7 Tips to Build a Great Company Culture—Infographic
As a small business owner, you likely operate with just a few key employees, which means retention is high on your list of priorities.
In today’s competitive job market, pension plans, salary, and healthcare benefits might be enough to attract top talent, but they alone won’t be enough to keep quality employees long term.
What will keep them? Job satisfaction, a great working environment, and loyalty, all of which can be nurtured through strong company culture. How do you achieve this? Look to the companies who are getting it right.
Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work in 2020 lists opportunities for personal growth and development, a supportive and inclusive environment, core values and focus on work-life balance as some of the key reasons employees give for their happiness.
A strong company culture equals motivated, engaged, happy employees who are much less likely to leave your business for greener pastures. While the Googleplex might be out of your reach, ensuring your company has its own great culture is not, and can make all the difference in employee retention; saving you time and money, and safeguarding your company’s reputation.
Here are our seven best tips for creating a culture your employees – and you – will love.
Work-life balance is paramount to employee happiness, and increasingly that can mean adopting a flexible work schedule. Flexibility is a huge perk for employees looking to manage households or outside interests alongside their job and goes a long way in creating loyalty.
Whether it’s allowing employees to decide when they start and finish work, or allowing them to work from home or another remote location, consider if there’s a flexible option that would work for your business. Flexibility can also be built into the assignments that make up their job; give them challenging, stimulating work wherever possible, and offer diversity – performing the same task over and over creates complacency, apathy, and dissatisfaction, so do your best to mix it up from time to time.
REGULAR, PRODUCTIVE FEEDBACK
Keep your employees (and your business) on track with feedback sessions that start by setting and tracking goals; showing employees that their work matters to the business and that they have room to grow and develop.
Employees who receive regular, productive (not negative or critical) feedback work harder, are more invested in the success of the business and are better perceived by customers and teammates. If employees believe themselves to be an asset to the company, they will BE an asset to the company.
LET THEM SPREAD THEIR WINGS
If an employee shows an interest in working on a side project or professional development, such as a relevant course or conference they would like to attend, encourage them! Investing in your employees by offering opportunities for growth and education is a win for your business. You’ll help them achieve their personal goals, and they will help your business with new ideas and expertise.
CLEAR, OPEN, AND DIRECT COMMUNICATION
Clear communication that goes both ways, with respect. From the outset, you need to communicate your business’s goals, mission, and expectations with team members. Foster a collaborative environment; hold regular team meetings to solicit your employees’ feedback, ideas, and input, and listen to them.
Your employees need to feel that their voices are heard and that their opinions matter - if they have a say in how the business is run, they will be more personally invested in its success. Involving your employees in the business gives them a sense of ownership and with it a big boost in morale.
If your employees don’t feel rewarded, appreciated, and credited for their achievements, they will leave. Fortunately, even the smallest of companies can find ways to reward exceptional employees. Whether it’s for the completion of a big project or an innovative new solution to a problem, rewarding employees for their work creates an all-important sense of fulfillment, recognition, and value, and fosters loyalty.
If you can’t afford to offer a cash bonus, there are still many ways to make employees feel special. Treating them to an extra day off or two, celebrating their accomplishments via an in-office ‘Wall of Fame’ or a company-wide email, or even taking them out for a celebratory lunch are easy and low-cost ways to let them know you value their contribution. Even a hand-written thank you note can be a powerful recognition tool – don’t underestimate the personal touch.
Small gestures can go a long way towards creating a strong company culture and bolstering employee morale. Start ‘casual Fridays’, bring your dog to work day, surprise them with donuts and coffee one morning, keep a complimentary soft drinks fridge stocked in your office, or give them a day off for their birthday.
EMPLOYEE WELLNESS PROGRAMS
Wellness programs help keep your employees happy and healthy, which means fewer sick days and more engaged and productive workers. You can implement a wellness program on next to no budget; get the whole team involved for scheduled in-office exercise breaks (watch this company take a calisthenics break), replace the contents of junk food machines with healthier options, or organize a company-wide team sport or exercise club.
For those with the budget, free or discounted gym memberships are a very attractive benefit, especially among the Millennial workforce. Any way you choose to realize it, an employee wellness program is a great strategic move for your business.
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