Improved company culture is a goal included near the top of many executive officers’ priority lists. Because corporate culture impacts everything from recruiting to retention to revenue, it’s absolutely crucial to running a successful business.
Culture is what impacts your employee turnover rate the most. If you’re dealing with issues of low productivity, low engagement, and low retention, you probably don’t have a resource management problem—you have an issue with your corporate culture. By making culture a priority, you can instantly address many of the challenges that business owners face.
Good company culture is more than just statistics and the bottom line. It’s the lifeblood of your company. It’s what makes employees (and leaders) love their jobs and keep coming back year after year. It’s what makes work meaningful.
If you’re currently looking to improve culture within your company, consider the following six elements to evaluate current strengths and shortcomings. By making significant changes in these key areas, you’ll promote employee engagement and create a much more positive working environment for you and your team.
Top 6 Elements of Good Company Culture
1. Established Values
Values form the foundation for every successful business—and every successful team culture. Whether you develop a mission statement, a list of priorities, or a company mantra, you need to establish some sort of guiding force for your team to rely on.
If you’re interested in going all out, take a look at the Netflix culture manifesto. They wrote an extensive explanation of their guiding principles that would make any CEO proud.
However, before you go scheduling a team retreat and crafting all-new value statements, hear this: your values need to be applicable and authentic to who you are as a company. A software consulting firm and a staffing agency, for instance, might have very different priorities and therefore a different set of values.
Establishing the right value system is the first step in making work “not just a job” for your employees. This is deeply intensive (and possibly emotional) work, and you need to give this step careful consideration before moving on to address other elements of your corporate culture.
2. Fantastic Leadership
Masterful leaders are compassionate, wise, mature, and thoughtful—but they don’t become that way on their own. A great company culture fosters great leadership and provides a healthy environment for new leaders to emerge.
Within the context of a positive corporate culture, powerful leaders look more like supporters and less like bosses. In practice, this means:
- CEOs share their goals, struggles, and plans with their companies.
- When making tough calls, managers acknowledge employees’ perspectives instead of announcing unilateral decisions.
- Leaders take employee feedback seriously and make appropriate changes.
On a grander scale, great leaders inspire their employees to invest in the values, vision, and mission of a company. They support their teams and motivate them to set and reach challenging goals. And with positive company culture, their job becomes much easier.
3. Consideration Policies
Although good company culture starts with good leadership, every policy you implement also impacts your organization.
Consider the policies related to time off. Whether you’re structuring new sick time, PTO, or parental leave policies, it’s time to take a compassionate stance. These policies dictate the benefits employees care about most and create the healthy work-life balance that’s so crucial for a positive work culture.
4. Successful Hiring
It’s much easier to build a positive company culture when you hire great people. That much is obvious. What really makes a difference to your company as a whole is hiring candidates that are a perfect fit for the culture you want to create—and that you treat them with respect throughout the hiring process.
Culture is communicated during the very first contact you have with an employee (or even a client). Make this moment count.
Hiring managers today struggle under an incredible amount of pressure. They often have to sift through hundreds of applicants for a single position. Discerning which applicants are truly qualified or experienced is a difficult task in the age of ‘one-click apply’ on LinkedIn.
Still, we believe in the law of corporate karma when it comes to hiring. If you treat applicants with respect and appreciation—by maintaining reasonable wait times, paying for pre-employment assignments, and never ghosting—you’re bound to attract individuals who believe in the same values.
5. Building Community
From an employee perspective, this may be the most important aspect of corporate culture. Community in the workplace shows itself in conversation, laughter, and friendship between coworkers. Gossip is at a minimum, and appreciation is abundant.
Companies that have mastered community manage to build up their teams without seeming corny or artificial—and, as far as we’re concerned, this is an art form all on its own.
Experiment with team building in all its forms to discover which methods work best for you and the overall personality of your company. And, most importantly, establish and maintain completely open lines of communication. Dialogue is the cornerstone of a healthy community, and any growth you pursue in this area stems from an emphasis on good communication.
6. Fostering Growth
The final element of company culture is future-oriented. Your company needs to have a forward-looking attitude that focuses on growth and development—both on the business level and at the individual level.
This growth mindset can be established in your company values, but this idea needs consistent practical application to make an impact on your team. Here’s what that looks like:
- Your company offers valuable training resources that employees use frequently.
- Employees in your firm feel challenged by their managers, their mentors, or their own professional goals.
- Innovation and creative problem solving are more than welcome in your workplace.
- Your company incentivizes, recognizes, and rewards team members who go above and beyond in their roles.
When you prioritize growth in these ways, you’re building a positive culture that will extend far into the future. You’re also doing a lot to encourage loyalty in top performers.
Each of these key elements of good company culture has a significant impact on employees. When everything works in tandem, they’ll feel supported, challenged, motivated, and appreciated by the general environment of your organization. That’s why every single one of these elements translates into higher employee engagement.
If you’re looking to start improving your company culture today, try implementing a change that involves several of these key elements: a high-quality employee recognition program. By engaging your employees through custom, high-value rewards and recognizing them for meeting performance indicators of your choosing, you’ll be able to communicate your company’s values instantly. You’ll help build tight-knit teams and create the perfect environment for growth.
At Inproma, we help leaders establish a good company culture every day. Our fully customizable employee incentive programs provide the first stepping stone for reframing the way you and your employees think about coming to work. Interested in learning more? Let’s talk.