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The Importance Of Good Company Culture

Posted November 21, 2019, by Jenny

It’s no secret that good company culture can make all the difference in terms of employee morale and workplace productivity. If workers enjoy where they work and the environment they are in, they are going to not only work harder but add to a more positive work experience for everyone.

While this doesn’t mean you need to rush out and buy a foosball table, offer two-hour lunches every day and have an open bottle of wine ready to go at all times, there are certain ways to ensure you are putting in place a good company culture that employees will respect and enjoy.

What Is Good Company Culture?

“Maintaining an effective culture is so important that it, in fact, trumps even strategy.”

– Howard Stevenson

It’s important to look at what we mean when it comes to good company culture. First and foremost, the workplace should not be somewhere your employees dread coming to every day. If this is their mindset, it will be reflected in their work, and you will find yourself losing them to other companies. You want to avoid bad company culture.

Company culture is effectively the personality of your company. People don’t want to hang around negative influences, so if you don’t have a good company culture, you will find your staff turnover rates are high.

It is important to think of your employees as investments. If you invest the time and money into them and create a positive work environment, they will stay on at your company and work hard. Think of the cost in time and money it takes to train and skill a new employee – you can avoid this by creating a positive work environment that they don’t want to leave.  

Happy employees work harder, harder work results in increased productivity, increased productivity helps you get a step up on your competition and to help your business grow.

To start, it’s important to review your current company culture and consider whether there are any areas that you can improve on. 

Here are 5 company culture problems that could be letting your business down:

Rules

While it’s important to have some rules in place when it comes to your business, it’s important to ensure they aren’t affecting your employee’s ability to carry out their work. In order for an employee to feel valued, they have to be able to bring something to their job each day, whether that’s creativity, spontaneity, humour, or something else. Having (unreasonably) rules in place that stop your workers from being able to be themselves or to make the job their own will leave them feeling suffocated and unhappy in their role. In fact, rules can often prevent people from working to their full potential and can mean that as a company, you are losing out on brilliant ideas that could really boost you. Have a review of your current rules in place and decide whether some of them can be eased up a little.

No Flexibility

In this day and age, flexibility is a must. Let’s be honest, most jobs don’t actually need to be done between the hours of 9am and 5pm, so why do we make workers stick to these times? Many people are raising families, have daycare drop-offs and pick-ups, school events, and so much more, and being able to work around these significantly improves employee morale. They won’t feel the need to take unnecessary sick days to combat these issues, and you will find by allowing them to work hours that suit their needs, they will be much more productive and positive in the process. Set outcomes for their work, rather than the exact hours they have to complete it in. Value the work done over the time spent and everyone will be better off. This is a great chance to have a chat with your employees about their ideal work hours and how you might be able to accommodate this.

Closed Communication

By closing your employees off to open lines of communication with higher staff members, you aren’t giving them a voice in the company and they won’t feel like a valued member of the team. Communication can help every area of your business. It will make sure any good ideas are heard at the bottom and make their way to the top. It ensures that every employee has the tools they need to get their job done, and it adds value to the workplace and how employees feel coming in to work each day. If you are wanting to open up these lines of communication, start with dedicated staff meetings where your employees are encouraged to speak up and share their view.

Not Listening 

Opening up the lines of communication also means taking on any feedback that employees provide. It’s important to note that you are not expected to say yes to every single request that comes through, however it is important that they are all considered. Get back to the employee and let them know why their request has or hasn’t been approved and why. This simple act of making them feel heard ensures they feel valued within the workplace and like their opinion matters. 

No Follow Through

This one may seem a little obvious, but if you say yes to something, then follow through on it. There is the best way for your employees to lose trust in you and the company, and it’s not something that can be built back easily. If for some reason, you can’t follow through on a promise, it is better to be open about the reasons and upfront with employees so they know what is going on. Having a level of transparency helps to retain their trust in the circumstances.

These are just some of the ways you can avoid a toxic work culture for your employees and ensure a productive environment that everyone can benefit from. 

Of course, employees are also on the lookout for good work cultures and aren’t likely to give your company a second glance in the job market if it appears otherwise. Good work culture is actually a great recruiting tool that can help your business stand out.

Here are some of the signs that your workplace is a positive one:

  • Long-term employees: workers aren’t going to stick around if they aren’t being treated right, so plenty of long-term employees is a good indication that you are doing something right.
  • From colleagues to friends: while you want your employees to get along with each other, the difference with a great workplace is that they become friends outside of work. This creates a great professional dynamic.
  • Professional development opportunities: if your workers are being offered opportunities to grow their skills, they are more likely to stick around and feel valued. By helping their career, you are also helping your workplace. Many potential employees will highly rate an office than encourages professional development.
  • Celebrations! Companies that celebrate together, stick together. By celebrating the small wins, you are building team morale and showing employees how appreciated they are.

Going for a new job and keen to get a feel for their company culture? Check out these Sneaky Ways To Figure Out A Company’s Workplace Culture.

Jenny

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