Corporate culture: It’s one of those buzzword phrases that’s become huge in the business world in the last couple of years. Everyone wants a healthy, vibrant corporate culture, and everyone wants to prove said corporate culture to the rest of the business world.
These desires are understandable, given that companies known for a healthy corporate culture are generally more liked by their customers and stakeholders. So the question then becomes, how can you foster a successful corporate culture in your workplace? While culture is definitely not something that’s formed overnight, here are six helpful tips to get you started on the right path.
1) Give Feedback Often
When we say often, we mean all the time. Feedback is so important in an organization! Become a champion of open communication, where constructive feedback is welcomed and appreciated. One great way to do this is to welcome feedback yourself as well; if a manager requests frequent feedback so that they can better themselves, employees will be more likely to receive feedback towards themselves positively as well. Another important thing to note is that feedback need not necessarily be negative. If a colleague or employee produces quality work or lends a helping hand when they didn’t need to, reward them! Giving praise and showing appreciation can go a long way towards happier employees.
2) Allow for Flexible Work Schedules
These days work-life balance is highly coveted (check out our recent blog on the subject!). Flexible work schedules allow employees to find that optimal balance they need in order to produce the best work. By fostering a culture that allows people to have some flexibility in their schedules (whether that means the option to telecommute, extended vacation days or something similar), employees become more autonomous and morale is improved. Who doesn’t like the option to work from home now and again?
3) Avoid Micromanagement
Speaking of autonomy, nothing kills corporate culture like unwanted micromanagement. Your employees were hired because of their skill set and experience, so it’s really important that when it comes to actually completing their tasks, you trust them to do it well. Of course, if there are specific deliverables or high-stakes decisions to be made, providing direction and input is absolutely necessary (being too hands-off can definitely cause its own problems). But by trusting your employees to do their jobs and refraining from irritating micromanagement, you’ll foster a culture of empowerment, independence and competency that is sure to make your organization stand out.
4) Make Wellness a Priority
How have we not mentioned this yet?! Studies show that healthy employees are happier and more productive than those who don’t keep wellness as a priority. This makes sense: the less sick days you take, the more productive you are, and the better you feel on a regular basis the happier you’ll be! Enacting corporate wellness programs and initiatives is therefore crucial to the overall culture of your company. Offer discounted gym passes, set up WalkTops in the meeting rooms, do group yoga classes in the office or sponsor a company-wide step challenge. Whatever choice you make, keep wellness at the forefront and let your employees know that you care about their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
5) Encourage Collaboration
No one wants to get involved with a company that is known for an individualistic, isolated, every-person-for-themselves culture (at least I wouldn’t). But a company that encourages togetherness, friendship and genuine connection – that’s where I would want to be! Encourage collaboration wherever possible in your organization in order to create meaningful relationships and a sense of open conversation. If the nature of your organization makes working in teams difficult, set aside specific time for team-building. A healthy corporate culture requires a healthy social atmosphere, and that simply cannot happen if employees never have the chance to get to know one another.
6) Keep Core Values at the Center
Core organizational values are a big part of any corporate culture. Your values should guide every action that you make, whether big or small. If your company claims to value respect or employee engagement, but employees never have the opportunity to give their opinion on an issue, then employees will simply end up resenting upper management or the organization as a whole. If, on the other hand, an organization has strong core values that shine through in actions on a daily basis, then a positive corporate culture is sure to follow.
As we said, corporate culture doesn’t change overnight, and some of these fixes can take months (if not years) to implement. But remember, wellness, happiness and productivity are well worth the wait, so keep working at it every single day!