Your company culture is a catalyst for your success. When a company has a strong culture, it sees four times more revenue, is three times more likely to retain the employees it worked so hard to find, and is targeted by 94% of job seekers.
Building this type of company culture requires a concentrated effort from leadership, managers, and employees. It’s an “all hands on deck” endeavor to take you from good to great.
There are many ways to improve your company culture. To help you get started, here are three actions you can take starting today to make a positive difference in your current culture.
- Create an environment of feedback and recognition.
- Establish development opportunities.
- Develop an environment that has open and honest communication.
Create an environment of feedback and recognition
People crave acknowledgment for their contributions and have a desire to be noticed by others. A Gallup workplace study showed that recognition produces dopamine, which creates the positive emotions of satisfaction that we crave. When we don’t receive the recognition we desire, we begin to ask ourselves, “Why am I doing this work?”
When our work is recognized, it:
- Helps us feel accepted.
- Provides affirmation and approval.
- Gives a sense of pride in our work.
- Builds trust.
Employees will work harder if they feel better appreciated and are more engaged in their jobs.
For feedback and recognition to feel meaningful, it must be:
- Genuine and consistent – much more than just “good job.”
- Authentic – it needs to come from a good place for both parties.
- Fair – employees should be recognized in equitable ways while specific to each person.
- Personal – it needs to feel unique, meaningful, and tailored to an individual.
Make a commitment to give everyone a raise in praise. Your people crave it.
Establish Development Opportunities
Learning and development always top the lists of those who are engaged in their roles. When employees evolve through development, they feel more valued in their jobs. This also leads to increased confidence and retention.
- Career growth – people want a job that leads to greater things. An engaged employee is not stuck in a dead-end job.
- Retention – investing in employees allows them to feel they are growing, leading them to want to stay with your company.
- Reaching potential – developing employees helps them reach their full potential and career aspirations.
- Helps people thrive – many fear that they don’t have the skills needed to grow and crave those learning opportunities to improve their skills and add to their experiences.
- Encourages Innovation. When the knowledge base increases, ideas begin to flow.
Create a development plan for each person who reports to you. Ask them about their goals and aspirations. Make a developmental plan for them and share how you will take them there.
Develop an environment that has open and honest communication
Encouraging open and honest communication throughout your organization is vital to a successful culture. No need to worry about what happens behind closed doors or what lies in the future if you talk about things more often. When you have a psychologically safe environment where everyone feels free to speak up, it creates an environment where they share more with you. In turn, people don’t worry about things they can’t control; they focus on what they can control.
Creating this atmosphere is crucial for employees for several reasons:
- Feeling safe - Employees begin to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without retribution.
- Clarity and better understanding - It helps everyone better understand their roles, responsibilities, and goals. When you know what is expected of you, you can perform more effectively.
- Problem solving begins - When there is open communication, it becomes easier to identify and resolve issues and challenges.
- Reduced anxiety - Overthinking makes people anxious. Cutting down on speculation and rumors frees you to focus on the task at hand.
- Conflict resolution – Conflicts can be addressed promptly and effectively. When you allow employees to voice their concerns, they are likely to work together to find resolutions.
Help empower people by sharing a peek behind the curtain. Create a shared mission that they want to rally around.
Lily Tomlin once said, “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”
Don’t wait for others to work on your company culture. YOU can begin to make a positive difference with your company culture today by paying attention to what is driving the engagement of your employees. Although there are many actions you can take, choose one and begin focusing on that today. Make a few changes to how you do things now. Both you and your employees will soon reap great rewards.