Here They Are…the 5 Ways to Improve Company Culture

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5 simple steps to achieve great culture that attracts the best workers, increases overall retention, improves performance, and lowers costs.

 

Editor’s note: This is part two of a two part series. Part one is entitled Pssst, It’s Your Culture! New Ways to Improve Company Culture

Part two starts with the recommendations to achieve company culture.

Five Steps to Improve Your Company Culture

1.   Make a commitment to your own self-awareness.

One of the things that is often left out in the plans for addressing company culture is what the CEO can do to themselves for themselves to be part of the process of change.

Some do hire coaches to help them be better, kinder bosses, but if you don’t listen to what the person you are paying to tell you the truth says, it is simply a wasted effort. And get this, if you are not the embodiment of being the top culture builder, no one, no matter how much you pay them will believe you really want good vibes and values to run in your place of business.

It all starts with you.

So own it!

2.   Be authentic to all, transparent with some.

Part of being a great culture builder is that you are who you say you are; meaning if you say you care about family values that shows in your company handbook; if you say people matter no matter what positions they hold, you treat the janitor with as much respect as you treat your right hand person in the company.

Authenticity rules culture building. But know that you don’t have to be transparent with everyone.

Sharing how different it is for you to change, how you hate that you even have to change is something you should only share with your most trusted advisors in the company. You’ll be surprised how that information travels around the company. But you can share how the market has impacted your company instead of making believe that all is well.

You can share how you will have to make some major adjustments in the future instead of lying that “all positions are safe” then the next month people are laid off.

Being authentic builds trust. Trust is truly the foundation of a great company culture. This is primarily a mental, rather than a logistical shift.

Instead of asking ‘is it absolutely necessary to share this?’ ask ‘is it absolutely necessary to conceal this?’ It’s that easy.

3.   Reward Culture Builders.

Did you know that companies that have a recognition-rich culture also tend to have dramatically lower turnover rates?

In an excellent article written for Forbes, Josh Bersin shared some astounding statistics, namely that the top 20 percent of companies with a recognition-rich culture have a 31 percent lower turnover rate. How much would a 31 percent reduction in your turnover rate save your company?

For the record, note that employee recognition doesn’t have to come exclusively from the top as has been the tradition.

It’s often even more impactful when recognition comes from the people all around them. A 360 degree approach.

Peer-to-peer is the most effective method of infusing recognition into your culture.

It’s also a great way to organically build stronger relationships between coworkers — which is the next step towards building an outstanding company culture.

4.   Build Stronger Co-Worker Relationships.

It’s been said that people leave their bosses, not their companies but when there are strong co-worker relationships, many times it anchors them to the job even if they are less than pleased with their immediate supervisor or the head of the company.

The reason for that is that stronger relationships at work drive employee engagement but that is something that needs to be worked on intentionally. MindTools shared some great tips for building better relationships: schedule time for it, develop your interpersonal skills, show your appreciation, and be positive.

Employees shouldn’t scatter the moment their leader approaches the water cooler. But we’ve all seen THAT happen right?

5.   Give Feedback. Fast and Often.

This is something that can be implemented so quickly in companies but often overlooked.

Employees simply don’t get enough feedback, and when they do it’s often vague or perceived as inauthentic. You may be thinking, “We do annual performance reviews. Feedback: covered.”

Uh. No. I’ve got news for you. Once-a-year feedback doesn’t come close to providing an employee with the tools they need to improve and grow.

A client comes to mind with this because she was so frustrated with her employees not doing “good enough work.” I asked her did you give them after the probation period.

She answered, “Oh no, we have a system and we do it annually. Let me show you our forms.” Employees usually hate those little boxes that essentially box them in to Great, Good, Average or Poor. That tells them nothing!

Giving helpful, timely feedback is a benefit to everyone. You can reward good behaviors and results as they occur, encouraging more of the same. Waiting a whole year is shooting you and your company in the foot.

If an employee is consistently having trouble meeting management’s expectations, that crucial feedback shouldn’t come as a surprise at the end of the year. They need feedback and most importantly support when it’s easy to make a correction.

START HERE

CEO, STOP blaming others. START looking at yourself and what you can do to create the best culture you can.

Building a great company culture is one of the most rewarding tasks you can take on. A great culture attracts the best workers, increases overall retention, improves performance, and lowers costs, all the things you have on that wish list.

Start with these five simple steps, and experience the impact they can have.

Related articles:

Part one: Pssst, It’s Your Culture! New Ways to Improve Company Culture

Creating a High Trust Culture at Work 

Branding Doesn’t Matter When Culture Doesn’t Work

Maintaining Control of the Small Business Workplace Culture

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