7 Easy Ways to Improve Company Culture

The Importance of Company Culture

Company culture is the invisible backbone of every organization. A recent Gallup study reveals that employees who strongly connect with their company’s culture are 3.7 times more likely to be engaged, 5.2 times more likely to recommend their organization, and a staggering 68% less likely to experience burnout. It’s no surprise then, that fostering a positive culture is a strategic imperative.

Investing in company culture isn’t just about kombucha on-tap and ping-pong tables though; it’s about building a foundation of shared values, trust, and purpose. Consider the cultural excellence of Zappos, the online shoe retailer renowned for its happiness-centric approach. By prioritizing employee well-being, autonomy, and a fun yet collaborative environment, Zappos boasts a remarkable 94% employee satisfaction rate and has consistently ranked among the “Best Companies to Work For.” Their focus on culture has translated into business success, with Zappos becoming a billion-dollar company within a decade.

Start at the Beginning

Company culture starts with your employees, the very foundation upon which your unique organizational identity rests. This underscores the crucial importance of finding the right cultural fit during the interview process. Imagine hiring a brilliant but disruptive individual; their talent might shine, but they could clash with the existing team, creating disharmony and ultimately hindering success.

To begin, define your culture clearly, including your core values and the behaviors that reflect them. Then, use the interview process as a two-way street to ask behavioral questions that reveal alignment with your values. Do they prioritize collaboration or individual excellence? Can they handle setbacks with resilience? Observe their communication style and body language; do they exude respect and openness?

Cultural fit isn’t just about finding employees who mirror existing personalities. It’s about seeking diversity of thought and experience, as long as those additions resonate with your core values. Look for individuals who bring fresh perspectives while seamlessly integrating into your established team. By prioritizing cultural fit from the beginning, you lay the groundwork for a strong company culture.

Diverse group sitting around a desk and putting their hands in the middle.

Offer Flexible Work Arrangements

Offering flexible work arrangements is no longer just a perk, it’s a strategic move with demonstrably positive results. A recent Forbes article reveals that flexible work arrangements, like remote work options or flexible hours, can lead to significant boosts in employee productivity. This stems from several factors, including increased autonomy, improved work-life balance, and reduced stress levels. 

When employees feel empowered to manage their schedules and work environments, they often experience greater focus, motivation, and engagement. As author Castrillon emphasizes, “Flexibility isn’t just about presenteeism; it’s about enabling employees to be their most productive selves.” By embracing this approach, companies can not only unlock a hidden wellspring of potential within their workforce but also boost their overall culture.

Create Team-building Activities

Intentional team-building activities connect colleagues on both a personal and professional level, fostering empathy and understanding, within their own departments and across the organization. Organize lunch-and-learns where colleagues share expertise, or host casual coffee chats to allow for informal conversations. Encourage cross-departmental projects or knowledge-sharing sessions to break down silos and build bridges. Company retreats offer valuable opportunities for bonding outside the daily grind. Whether it’s a weekend getaway focused on team-building exercises or a simple afternoon social event, these shared experiences create lasting memories and strengthen connections.

Don’t forget the power of more casual interactions. Encourage watercooler chats by creating designated break areas or virtual chat rooms where colleagues can engage in lighthearted conversations. In a remote setting, schedule virtual coffee breaks or online game nights to replicate the casual connections that build rapport. The best team-building activities are diverse and cater to different preferences. By offering a variety of options, you ensure everyone feels included and can connect in a way that resonates with them.

Recognize Employees

Launching an employee recognition program or process isn’t just about handing out trophies; it’s about investing in the very DNA of your company culture. Recognition builds a sense of community and belonging, leading to employees who feel valued, motivated, and invested in the company’s success. It also cultivates a supportive environment, fostering increased morale, reduced turnover, and boosted innovation.  Just remember, recognition isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Create a program that aligns with your values and offers diverse rewards — from public shout-outs to personalized gifts — to show genuine appreciation for your employees’ contributions.

Group of employees around a desk working on a project together

Use Employee Surveys to Identify Areas of Improvement

Employee surveys offer a window into the soul of your company culture, revealing strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth. Utilizing a variety of surveys provides maximum insight. For instance, job satisfaction surveys delve into how employees feel about their roles, responsibilities, and overall work experience. Stay interviews probe deeper, focusing on reasons employees may stay or leave, uncovering potential retention risks and areas for improvement. Employee engagement surveys gauge overall commitment and sense of connection, revealing where the spark might be fading or thriving.

The key to unlocking honest feedback lies in anonymity. By ensuring confidentiality, you create a safe space for employees to voice their true opinions, concerns, and suggestions without fear of reprisal. This allows you to gather unfiltered insights into areas that might otherwise remain hidden. Remember, surveys are just the first step; the real power lies in action. Analyze the data carefully, identify key themes, prioritize areas for improvement and communicate your findings and plans with employees.

More about People Element 

In order to truly understand and inspire your employees, you must listen and engage them at every step of their journey with your organization. Regardless of where your people are at in the employee journey, People Element’s employee survey platform can help you connect. They make it easy to ask, listen and act on what matters most, resulting in a healthier, more successful workplace. Learn more with a free platform walkthrough.

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