Disengaged employees cost businesses up to $550 billion in lost productivity every year. This kind of statistic is enough to make any employer sit up and take notice.
It’s one of the reasons business leaders and HR managers want to improve employee engagement. Engagement is tied to productivity. It can also affect turnover and even employee happiness.
If you’ve been brainstorming ways to boost productivity for your business, there may be one component you’re overlooking. Have you looked at the work environment lately?
We’re not talking about office cubicles and indoor plants either. It’s no secret that every workplace has a culture, and that impacts your employees. A business with a great company culture usually has happier, more engaged employees.
If you think company culture might be at the root of productivity issues, there’s good news. There are many different ways you can build company culture in a more positive direction. Our guide will help you get started.
Understand the Impacts of Culture
Before you overhaul company culture, be sure you understand the effect it has on workers. This informational article goes over the importance of organizational culture in detail.
The takeaway is that a positive corporate culture motivates and engages people. A negative culture, by contrast, tends to make people less happy and less productive.
It’s fairly common sense if you think about it. Would you prefer an employer who encourages you to keep learning or one who tells you not to ask questions? What about a supportive team that helps each other achieve more or one where co-workers belittle each other?
Chances are you’d pick the employer who encourages learning and a supportive team. Most of your employees would, too.
Assess Current Company Culture
Before you start making changes, assess the culture that currently exists.
During this exercise, you should identify:
- Current strengths
- Current weaknesses
- Ideas for improvement
You can survey your employees about your current culture. Ask them what you do well and where you could improve. Consider their ideas for improving the current culture.
If you have some employees, chances are you’re already creating corporate culture. The question is how to change what you’re doing to create a better, more positive culture.
There are quite a few different things you can do, and many of them are relatively easy to put in place. A great example is encouraging positive thinking in the workplace. This is often as easy as shifting your perspective.
Take workplace problems, for example. Instead of viewing them as issues, is it possible to think of them in another way? You could see them as challenges to overcome or even as opportunities to learn something new.
Model positive thinking for your employees and ask them to join in.
Become More Community Minded
A community is another key in corporate culture building. You work with the same people day in, day out. You’re all trying to achieve the same ends.
You’re all in this together, so why don’t your employees have each other’s backs? Chances are you haven’t focused on the community-building aspect of your culture.
Encourage employees to see positive attributes in each other. What does each person bring to the table?
Everyone on your team has their unique talents. When you capitalize on those, your team works better together.
Building a community can be as simple as saying “hello” to each other. Check in on your employees, and encourage them to help each other. Employees who feel valued and acknowledged are more likely to be engaged.
A community-minded business is also more resilient. When your employees know they can ask for help, they’re more likely to ask for support when they need it. This allows everyone to call on others’ expertise and talents, which makes for a stronger team.
One of the easiest things to do when you want to build a company culture is to encourage respect. This can help create safety in the workplace, along with positivity.
Inclusivity and a sense of belonging are also important. Everyone working for you is a human being with needs and wants. Respecting people’s humanity, ideas, and talents help build a better workplace culture.
Consider Who You Hire
Bringing new employees into the fold is an excellent opportunity to review workplace culture. What are you communicating to new hires when you bring them on?
You should also make a point of considering who you hire. People with a positive outlook are likely to bring their enthusiasm to work. Optimism is infectious, especially in team environments.
The people you hire should also share similar values. People who have different values are likely to clash with the company culture.
This can make the workplace more unpleasant for everyone. It can also lead to higher turnover.
If you have high turnover or lots of culture clash, it may be time to consider how you screen new hires. Think about what traits you can look for and what questions you can ask to make the right hires.
As a business leader, you need to model the behaviors you want your employees to exhibit at work. If you dismiss ideas out of hand, your employees might do the same to their co-workers.
If you want to create a more positive corporate culture, model it and do it consistently. Great leaders don’t lead by telling people what to do. They lead with their own actions.
Consistency is key to this because your employees need to know what’s expected of them in the workplace. If you don’t model your corporate values, your employees won’t either. Make time in your busy schedule to check in with people, and they’ll do the same.
Going from Good to Great Company Culture
Chances are you’re only a few steps from having a great company culture. With some concerted effort to improve, you can make your workplace a more pleasant place to be.
In turn, you’ll notice all kinds of benefits for your business.
If you’re looking for more ways to improve productivity and happiness, check out our blog. We have plenty of articles designed to help employers like you hire and keep the top talent you need.