Category All, Best Practices Company Culture: 7 Easy Ways to Improve It Find out what are the easiest ways to improve company culture, and find out why company culture is so important. July 1, 2021 By Sara Ana Cemazar Company culture is often thought of as one of the most important aspects of the workplace. It is one of the factors that can make employees stay with the company or leave it for good. However, it is not easy to pin the concept of company culture down. Company culture is not palpable, yet it is everywhere around the company. When it is good, you barely notice it: but when it is bad, you surely know it. In this article, we discuss company culture. What is it? How do we define it? How to improve it, and why should it be so important to HR Professionals and employers in general? 🔹 Before we start, learn which 16 questions employees use to evaluate their employers! What Is Company Culture It is not an easy task to define company culture. In a way, it can be described as a set of goals, values, and attitudes that characterize an organization. Company culture can be observed in the way in which employees communicate with each other, in the way they collaborate, and in the way they talk to the customers. Furthermore, company culture can be noticed in leadership style and ethics, and it can also be seen in several aspects of the Total Rewards strategy. Why Is Company Culture Important Company culture should be nurtured or intervened into if it is affecting employees in a negative way. But why exactly? According to Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe that a distinct workplace culture is important to business success. In short, company culture leads to more revenue – and here is how. Higher employee retention When company culture is positive and inspiring, employees are keener to stay with the company. It is only logical: if you feel personal ties to your coworkers, you would be more reluctant to take on an opportunity in another company. However, company culture is more than friendly faces. It is also about how organizations treat their employees. When employees receive regular feedback, are recognized for their contributions, and the company invests in their development – employee turnover can decrease dramatically. Attractive employer branding An organization’s employees are its best ambassadors! If your employees like working in your organization, they will be more likely to spread a good word in their private circles. That way, the company has better chances to hire new employees via referral – which is the best source of hire according to 88% of employers. Boosted employee engagement Employee engagement determines how productive employees are. When company culture is demotivating, toxic or just disengaging, employees are less inclined to do their best. The result? According to Gallup, disengaged employees costs US businesses $500 billion a year. Improved employee performance As explained, when company culture is such that it boosts employee motivation, it affects employees’ performance in a positive way. That way, employee morale is heightened, employees know the purpose of their work, and how their work contributes to the overall company success. Increased employee happiness When company culture is positive, employees are more likely to be happy in their workplaces. Of course, company culture will not determine employees’ happiness on its own, but it will add to the total experience that makes employees satisfied with their work (or not). How to Develop Positive Company Culture Let’s dive into the most important part of this article: how can you develop a positive company culture in your organization? It is easier said than done – especially if you are new in your position in a company that just started paying attention to its people-oriented practices. It can be discouraging to find yourself in a position where you need to change negative or toxic company culture. In that sense, it is much easier to start from the bottom and nurture your culture from the beginning – even when you have only a handful of employees. However, change takes time! At the end of this article, you can find company culture survey questions that can help you measure your progress over months and years. Hiring for cultural fit As explained, it is much easier to start building your company culture from the beginning. In that way, you will build a team of people that can get along and work together as a team. It is no wonder that 82% of recruiters believe that cultural fit is important when hiring. However, you should be careful not to hire people that are too similar: difference in opinions and the way we think is where best ideas come from! Aligning employee behavior with mission and values of the company Every employee should be aware of the mission and values of the company and adhere to them in their everyday behavior. It is a good idea to create a culture code or company culture book, just so your employees know how the company’s mission statement translates into everyday work, communication, and relationships. Open communication Communication, communication, communication! Open, regular, and easy employee communication is the staple of good company culture. Apart from ensuring your employees can collaborate and communicate efficiently among themselves, it is important to involve C-level executives into your internal communications strategy. After all, 82% of employees believe that regular announcements from their CEO is important! Regular feedback Regular employee feedback is another staple of two-way communication that leads to healthy and productive company culture. Younger generations as Millennials and Gen Z are expecting lots of informal feedback from their managers and peers. Here are some useful resources that can help you make feedback a central part of your company culture: 🔹 How to give constructive feedback to your employees 🔹 5 Reasons to rethink annual performance reviews 🔹 Positive feedback examples to give to your employees 🔹 Employee evaluation best practices managers should follow 🔹 5 Editable employee evaluation forms Recognizing employees’ work Employee recognition is very important for developing positive company culture. Appreciating employees’ work should be a daily habit which does not require grandiosity – sometimes, “Thank you for the great work you do” is enough! Moreover, employee recognition is not only beneficial for company culture, but also for employee engagement, happiness, and other. Check out how implementing employee recognition best practices leads to increased customer satisfaction! Enabling employee development Professional development is a huge factor of happiness, retention and engagement for most of the employees. In fact, 68% of employees believe that training and development are companies’ most important policies. If a company does not pay attention to its employees’ development, it will most likely make the company culture passive and the overall productivity lower. Improving employee wellbeing Employee wellbeing came into most companies’ attention during the pandemic. Then, it was directly endangered. Apart from physical one, mental wellbeing is one of the most important aspects of a good employee experience, which will in turn affect company culture. In other words, you cannot expect to have a positive company culture if your employees feel stressed out, overwhelmed with work, or like they have poor work-life balance. Luckily, 85% of employers agree that an employee wellbeing program impacts employee engagement, retention, and company culture. Company Culture Survey Questions To realize your impact, you need to measure your efforts! It is always advisable to keep track of your progress in order to make valid conclusions and see how the company culture changes. Here are some questions you could include in your survey and evaluate your company culture. Rate the following items on a scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree): Our company culture is based on teamwork, integrity, and honesty. I have a healthy work-life balance. I am happy with the amount of feedback I receive from my manager. I have a good professional relationship with my coworkers. I feel like I am being listened to. Overall, I am satisfied with my work. I know how I contribute to the overall company’s success. I trust our management. I often feel stressed out from work. I would recommend our company as a good place to work at. Open-ended questions: What makes our company a good place to work at? What would you change about our company or the way we work? Do you feel like your work is respected among your colleagues and superiors? What is the most important aspect of your work life? What can we do that would make you feel more happy at work? Do you like the work atmosphere in our company? How important is feedback to you? Do you feel like you are given enough opportunities for professional development? Do you feel like you have good communication with your colleagues and superiors? How do you envision your future within the company? It is much easier to conduct surveys, collect their results, and measure your progress if you have an employee survey app. Moreover, software such as SurveyRocks can help you not only reinvent your company culture, but also tackle specific issues like poor engagement, productivity drops and more.