Workplace culture involves imbuing an organization with a strong and clearly defined set of beliefs that are widely held across an entire organization. These beliefs are typically structured by corporate values as well as company-wide guidelines that, in essence, provide a sense of character and personality for a business.
Cultivating a positive workplace culture is a definitive part of any successful business. With that said, here is the full breakdown of why workplace culture is important and how you can implement it in your own enterprise.
Why Is Company Culture Important?
Company culture is a powerful tool that can provide a plethora of different benefits for virtually any organization. It can be adapted to any workspace, from a warehouse to an office, and even a remote work environment. A well-defined and successful workplace culture can:
- Attract quality employees — 54% of employees claim to have remained at a job longer than was in their best interest purely on the grounds of feeling a strong sense of belonging and community.
- Unify the customer-facing voice of your team through a predictable and clearly delineated brand voice.
- Encourage engagement, commitment, and interest from your staff.
- Increase critical elements such as employee satisfaction, higher productivity, and customer service.
By creating a clear culture for your workplace, you provide your staff and customers with a purposeful and meaningful experience that isn’t just focused on the bottom line. Nevertheless, while still improving your customer and employee experiences, a healthy workplace culture can also boost your revenue and lead to growth. This is due to the numerous positive side-effects that come from cultivating happy customers and satisfied employees.
Tips for Cultivating a Workplace Culture
Below are six important tips that can help to create a high-quality company culture.
Before applying any of the following advice, it’s essential that you first assess the workplace culture that you already have (or don’t have) established. This will help you understand what you’ve already accomplished, what can be improved, and what must be added to your workplace culture strategy.
Trust is one of the number one factors that contribute to a positive workplace culture. Establishing trust on both a horizontal level between coworkers as well as a vertical level between employer and employees is essential.
This smooths the way for proper communication, healthy transparency, and teamwork as your staff benefits from feeling unified and supported in their collective work. Trust can also contribute to a safer work environment. Employees can feel confident to broach topics like workers’ comp or mental health with their superiors. This can naturally reduce the number of workplace injuries, making it an important factor in helping with employees’ mental and physical wellness.
Involve Employees in the Process
There’s truth to the old saying that your employees are “the face of your company.” As the primary points of communication between clients and your business, it’s worth including your employees in the workplace culture-building process.
You can do this by clearly communicating existing culture and expectations and then garnering feedback from your staff. You can also proactively request ideas from your employees, actively listen to their input, and then look for ways to weave their suggestions into your evolving workplace culture.
Allowing your employees’ voices to influence their work environment won’t just help to craft a thorough and well-thought-out culture. It will also ensure that they’re individually empowered to uphold and adhere to your business’s unique personality, as well.
Set Clear Goals
Goals are typically associated with company directives and business-related projects. However, they can also be applied to workplace culture, as well. If you have an existing culture that you want to change, goals can help you communicate those changes with both management and staff.
If you don’t have a distinct workplace culture yet, goals can provide the necessary benchmarks that your staff can strive to achieve, such as establishing transparency or empowering employees. Goals also give you a way to objectively measure your success or failure and make necessary adjustments as you go along.
Provide Frequent Feedback
Trust, employee involvement, and goals are all excellent tools to help you establish the workplace culture that you want to create. When it comes to the actual act of cultivating that culture, though, it’s wise to utilize employee feedback — often.
Feedback provides regular opportunities for your staff to learn and grow. It focuses on constructive criticism and suggesting areas of potential improvement. In addition, quality evaluations should aim to reassure employees that the feedback provided is indicative of the high expectations you have for them as well as the belief that you know they can achieve them.
Along with building workplace culture, properly worded feedback can increase and improve communication channels between managers and staff as well as between departments and even throughout your company as a whole. This has the natural side effect of also improving the proliferation of company culture goals as well as the development of teamwork and trust.
Reward Good Work
It doesn’t matter if your culture-building activities involve building trust in your warehouse crew, maintaining transparency within your office, establishing a company-wide focus on corporate social responsibility, or anything else, it’s important to reward company-culture-approved achievements whenever they take place.
When someone goes above and beyond, such as boldly calling out an unsafe work environment or proactively ensuring that multiple departments are aware of time-sensitive information, it should be directly acknowledged, highlighted, and rewarded. This will associate the behavior with positivity and remuneration, naturally reinforcing the culture that you’re trying to build.
Assign Role Models and Mentors
Once you have your company culture established, it’s important to take steps to ensure its longevity. One of the best ways to do this is by assigning role models and mentors who are already very familiar with your company culture to help guide newer employees.
Apprenticeships and training under a journeyman or master craftsman are already common concepts in many industries. They are often required to become knowledgeable, certified, and even licensed depending on the field and region in question.
When it comes to company culture, though, the concept of learning under an experienced authority can also help to reinforce and propagate your company’s beliefs, values, goals, and personality from one generation of employees to the next.
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