The foundation of any successful organization is its corporate culture. It includes values, beliefs, and attitudes that are held in common by employees and help shape the way in which they interact with each other and with stakeholders. When a company culture is toxic or dysfunctional, it can have serious repercussions for employee morale, performance, and ultimately, the bottom line. A positive company culture is a key driver of employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention, but when a company culture is negative or dysfunctional, it can have these repercussions.
If you are a leader who has been tasked with changing the culture of your company, the nine strategies that are listed below can assist you in developing a workplace that is both healthier and more productive:
- Define and communicate your vision:
In order to foster a productive and positive company culture, you need to take the time to define and communicate your vision to each and every employee. The creation of an employee handbook or a statement of company values is one method you can use to communicate your vision. For instance, the Google Code of Conduct, which serves as a guide for all employees to follow, outlines the company’s values as “respect, integrity, and accountability.”
- Listen to employee feedback:
Listen to the feedback provided by employees. Employees should not feel uncomfortable providing feedback or bringing up concerns about the culture of the company. Motivate employees to provide input by conducting regular employee surveys, holding one-on-one meetings, and providing suggestion boxes. The next step is to put the feedback to use by addressing the concerns raised by employees and taking steps to enhance the existing culture.
- Lead by example:
Follow the leader’s lead and embody the values and behaviors you want to see ingrained throughout the organization. This is what it means to lead by example. For instance, if a leader values transparency, they should communicate with their employees in an open and honest manner and share information with them. Leaders are able to set the tone for the culture of the company by serving as an example of the behavior and attitudes they expect from employees.
- Create a positive work environment:
Develop a positive working environment by implementing employee recognition programs, social events, and employee wellness programs. Doing so will help to develop a positive working environment. For instance, Patagonia, a manufacturer of outdoor clothing, provides its workers with paid time off for participating in environmental activism and encourages workers to make use of the company’s fitness facilities while they are on the clock.
- Establish clear expectations and accountability:
It is important for employees to have a clear understanding of the expectations placed on them in terms of their behavior and performance. Establishing well-defined policies and procedures that are then rigorously policed is a necessary step. For instance, if a company places a high value on punctuality, it ought to have transparent policies regarding attendance and tardiness, and it ought to consistently enforce these policies.
- Empower employees:
Empowering employees means providing them with the freedom and resources necessary for them to perform their jobs effectively. Empowering employees means giving them the ability to make their own decisions. This can include allowing employees to take ownership of their work, delegating responsibilities, and providing access to training and development programs for employees. Customer service representatives at online shoe retailer Zappos, for instance, are granted the authority to issue refunds and find solutions to customer problems without first obtaining manager approval.
- Invest in employee development:
Spend money on employee training and development Spending money on employee training and development can help improve morale and retention rates. This may involve providing resources such as mentorship and coaching programs, opportunities for training, and other career development tools. As one example, Airbnb provides its employees with a travel credit worth $2,000 each year in order to encourage both personal and professional growth.
- Foster collaboration and teamwork:
Team-building exercises, cross-functional projects, and consistent communication between departments are all excellent ways to foster collaboration and teamwork. Collaboration and teamwork can also be fostered by regular communication between departments. For instance, the music streaming service Spotify hosts “hack days,” during which employees from a variety of departments come together to collaborate on the development of novel concepts and projects.
- Measure and track progress:
Measure and keep track of progress It is important to measure and keep track of progress in order to ensure that the culture of the company is getting better over time. This can be accomplished through the use of employee surveys, metrics centered on employee engagement and retention, and monitoring the rollout of new policies and procedures. For instance, Amazon conducts regular surveys of its workforce and uses the results to effect change in the way the business operates as a whole.
Leaders are able to completely alter the culture of a company and produce a more upbeat and fruitful working environment if they put into practice the following leadership strategies. Although it requires time and effort, the end result is a workforce that is more engaged and healthier, as well as an organization that is better positioned for long-term success.