— December 4, 2017
Company culture is an important aspect of the workplace, and an increasingly important component for people looking to be hired at a company. An employer can offer perks like extra vacation time, a casual dress code and after work happy hours to retain employees and maintain a positive culture. While these or other similar incentives are important, the best way to cultivate a beneficial company culture is to have an exceptional team that communicates well. Here’s what you can do to benefit all employees.
Have a diverse leadership team.
Your company’s leadership should have different backgrounds and skill sets – this makes your company see different viewpoints and understand where each person is coming from. A diverse group of leaders coming together with the same mission, to tackle the same common goal, establishes a workplace that values the same things. Leadership should understand and appreciate that their differences make work better, and encourage team members to do the same.
Get rid of biases.
Unconscious bias happens often everywhere in our world, not just in the workplace. While sometimes the person with the bias does not mean to offend, that does not make their offense any better. If this is something that concerns you about your workplace (and even if not), an unconscious bias training may be a good way to address the matter. Google recently implemented an “unbiasing” training after reports that their mainly white male employees often acted with biases, and their training has been widely shared.
Ensure that you understand the needs of employees and how their personal life may affect their work life. Without asking for all of the details, you can still check in to see how things are going personally with employees – it goes a long way. Someone may have a sick parent, or several young children, or be getting ready to go on maternity leave. By paying attention to and encouraging a flexible workplace, you make your employees’ lives a little bit easier. Knowing that your marketing manager has three kids, and allowing him to work from home when one is sick, without having to take a sick day himself, is an easy way to help.
Ask for feedback.
Is the culture at your company as enjoyable as you think? What can you do to make things better? Speaking with employees individually and as a team, and taking each response into consideration without getting defensive, is vital to improving and maintaining your company’s culture. Nearly every person and every company has room for improvement in this area, and the best way to tackle potential culture concerns is learn by listening, and then make changes.
What it takes to create and promote a positive company culture varies depending on the company and team involved. But every company’s leadership can take strides to ensure that employees are 1) treated with respect, 2) know about happenings at the company, and 3) feel comfortable speaking up. According to a study for IZA World of Labor by Dr. Eugenio Proto, an employee that feels valued in the workplace is likely happier, and her happiness is causally linked to her productivity in the workplace. A positive culture benefits the employee and the employer, and sets the stage for the success of any company.