Company culture matters. That’s something few would argue, but it requires a large commitment to build a good culture.
But time after time studies show that commitment pays off. Every day, people across your organization think about your culture and it affects their opinion of your company and their job. In fact, a 2012 report from Deloitte showed that 94 percent of executives and 88 percent of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success.
So as you focus on unique ways to improve your culture, you’re probably looking for some guidance on how to keep that commitment a priority. At viperks, we’re fortunate to work with companies that are regulars on the best places to work lists, and they’ve shared some trade secrets with us. Here are nine of our best tips for making a good culture a priority.
1. Create and communicate a clear mission that includes company culture
If you want your people to buy into a better culture, you better show them you’re committed. Companies that make culture a priority build this goal into their vision and mission statements to help create accountability. They then share these ideas with the whole staff regularly to make sure everyone knows it’s a priority for the whole company. This shared goal is the first words that lead to bigger actions.
2. Hire for culture first, skills second
Skills don’t tell the whole story of a hire. When you’re building a strong culture, employees who mesh with your core values are crucial. Strong candidates who don’t adhere to the culture you desire will detract from your goals and despite their individual performance, will be a net negative for your organization.
3. Bake regular interruptions and fun into your office
People don’t always equate work with having fun — and of course, work isn’t all fun and games. But breaking up monotonous projects or days with a little fun around the office helps set a tone of community and employee engagement. If you’re looking for an easy way to start this, remember food goes a long way. One company we work with has an annual clambake for all of its employees and their families near the beach, giving everyone a fun night out that provides a connection to work.
4. Set goals for culture
Like making culture a priority in your mission and vision, measuring it is an important step to making it real. Take employee surveys regularly to measure happiness. Set goals to decrease turnover rates. Whatever you are aiming to improve in your culture, measure it and you’ll be more accountable.
5. Help employees’ live happy lives
If you’re working to build a culture of happier employees, then there is homework to do. Remember part of an employee’s attitude comes from their home life. While you can’t fix everything in an employee’s home life, you can help them reduce their stress and promote positive feelings about your company inside their home.
You can do this through wellness programs that promote physical health, flexible schedules that promote more family time or, as we help teams with at viperks, [through an employee discount program that helps them buy experiences they want and things they need](LINK to what is an employee discount program). These kinds of programs show that you care about employee’s well being and help provide a better work-life balance.
6. Provide regular feedback
Millennials’ desire for feedback has become common water cooler talk in HR circles, but, really, doesn’t everyone want a clear idea on how they’re doing? Don’t let employees assume the worst if they’re struggling. Schedule times for consistent feedback to help people know where they stand — and include feedback on how they’re performing against company culture goals.
7. Allow employees to give back
A good company culture extends beyond your office doors. As mentioned in tip No. 5, you can help employees take it home with them. You can also help them take it out into the world. Many employees have charitable interests that you can help them support. Some companies pick a few charities and give employees flex days throughout the year to donate time to them. Other companies give those flex days to employees and let them choose the charity. Either way, you’re helping them do something that makes them feel good, and that reflects on your culture.
8. Tell success stories
Did we mention words lead to actions? Well, then add to that, actions lead back to words. As you move your culture forward, celebrate it. Tell stories of team wins or of employees who are adding to your culture. Help the story grow by sharing these stories in a group setting and highlighting both the actions taken and how they help build a better company and a better culture. Use this as another opportunity to highlight the company mission.
9. Iterate, learn and improve — your culture is a living thing
There is no such thing as a finished culture. When you make a great culture a priority for your company, you’re making a long-term commitment, not a one-time investment. Like a campaign in marketing or a push from a development team, you need to constantly test new programs and improve on what you’re doing. Don’t let things get stale.
Want to learn more about how you can help your employees be happier and more productive? We’re here to talk (https://www.viperks.net/contact)