Organizational culture can be defined as the set of shared values, goals, and practices that characterize an organization. It’s about how people think about their work, what values they believe in, where they see the company, and what they do to get there. These characteristics represent the personality and culture of an organization.
Why is Company Culture Important?
Company culture is as important as business strategies, as it either strengthens or undermines the objectives. A positive culture is significant and here are 5 reasons why it is important:
1. Increased employee engagement
A work environment with organizational culture is driven by goals and clear expectations. This encourages employees to be more engaged in their work and in their interactions with others. It also leads to higher levels of employee engagement, which increases productivity. A strong connection between an organization and its employees creates a positive atmosphere that is hard to ignore.
2. Raised Productivity
It helps improve productivity and overall performance levels when employees have the resources and tools they need to succeed. Organizational culture influences the structure of the workplace in ways that bring people with the same skills together. People with similar backgrounds and skills can work together more quickly on corporate projects.
3. Brand identity
A company’s organizational culture reflects its public image and reputation. People make assumptions about companies based on their internal and external interactions. A lack of organizational culture or a bad image can make customers hesitant to do business with someone associated with your brand. Companies with strong brand identities tend to attract more businesses and job seekers with similar values that support their mission.
4. Successful Onboarding
Organizational cultures increasingly rely on effective onboarding practices to train new hires. Onboarding practices, including orientation, training, and performance management programs, help new hires access the right resources and achieve a better transition to the role. This promotes employee longevity and loyalty and reduces the frustration some employees experience when they don’t have the information they need to do their job well.
5. Healthy Team Culture
Organizational culture contributes to the improvement of work processes and guides the decision-making process. It also helps teams break down barriers of ambiguity. Team members who are well informed and knowledgeable about a particular process are often more motivated to complete the project. A clear culture that connects employees and promotes an organized work structure helps people work together in a goal-oriented way.
How to Improve Company Culture?
Knowing how to communicate well is the best way to improve your company culture. Misunderstandings are the main reason people are dissatisfied with their jobs and look for other opportunities. Improve your team’s experience by doing your part and communicating well. When sending emails and joining meetings, try to share your ideas as clearly as possible. It may be helpful to provide some background information on the topic or give a specific example.
Listen to Concern And Welcome Ideas
If you are in a leadership position, provide your employees with a public or anonymous platform where they can easily share their opinions. Encourage one-on-one meetings with members of the team, giving them the opportunity to talk openly and confidentially about sensitive issues. Employees feel valued by letting them know they can count on you for questions.
If you identify a particular aspect of your business that needs improvement, take the time to provide feedback on the issue and encourage others to do the same. While some businesses have strict standards requiring a procedure for submitting feedback, others are more relaxed. When providing comments, be sure to communicate in a professional and genuine manner. Discuss details and potential alternatives to the company’s challenges.
Consistency in leadership efforts helps people feel stable. Once your company’s organizational structure is in place, do your best to maintain processes and procedures. Treat everyone professionally and equally and avoid preferential treatment.
20 Company Culture Ideas
A successful company culture that includes clear and concise policies, effective communication strategies, and fair and equal treatment helps employees feel engaged and valued. Beyond base pay and benefits, check out these 20 company culture ideas that can make your small business a better place to work and ultimately more successful.
1. Launch a company culture committee
A cultural committee can be a very valuable tool for boosting morale and cohesive teams. The committee should be responsible for developing and implementing policies that promote a positive work environment (e.g., developing codes of conduct and setting standards of behavior for employees) and should consist of representatives from all departments and levels of the company. By establishing a cultural committee, employers can ensure that their employees have the resources they need to succeed in their roles.
2. Company culture in job descriptions
A job description contains some of the most important information a company can provide when hiring a new employee. These can not only specify the requirements of a particular role but also provide a snapshot of the company’s culture and values. This allows you to attract qualified candidates and high salaries. With this in mind, job descriptions should always reflect company values and employee expectations.
3. Include company culture in your employee handbook
As an employer, you want your employees to feel welcomed and valued. But what about communicating your company’s culture? How do you make your employees aware of this? One way is by including a culture section in your employee handbook. This creates a common ground for all employees and ensures that everyone knows what is expected of them.
4. Establish town hall meetings
Town hall meetings are company-wide gatherings to discuss policies, procedures, events, and employee recognition. This is a great time to make sure all employees are on the same page when it comes to expectations at work. Additionally, these gatherings promote open communication. It provides a forum for employees to raise concerns and ask questions while allowing companies to receive feedback on internal culture and opportunities for improvement.
5. Categorize diversity & inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are key values in the workplace, as they help create a welcoming and supportive environment for all employees. Cultivating a culture that prioritizes these can improve communication and teamwork, reduce stress in the office, and ultimately improve employee productivity and happiness.
6. Evaluate office workspaces
The majority of office space is rooms and booths lined up against walls and interiors, giving employees a sense of self-containment. You can contribute to collaboration, employee well-being, and the overall well-being of your company culture. Start by getting rid of cubicles and creating a more open workspace. This has many benefits, including improved communication and collaboration. An open workspace also allows creativity to flourish.
7. Develop culture with benefits
Benefit packages are one of the most important benefits for employees. You can strengthen your company culture by creating something full of traditional benefits. Start offering typical benefits such as paid vacation, health insurance, life/disability insurance, and retirement plans. Next, consider extras who can demonstrate and support your company’s culture and values.
