Culture is one of those buzzwords that entrepreneurs and business owners like to use. But what does it actually mean? And if it’s so important to large companies, are you prioritizing it inside your own organization?
What is a Workplace Culture?
Every company has a culture. Whether that culture is the result of intentional inputs or not is up to the management and leadership. In the absence of directed culture, employees will create their own.
As Indeed explains, “Work culture is a collection of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that make up the regular atmosphere in a work environment. Healthy workplace cultures align employee behaviors and company policies with the overall goals of the company, while also considering the well-being of individuals.”
Culture is important for a number of reasons, including:
- Engagement. The type of culture inside your business impacts how engaged individual employees feel. This impacts their work ethic, effort, creativity, and productivity.
- Satisfaction. We’ve all worked in companies where we hated our co-workers. This sort of toxicity impacts happiness and satisfaction, which in turn influences output. Most of us have also worked in companies where we felt connected to our co-workers (and the results are much different). Think about this when strategizing about your company’s workplace culture.
- Retention. A healthy culture has a high retention rate. This means greater continuity, lower turnover, and lower costs. (It’s much more expensive to hire a new employee than it is to keep an existing one in the fold.)
- Hiring. Job-seekers are no longer just looking for the highest salary or best benefits package. They also want to work for companies that have a strong culture. By building a healthy culture, you make it easier to attract the best talent to your business.
Your workplace culture goes so far as to impact factors like creativity and customer satisfaction. If your team is happy, your customers will feel that same energy.
Tips for a Stronger Workplace Culture
Understanding the importance of having a strong workplace culture and actually developing one are two very different things. Here are a few practical tips for implementation:
- Set Standards
Mission statements and core values might sound like cheesy little quips you put in a training manual or spout off at a luncheon with investors, but they’re much more than this. If you take them seriously, they can become the standards for your culture.
If you don’t set the standards, someone else will. Lead from a place of strength and identify the three to five standards that you want your team and workplace to be known for. Then, once you’ve got them identified, actually follow through with specific plans that show you prioritize these principles as focal points.
- Improve Communication
You can’t have a healthy workplace culture without good communication. The problem is that many organizations use incorrect or ineffective mediums. If you want to thrive in the area of internal communications, you must have the right tools in place.
We highly recommend SMS software for internal communications. It can improve productivity, workflow, and morale by giving you a fast and efficient way to communicate with your team. It’s ideal for things like company meeting reminders, staff schedules and shift requests, HR updates, building and facilities alerts, and more.
- Be Transparent
If it feels like there’s this thick corporate veil between your executive leadership team and the employees in the trenches, there will always be a lack of trust. The quickest way to overcome this problem is by prioritizing transparency.
Transparency means keeping employees in the loop as things happen, rather than sending out a vague announcement after the fact. You don’t have to spill all of the secrets, but you should at least let your team know when you’re moving in a certain direction. Not only does this keep them engaged and build trust, but it also gives you a chance to collect valuable feedback before making important decisions.
Adding it All Up
When it’s all said and done, it’s imperative that you’re in charge of your workplace culture. Because if you aren’t the one calling the shots, other people will. (And as a leader of an organization, that’s a dangerous position to be in.)
Take control, lead from the top, and create the sort of culture you want to be a part of.