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Improving Your Company Culture- One Step at a Time

A group of people sitting in a room, collaborating ideas.

Your company’s culture can say a lot about your business. Company culture is the environmental personality that your employees work in. This includes the company mission, values, ethics, relationships, organization, and goals. This can be very important to your business’ success. In fact, Deloitte’s study found that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success. When your employees understand your business structure, values, and strategy, they can work together towards company goals. 

Company culture can vary from business to business drastically. For instance, you may walk into a business and notice everyone sitting in cubicles doing their work, quietly. These employees can’t see each other, they are wearing business attire, and there is very little collaboration. This differs from a company like Buzzfeed, where employees’ desks are all touching, employees can wear whatever they want, and conversation among employees is easily achievable. Whatever the case may be,  your environment and company personality says a lot about your business. If you’re not necessarily happy with your company culture, it isn’t too late to make a change.

How Can Company Culture Affect Your Business?

Customer Experience

Your company’s culture can say a lot to your customers and can affect customer retention. Almost any business would agree that keeping customers is one of the most important aspects of growing and sustaining a company. This means that it’s incredibly important that your business reflects a caring environment. If your employees are not trained properly to take care of your customers, or if your employees have negative attitudes towards customers, your business will not survive. Create an environment where you take care of customer problems, listen to their needs, and have a positive attitude when handling situations.

Not only should your employees have this attitude towards customers when they are in the office, they should also practice this outside the office. If your employees are bad-talking customers or your business outside of work, it can steer people away from working with your business. This is why you need to create a culture where all employees respect the morals and values of the company.

Hiring Employees

Company culture tells potential employees what your business believes in and what they should expect from working with your company.  Most people who have handled hiring employees know that hiring is one of the most difficult tasks. Since it can be daunting, tedious, and expensive, you will want to try and get the right person the first time. 

During the interview process it’s wise to check and see if the prospective employee fits in with your company’s vision, values, and goals. It is also important to check that this person fits in nicely with your other employees. Yes, it’s important that this person has the skill set for the position, but you’ll want to make sure that their values align with your culture. If a new hire has an understanding of your culture and also shares the same values, it is more likely that they will flourish. If they do not align with your culture, this person might not stay long. Or, even worse, you’ll end up with an unhappy employee who does not perform to their best ability and affects the moral of others. 

Employee Retention

One of the biggest things that company culture affects is employee retention. If your employees do not have aligned values, beliefs, and behavior,  they may not stick around for a long time. Of course, this can be bad for your business because you would have to hire new employees. Hiring new employees is costly in both time as well as to your finances, so it’s in the best interest or any company to hold onto good people.

You will want to create a culture where employees will want to be loyal and stay with the company. This means that you must find ways to make employees satisfied and dedicated. Employees will not stay at a company that makes them feel like they are overworked, stressed, and underappreciated. Treat your employees with respect, create an environment where they have a voice, let them collaborate with one another, give them benefits, and create a positive atmosphere.

Tips to Adjust Your Company Culture

  • Define your company culture: Clearly describe what your company values are and what your goals are. What is the behavior you want to exhibit towards customers? Do you value customer service? Are your employees working collaboratively? Do you expect certain actions from your employees? If your employees do not understand what is expected of them, they may never succeed.
  • Write down your goals: Although company culture is not always stated on paper, it’s a good idea to write down what your core beliefs, values, and expected behavior is. If this is written down, all managers, supervisors, and employees will know exactly what your culture is.
  • Talk to employees: Openly communicate with your employees to understand their points of view. Are they all on the same page? Do they think there is room for improvement? Do they want their voices heard? They may provide feedback that can help the overall employee experience, which can then help employee satisfaction.
  • Be transparent: Let employees know when you have failed or when you have succeeded. Let them be a part of the process to better your company. Be open to suggestions by others. 
  • Provide benefits to employees: Your employees want to feel appreciated for their hard work. After all, they are helping you with your business. Show them you value their work by providing them with time off or throwing a company party. A little freedom and fun never hurts!

If you want to change your company culture, it isn’t too late. The overall culture may take a while to change completely, but you can improve your atmosphere. One of the most important things to do is observe what is and isn’t working in your business. If you can establish what needs improvement, you can take steps to make changes. Just make sure that you clearly state what you expect from your employees so that the entire company is on the same page. Working together can create a better environment for everyone.

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