8. Offer remote and hybrid work schedules
To reduce commute times and improve work-life balance, remote work and flexible working hours are growing in popularity in today’s competitive job market. As mentioned earlier, offering these types of options can improve company culture and help attract and retain top talent. Flexible working hours can also reduce stress and increase employee productivity.
9. Encourage time off
Encouraging employees to use paid time off is an important way to keep employees happy and productive. This is a direct result of a healthy corporate culture. There are many ways to make paid time off available to your employees, including:
- Make sure your PTO policy is clear and concise. Employees need to know exactly what rights they have and when they can exercise them
- Require an employee to use a certain number of his/her PTO days per year
- Unused PTO Rollover Permit
10. Promote work-life balance
Too much work can lead to burnout, while too little work can make employees feel bored or undervalued. Employers must ensure a healthy work-life balance for their employees. There are several ways to do this:
- Setting clear and reasonable deadlines
- Providing flexible working hours
- Provision of maternity and childcare leave
- Creating an environment where employees can easily take time off
By enforcing certain policies and practices, businesses can help employees manage their time and workload in a productive and enjoyable way.
11. Create collaborative teams
A collaboration team is a group of people (usually from different departments) working together to achieve a common goal. This can take the form of a brainstorming team, a project team, or a scrum team. It is an integral part of an organization’s success and helps reduce conflicts and improve communication among employees by enabling them to share knowledge, skills, and ideas. All of this leads to increased productivity.
12. Recognize employee achievement
Recognizing employees for their contributions to the company is an easy way to develop company culture. This can be done through praise and appreciation, recognition on important occasions, and awarding employee perks such as employee discounts and free tickets to company events. These simple actions contribute to a positive work environment.
13. Provide growth opportunities
Corporate culture is stagnant and ambitious. To break this cycle and improve employee engagement, companies must offer professional development opportunities. This may include training and development programs, mentoring partnerships, and other opportunities to help employees expand their skills and contribute to the company’s success.
14. Offer wellness program
When it comes to creating a healthy work environment, many companies overlook one of the most important factors: wellbeing. Wellness programs help employees feel better physically and emotionally, which in turn can improve organizational culture.
15. Provide company merchandise
Merchandise placement is the simplest way to push your business. There’s nothing better than having your company’s employees wear your company’s logo on their t-shirts, mugs, and pens. This is often called ‘company swag’ and maybe a product that showcases your name and logo.
16. Give performance incentives
Incentives are a vital part of performance management and are shown to be effective in motivating employees. There are various sorts of incentives, each with its own benefits and disadvantages. It’s important to settle on the correct form of incentive and ensure it’s appropriate for the staff involved.
17. Encourage volunteer work
Employees are passionate about more than what they do. You have desires and goals outside the workplace. Help your employees nurture their passion by offering them incentives to volunteer in their communities. This shows that employers care about their employees and what they do outside of work, rather than just focusing on the productivity they bring to the organization.
18. Use employee engagement survey
Employee engagement surveys help to assess employee satisfaction, morale, and motivation. By understanding employees’ opinions, organizations can make informed decisions about a way to best serve their customers and employees. Surveys may also be accustomed to identify areas of improvement.
19. Improve onboarding process
Onboarding is the first point of contact for new hires. To improve the onboarding process, companies should focus on creating a welcoming environment for new hires.
This can be done by:
- Create a welcoming culture
- Ensure all new hires are properly introduced to the company and its purpose
- Ensure new hires are provided with clear instructions and expectations of their role within the organization, as well as customer-facing guidelines.
Mentoring is a great way to develop and encourage an employee’s career. Employees who have a mentor feel more involved in their work, stay with the company longer, and communicate better. The benefits of mentoring go beyond individual employees. Companies that mentor their employees are seeing lower turnover, increased creativity and productivity, and increased innovation.
Real-world Examples of Company Culture
Google is known for being an excellent employer that has pioneered many of the perks and advantages that startups are now known for. Google’s employees are hardworking, talented, and enthusiastic. For its employees, Google’s corporate culture is a treasure trove of perks and bonuses. Free meals, employee vacations and parties, cash bonuses, open speeches by high-level executives, employee recognition, gyms, and a pet-friendly atmosphere are all available at Google. It’s no surprise that Google’s company culture is the gold standard by which all other IT firms are judged.
Zappos’ culture is now well-established and well-known. They concentrate on hiring to keep things going. The goal of the hiring process is to discover people who share the company’s values. Zappos devotes a significant amount of time and resources to employee team building and culture promotion. They want every employee to embody the company’s principles. Customers can even tell that Zappos staff are happy.
DHL is unique in how it benefits from its dynamic, multicultural environment. With a variety of programs, such as the unique integrated learning platform that fosters talent development, the organization looks after its employees throughout their careers.
Another pillar is workplace wellness, which includes annual events and long-term activities to protect employee health.
What conclusions can be drawn from company culture?
A company’s culture includes values, beliefs, behaviors, norms, and artifacts that connect the members of an organization. As in all other cultures, an organizational culture develops over a long period of time with the participation of the members. Through studying or analyzing the culture of a company, people can come up with various conclusions. These include conclusions about the resistance of culture, performance, communication, and leadership styles. These conclusions can be helpful for managers and consultants seeking to encourage better company cultures.