Everyone knows that company culture is a crucial component in a business’ success. It has a huge impact on everything from employee retention to the customer service your team provides. Businesses with an excellent company culture reap the benefits, while those at the other end of the scale suffer from low morale, unhappiness and losing key members of staff.
In 2020, company culture will become even more important to businesses as employee expectations rise, so here are 20 ideas that will help you improve yours:
The best way to start improving your company culture is by collecting feedback directly from your employees. Simply ask them how they feel about working for you and why they feel the way they do to find out how happy they are and how you can make them even happier.
Once you have collected this feedback, you can identify the trends in your comments to identify the bigger business-wide changes you can make to improve your culture.
Flexible working has become popular amongst employers and their staff in recent years and can perform wonders for your culture. Many modern jobs can be done from home just as well as the office, so there’s less need to shackle team members to their desks.
Employees’ lives are busier than ever so many appreciate flexibility. If employees are doing their jobs, does it matter if sometimes they leave early and make up the hours another day?
Success and ambition go hand-in-hand so to attract the best employees and keep them, you have to give them an opportunity to grow and develop.
Create personal development programs that show team members what they can accomplish with your business. Then, when opportunities arise, consider them amongst external candidates. When your employees see others progress in your company, they’ll know it’s the business for them.
Management are often seen to be the bearers of bad news, disciplining staff when they’ve done something wrong and showing their lack of satisfaction with the team’s performance. Unfortunately this means that the positive news is usually drowned out!
Instead, focus on the achievements and great work done by teams to boost their morale. Praise someone for their latest project, have awards for customer service and celebrate their success together.
Ideas don’t always have to come from the top. Encourage all your team to get involved in brainstorming session and listen to your employees’ opinions.
This will help generate optimism and teamwork, build relationships and make each employee feel valued while you get a glimpse of your employees’ potential. Plus, you might also find a hidden gem of an idea, too!
Team building activities are great when done correctly. But not when businesses force their employees to participate in stuff that doesn’t fit their culture and personality.
By all means, continue to look for ways to push staff out of their comfort zone, but do it in a way that they will find fun, not tedious. Look for activities that complement your team culture and atmosphere to get your team involved.
One of the biggest problems for company culture and team morale is bosses that over-promise and under-deliver.
As soon as your team start believing they are being misled, fractures will appear in your team chemistry and this mistrust will be hard to shake. Obviously, if you make a promise, no matter how big, keep it!
You need to establish a philosophy of clear communication to develop a winning company culture in 2020. You need to understand how employees feel.
Whether good feedback or bad feedback, each one of your employees should know that anything they share with you about how they feel at work is ok. You want to make them even happier at work, so to do this you must find out what makes them unhappy.
Workplace issues rarely appear out of thin air. Most are a cumulation of problems that have gradually built up over time until they reach boiling point.
This can be easily remedied by using employee feedback methods, or 1-2-1 meetings, to pinpoint little issues before they escalate and become big problems, which are much harder to deal with. Catching issues before it’s too late can do wonders for your culture.
Not only can you resolve employee issues with feedback, but you can also learn how to make business-wide changes that will make your entire team happier.
By making employee-led changes rather than management-led changes, each staff member will feel valued and part of something. After all, they are no longer working within a fixed culture, instead, they are helping to develop the culture to help it flourish.
Obviously, every business wants to reduce employee turnover to save time and money on recruitment and training, but its effect on culture is often overlooked.
With large changes in personnel, relationships are broken and the company culture can rapidly deteriorate in a short space of time. Keeping your staff happy and secure in their jobs is the only way your company culture will flourish.
One of the quickest ways to destroy morale is having a blame culture. Once you have one, it’s impossible to shake, as staff want to deflect negative focus onto others.
Always try to see mistakes from your team’s perspectives, and deal with them in an understanding and sympathetic way. Positive reinforcement from the top will spread across your team and will help you develop a supportive company culture where everybody helps each other overcome mistakes and setbacks.
People need to know WHO they’re working for. It’s hard to build morale around your company culture if they don’t know what it is; they NEED to know your business’ values.
In your company induction, spend time teaching new recruits about what your company’s purpose, mission and vision is. Then do frequent refresher training sessions, including fun activities and games, to keep reminding your whole team what your purpose is.
Employees need to know what is expected of them and what success looks like. If not, they don’t know what they’re working towards or how they’re performing. You need to give your team a goal.
A business metric such as the Customer Happiness Score® is perfect for this as it will align your entire workforce behind delivering Customer Happiness and allow them to track their real-time performance and identify where they need to improve to achieve their goal.
Active employees are productive employees, so consider offering free gym memberships, or organising team activities such as football or yoga. These activities have a huge impact on your employees’ well-being and help focus the mind, relieve stress and build relationships.
If this sounds too time-consuming, or wouldn’t suit your team, there are plenty of other things you can do such as investing in standing desks in your offices, too.
A fantastic alternative to energetic team-building activities is volunteering. It’s an effective way to give your whole team a massive boost to your morale and company culture.
Volunteering gives your employees the chance to collaborate with team members from other departments that they don’t usually interact with and develop new skills that they never knew they had. Plus it’s something great for the local community and your relationship with them.
Heading back inside your business, never underestimate the damaging effects of a lack of transparency and poor communication. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than having information withheld from you or being left out of discussions that you should be involved in.
Make sure you’re sharing everything with your teams and listening to their opinions on the subject. Excellent communication and leadership is a fantastic asset to any company culture.
Yes, it may seem a surprise, but actually meetings are crucial. Nowadays it is too easy to hide behind email (or Slack). So get out there, and catch up with people face-to-face.
This doesn’t always have to be in the meeting room either. Take the team out for breakfast or lunch, maybe even a drink at the local pub. Any time out of the office, no matter how brief, can make all the difference to morale.
…And speaking of offices. Forget old stuffy office spaces and try some ideas that make your office more comfortable; somewhere your employees enjoy spending their time.
Pool tables and table football have quickly become the trendy thing, but your changes don’t need to be so big. Maybe even a few comfy chairs in a quiet part of the office, coffee machines, plants, or something more funky that gives staff areas to recharge.
Collaborate – work together more seamlessly than ever before with Google Docs for collaborative work or project management tools such as Trello, Asana and Monday for keeping track of tasks between individuals and teams.
Listen – have video calls with your team using Zoom, talk with your staff instantly with Slack (don’t forget to include a gif or two) and listen to how your employees feel about working for your business with The One Question.
Company culture has been having a larger impact on businesses in recent years, and with 2020 just around the corner, its importance is only going to increase. After all, a great culture breeds great success.
Hopefully you’re already doing many of the 20 methods in this article, but just trying 2 or 3 extra can make a huge difference to your Employee Happiness.
Businesses who will succeed in the 2020s will be those who put Employee Happiness at the heart of their company culture. Those same businesses are the ones who are discovering how happy their employees are, then strengthening their relationships with all of their team.
So the real question is, do you know how happy your Employees are?