Every company desires to have a positive company culture for employees, but many don’t know how to make that happen. A lack of clear direction and transparency can breed many workplace issues. The most common ones include:
- Management that makes decisions in secret and then demands employees abide by them with little to no input from them.
- Management shares little information with employees that would help them understand the company’s vision and current performance.
- Rewarding poor or unethical behavior while ignoring or even punishing expected behavior.
- Failing to address legitimate complaints by the staff.
While these actions may not be intentional, they can reduce productivity, cause low morale and high turnover, and ultimately cause profits to decline dramatically. To reverse these trends, change needs to come from the top. Here are four things you can do to help create a positive culture and your company.
Be Clear About the Company’s Vision
All employees should know the core values of the company they work for. These could include things such as policy for handling customer inquiries, how it defines success, and its vision for the future. However, it can be challenging to relay these lofty ideals. Company leadership needs to create short, easy-to-understand statements or work with a consulting agency to create them. At the very least, the company mission statement should be posted on several walls and appear in the employee handbook.
Recognize and Reward Excellent Performance
People who don’t feel appreciated at work grow resentful and eventually look for a new job. One of the simplest ways to reduce employee turnover is to recognize those whose on-the-job behavior aligns with company values or who go beyond the standard expectation of service. Even simple rewards, such as a $5 gift card to a local coffee shop, help employees know that others recognize the value of their work. While recognition typically comes from managers, it doesn’t have to stop there. Peer-to-peer recognition programs, where one employee can post written appreciation for another, have proven successful as well.
Invest Time and Resources in Hiring the Right People
Choosing the wrong person for the job creates hardship for other employees. It also leads to higher turnover and lower morale. One way to address this problem is to use behavioral based interviewing when trying to fill a new position. Human resources representatives who use this technique practice behavioral based interviewing, a questioning style that focuses more on the candidate’s past behavior than his or her credentials alone. The rationale is that past behavior on the job is the best indicator of future behavior.
Provide Regular Feedback and Ask Employees to Do the Same
Employees can assume a lot of things when they don’t receive regular feedback about their job performance. For example, they may think they’re handling a project right only to discover months later they made a critical mistake in the beginning. Providing ongoing feedback outside of the annual performance review is crucial for a healthy company culture. Employees feel confident in their work and know that they can broach management at any time for help or to make suggestions of their own.
These are just four of many ways that your company can improve its culture. Feel free to reach out to us for additional tips or suggestions on implementing them.