Having a strong culture makes your organization more attractive to job candidates, which makes it easier for you to find your ideal employees. A strong company culture also helps to create a positive work environment that contributes to employee satisfaction and your overall success.
A strong company culture provides the following benefits:
- Higher employee productivity
- A strong brand identity
- Smooth onboarding
- An efficient and happy team
- Less turnover
- Attract high-performing candidates
If you don’t intentionally create your company culture, it will develop naturally from whatever dynamics exist. This could turn out unfavorable because a poor company culture can make your employees feel uncomfortable or stressed and this will impact their performance.
Instead of letting this happen, here’s what you can do to create a positive company culture.
1. Be intentional with your recognition.
Part of building a strong company culture includes recognizing your employees for their hard work and contributions to your company. When people feel appreciated and recognized, they put in more effort and are more productive.
Here are 2 tips to recognize your employees effectively.
Don’t be cheap.
When you recognize your employees, it’s important not to do it cheaply. People will know when they’ve been given a cheap gift that has been mass produced or is made with fake elements. For instance, if you’re going to give any type of gift with a diamond, make sure it’s real.
If you don’t have the budget for a traditional mined diamond, look into lab grown diamonds because they’re equally real, but budget-friendly. If you can’t get an item with a real diamond (or any other gem) it’s better to skip the gem all together.
Make it personal.
A personalized gift isn’t simply a t-shirt or an expensive pen engraved with someone’s name. A personalized gift is something that your recipient will love because it speaks directly to their likes and interests.
For example, if an employee you want to recognize enjoys golfing, you might give them some top-grade golf balls or a gift certificate to a store that sells golfing equipment.
You can certainly engrave names on plaques, briefcases, pens, and other items. Just remember that isn’t what makes a gift personal. Always have your recipient’s preferences in mind – otherwise, the recognition won’t mean much.
2. Listen to your employees.
Whether your employees are giving you positive or negative feedback, listen to everything they have to say. If your employees have a complaint about something, there’s a reason and it’s important to explore their concerns.
Strong leaders make it easy for employees to share opinions and experiences, which involves making yourself accessible for private, one-on-one conversations. Make sure your employees know they can come to you with their concerns without feeling like they might get punished for sharing.
This is a major part of the foundation for a strong company culture. If your employees know they can talk to you and share openly, they won’t hide things and will actually help you implement solutions when you need their help.
3. Be consistent.
Maintaining consistency throughout your organization will naturally support a strong company culture. People need consistency to feel stable and to trust you.
Some examples of consistency include:
- Holding everyone to the same standards (not playing favorites). This will earn respect from your employees and will eliminate some of the competitive/cliquish behavior.
- Maintaining enforcement of your policies and procedures (don’t let people slide).
- Following through with your promises
- Not changing rules, schedules, or agreements on a whim. For example, if you give an employee Tuesdays and Thursdays to work remotely, don’t change their remote days on a whim every other week. Having a consistent work schedule makes employees more productive.
Out of all you can possibly do to build a positive company culture, consistency will have the greatest impact.
4. Audit your culture periodically.
In addition to working on building your company culture, don’t forget to audit your culture periodically, too. Perform a “culture audit” every few months to assess how your culture is currently and where there’s room for improvement. Once you perform an audit, create a plan to transition your company into your ideal culture.
Write your company culture into your employee handbook.
Once you know how you’d like your company culture to operate, put it in writing. What behavior traits do you want your employees to embody as part of your company culture?
Describe this in words and incorporate it into your employee handbooks. You’ll still need to train your new hires to embody your culture, but those ways of being will be easier for employees to embody when outlined in your company’s handbook.