Company culture is among the most top characteristics that job-seekers say is important to them in a workplace — and for good reason. In an age of workaholism and burnout, work–life balance and job satisfaction are increasingly crucial to our well-being.
Company culture plays a large role in that, from the general feeling of acceptance and support to the inner workings of how projects get done. The best candidates for any given role are paying close attention to prospective employers’ reputations, so it’s worth your effort to build a culture that appeals to them. Plus, a poor culture can cause your top employees to seek a position elsewhere. If you feel like your company is weak, unappealing, or even toxic, don’t despair.
It’s quite possible to transform your company culture for the better. Here’s how.
Evaluate Your Current Employees’ Satisfaction
While performance reviews are common, it’s also useful to ask your employees how they would rank their supervisors and the workplace in general. Assess whether or not they feel like they have the resources they need to succeed. Are there processes or workﬂows that trip them up? Do they need a more ergonomic desk setup or ﬂexible work schedule? These aren’t just personal preferences: The unique demands of your workplace and the projects you do all have an impact on how your employees work. By identifying discrepancies or inefﬁciencies, you can take the ﬁrst step toward improving the culture.
Decide What Type of Workplace You Want
It’s okay if the famous “startup culture” doesn’t suit your business. In fact, an attempt to make your workplace whimsical or casual may backﬁre if it doesn’t suit the nature of the work. By the same token, a very rigid or formal workplace might be holding your employees back. The key is to see how if your workplace attributes and company values align.
For example, if you say that your company is invested in sustainability, but you’ve got your employees working under incandescent bulbs or with gas-guzzling equipment, you’re not walking the talk. If you discover this type of inconsistency, begin taking the steps to bring your values and workplace into alignment.
Communicate Your Company’s Story.
One thing that all strong company cultures have in common is that they carry the company’s story with them. These days, storybased marketing is very popular and effective, but internal marketing is just as important. Do your employees even know why you’re in business? What have you learned in your company’s journey that might motivate them?
Use your company’s story to guide an internal rebranding. This can include a new tagline, a company newsletter, motivational posters, or all of the above. Be honest and authentic with your employees, just as you would with your customers or clients. By doing so, you can build loyalty among your team and strengthen your company culture.
Take Steps to Address Problems.
One of the hardest yet more important things to do is to look in the mirror. If you’ve gotten negative reviews, the best candidates are seeing that when they evaluate your company. Take some time to search for reviews on Glassdoor and other job search sites. If you see that your former employees have left negative reviews, take it to heart.
There might be something to resolve. Common workplace problems that detract from a good company culture include micromanaging, poor project management, and nepotism. To strengthen your culture, create a plan of action to deal with these issues.
If you realize that your supervisors need improvement, offer a training program or consider a new project management system that can provide a more supportive, productive environment for your team. Doing this goes a long way toward a positive company culture.
Strengthening a company culture is no small matter, but an introspection, careful approach can bring it within your reach. Aim to have your company’s story, values, and efﬁciency lead the way, and eliminate or correct anything that might be contributing to a negative experience. Most importantly, be authentic and transparent. Loyalty goes a long way toward deﬁning a place people love to work.