top Down.
Communication in a company is one of the things that most employees will mention when they talk about workplaces in which they have been that have bad company culture. This might be how they are spoken to, leaving them feeling belittled or looked down on, or it might be that the company management holds their cards too close to their chest and, as employees, they don’t know what’s happening in the company. By showing your staff a level of openness and communicating some of your future plans and ideas to them from the top, you’ll build trust in both directions and your employees will recognize this almost immediately.
2. Ask for Feedback and Use It.
Getting your staff to give you ideas about every aspect of your business serves two purposes when you do it well. Not only does it make your employees feel like you are listening to them and taking their opinions and ideas seriously, it can also give you real insights into each level of your business. You don’t need to schedule specific meetings for this, but if you do, make them punchy and efficient – you can do so by making it part of your morning briefings or toolbox talks, which is a term from the construction industry where managers and foreman maintain that safety is a priority. Don’t forget to implement some of these ideas to show your staff that you are not only listening to them but using their feedback too.
3. Recognize Your Staff Contributions Publicly.
Human beings respond to praise and incentive. This is one of the most fundamental truths when it comes to motivating people. Taking both of these things and creating a rewards program that publicly recognizes those who are performing well and offers a reward – whether financial or some time off or something else entirely – recognizing their contributions publicly will make them feel great and will have others notice that you care. In the same breath, keep any criticisms or performance issue discussions between you and your employee and don’t confront them in front of others because this will have the opposite effect of demotivating them.
4. Stop Micromanaging.
Sometimes you need to just take a more hands-off approach and focus on empowering your employees to do their work without needing to check in with you or get your signoff on every little thing they do. Trust them to be able to do their work correctly and let them work with some autonomy. This might mean you have to fight against some of your own instincts to control things, but in the end, you’ll get better productivity and better results from your team.
With some small changes in the way you manage your team and with almost no cost, you can start to shift your company culture in the right direction. By understanding humans and what motivates and inspires them, creating a workplace where your employees feel a part of and want to give it their all can only mean better productivity for your company.