Welcome to the Company Culture Channel sponsored by Amazing Workplace.
What exactly is company culture?
Company culture refers to the attitudes and behaviors of a company and its employees. It’s based on the values and purpose of the group. You see the culture in action in the way people interact with one another, the values they hold, the decisions they make, and the actions they take.
The idea of creating an amazing workplace where people feel safe, comfortable, and energized has been growing. Companies realize that when their employees are happy, the company does better. Companies with healthy cultures have three times greater total returns to shareholders.
Of course, it’s much easier to do this when everyone is working in one place, but recent events have forced many companies, both large and small, to switch to a hybrid or fully remote model and that makes it much harder to generate a strong company culture and keep your people connected and in good communication.
The future looks like it will be mostly a hybrid work model so it stands to reason that companies need to take deliberate steps ensuring their culture not only survives but thrives going forward.
Re-examine Your Values
It’s possible that the values your company has embraced in the past may have to be updated to fit the current circumstances. Companies that maintained meaningful values, as well as taking the individual purpose of their employees into consideration, have come through this time with a strong culture intact. Having worked at home and realized that they can have so much more than ‘just a job’ many employees are reluctant to return to the old way of doing things at work. When your employees enjoy work and feel that their values are consistent with their employers, their relationships with coworkers improve and they are more productive.
Trust is one of the fundamental elements of company culture. It governs how people interact and their willingness to cooperate and work as a team. Trust is built by consistently being honest and reliable. As a leader or manager, your team needs to know that your word is your bond — and the same applies between employees. Where there is a lack of trust people are constantly on-guard. They feel vulnerable, so their attention is not a hundred percent on their work and their performance suffers. Encourage honest communication and accountability in all employees – right from the top down.
The best way to discover how your employees feel, what they think, and what they want is to listen to them. That may sound overly simplistic, but believe me, they are already telling you in different ways. Encourage a company-wide culture of listening. Be open to receiving feedback in many forms. An employee who doesn’t feel heard will soon become disgruntled and spread discontent like a wildfire.
An excellent way to listen to your employees is by survey. A well-constructed survey can elicit answers you might not ordinarily get. You need to ask the right questions to ensure you get the most insightful responses. The results of a survey like this can provide actionable insights that can help you become an amazing workplace.
The future of work is still somewhat uncertain and there is no definite road map for how companies will operate once the pandemic is finally over — whenever that may be. What is certain is that companies will continue to operate, and they will have employees so they will have a company culture. What that culture is will be entirely up to the individuals working there and the leadership who set the example.
There is clear evidence that those companies that make the effort to build a strong culture come out the other side clear winners.