Whether you are launching a new startup or the captain of a century-old business, culture matters. A positive corporate culture can be a magnet for top performers, while a toxic culture will send the best workers fleeing.
It is not always apparent just how much impact corporate culture is having on brand, productivity and profitability, but several key warning signs can tell the tale: high turnover rate, bad habits, disengagement, unhappiness, or worse, gossiping and complaining.
Any of these issues surface as a signal that something is wrong at the company, especially when those departures continue even when unemployment spikes. That’s when you know it’s time to turn bad habits into good habits.
A bad corporate culture will have an impact even on employees who choose to stay. Low morale is the enemy of productivity, and a sudden decline in productivity figures could be an early indication of a perceived issue within the walls of your organization. At my company, we have a saying: Companies are built in the image of their leaders.
If the culture at your business is not what it should be, there are few rules you should heed by to help set things right.
Here are eight ways to improve your corporate culture starting today:
1. Strive for a transparent workplace
Trust is a valuable corporate value, and it should be the watchword at your company. Sharing key information with employees and keeping the lines of communication open is good for business, and for the corporate culture.
2. Take advantage of collaboration tools
Modern collaboration tools make communication and openness easier, so take advantage of those tools to improve your company culture. From Slack and HipChat to Skype and Google Apps, these modern communication tools can boost employee morale and help your company run more efficiently.
3. Celebrate successes and learn from failures
Whether you have 10 employees or 10,000, your workers play a key role in the success of your business. Acknowledging their contribution is a great way to boost employee morale and foster a more positive and inclusive corporate culture.
On the flip side of that, if someone fails at a task, rally behind them and try to help both your team and company learn from it, embrace it, but don’t dwell on it.
4. Reward top performers
In any great organization, the cream rises to the top, and rewarding your top performers is a big part of fostering a more positive corporate culture. Rewarding and otherwise recognizing your best performers will give everyone else incentive to do better, and that will be good for your business.
5. Foster strong relationships among coworkers
Teamwork is at the heart of a strong corporate culture, and smart business owners are always looking for ways to build better relationships with and among their staff.
Strong teams foster employee cooperation, which in turn builds a better workforce. Help out at a charity, take a group outing, surprise everyone with pizza — try to get interactions happening daily.
6. Encourage autonomy among your workforce
Employees who feel empowered have a better and more positive opinion of their workplaces and their bosses, so give your workers the freedom they need to do their jobs as they see fit. Employee autonomy is a vital part of improving corporate culture, and it is a concept you should embrace.
7. Show passion and inspire your team
The passion you bring to your job is infectious, so express that passion every chance you get. Your motto should reflect the mantra you have for the company — and living that motto every day can improve the culture, enhance productivity, and cut your turnover rate in half.
8. Give Your People Flexibility
There is more than one way to do things, and building flexibility into your operations will be good for your corporate culture. A flexible workplace is a happy workplace, so drop the rigidity and embrace creativity.
From reducing turnover rates and lowering recruiting costs to improving employee happiness and enhancing brand identity, cultivating a more positive corporate culture will have long-lasting benefits for you, your workers and your company.
It is not too late to develop a great corporate culture. Once you make the necessary changes, it can have inspiring and powerful effects on everyone at the heart of the company.