Company (work) culture is the overall ambiance of a company. It guides the principles of an organisation and also the behavior of employees. A healthy company culture has a positive effect on the productivity of employees and vice-versa.
Not only that, companies who reach on top are the ones with a very healthy work culture. Take the example of Google, Apple or Facebook, all of them have numerous employee benefits and perks. Yes, perks do form a part of a good company culture. It’s also about how you treat your employees.
Are you thinking that only the big corporate companies can afford to provide great benefits to their employees? That’s not correct. Even small businesses can make their office a great place to work if they treat employees fairly and provide few benefits.
Here are a few ways through which you can build a great company culture.
Value your employees
Valuing your employees is probably the first step in creating a great corporate culture. Treat your employees as assets, not liabilities. If you value them, they will stay for a longer time.
Employee turnover costs can really cost you a great deal. Some studies predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it will cost them 6 to 9 months of the salary on an average. The cost seems to vary by wage and role of an employee. So, it’s better to make your existing employees feel valued and retain them.
Encourage team bonding
Teamwork is an essential part of an organisation. It helps the employees improve their morale and productivity. One way of doing that would be to get the team to spend some time outside of work, involved in fun activities together. This will result in forging personal relationships between employees, which will go a long way towards creating healthy work relationships.
Invest in perks and benefits
Successful companies like Google, Facebook and Apple invest heavily in employee perks. Google offers perks such as an in-house gym and Facebook offers on-site healthcare. Even if you don’t have the budget to accommodate these types of perks, you can at least provide some fun and inexpensive employee benefits like providing free snacks.
Give rewards and recognition
When an employee exceeds his performance expectations, he deserves a pat on his back, even more than that. Rewards and recognition improve an employee’s morale, encouraging him to perform better. Also, companies that have a recognition-rich culture tend to have dramatically lower employee turnover rates.
An example of rewarding employees could be tenure awards in which you could give gift coupons to employees who have been in the company for 5 years or longer. Recognition could also be given to employees for outstanding customer service in case of a critical situation.
Communicate your mission, vision and values well
It is essential for a company to communicate its vision and mission to employees. The statements should reflect an organisation’s long-term strategy. These long-term strategies will create short-term goals for each of the employees, and how they can achieve their goals.
Put your company’s mission and vision statement across very strongly, so that employees relate to it and act accordingly.
Take care of your employees’ health
Employee health is an understated secret of a great company culture. Healthier employees are more productive. You should, therefore, invest in employee health and well-being.
Buy medical insurance for employees and their dependents. This will reduce their burden of contingencies and focus more on work.
If your budget allows, also set up gym or yoga centers in office.
Transparency is not only positive for employees. Its effects will impact the entire organisation. It’s about giving employees insight into a company’s operations and future. It’s about giving employees a trust in the company. Trust is the foundation of a great company culture.
To build transparency, you can conduct company update meetings regularly, providing updates on the company performance and corporate events. Build glass cabins and let the managers be accessible to all employees.
Embrace employee independence
Trust your employees to manage their responsibilities themselves. Work cannot happen only in a certain way. Employees are human beings, and everyone might have a different way of doing things. Let them work independently. No one likes to be micromanaged at work. It hampers productivity.
Empowering employees drives innovation and expertise. Independent employees are also more likely to stay on the job.
Creating a flexible work environment may take some time and planning, but the end result will be a more engaged, energised, and productive workforce. Flexibility at the workplace has been proven to increase the morale of employees and reduce turnover.
To inculcate a flexible work culture, you could start by allowing flexible work timings and work from home option in cases of emergency or health issues. You could also allow new mothers to meet their babies during breaks. These are a few small steps towards a flexible culture but will go a long way in creating and maintaining a positive work environment.
Building a great company culture takes time. It doesn’t just happen in a year or two. Your culture should align with your mission, vision and values. It should resonate with everyone in the organisation. There’s no finish line for the process. An amazing company culture is a constant work in progress. Devote time to nurturing your company culture every day.
A great culture attracts the best workers, increases retention, improves performance, lowers costs and most importantly, builds an employer brand which you can be proud of.