Knowing how to improve company culture can improve teamwork and customer relations.
Here are 10 tips to bolster company culture:
- Publish a company culture statement
- Set and track company culture goals
- Build your culture into your recruitment process
- Train new hires in your company culture
- Support worker career development
- Celebrate company and employee achievements
- Promote team spirit
- Use team-building activities to improve company culture
- Community your company culture to customers
- Support community causes consistent with your culture
Learn more about what company culture is and how you can use these strategies to improve your workplace culture.
What Is Company Culture?
Your company culture can be defined as the beliefs, values and behaviors which shape your organization’s internal dynamics and external relations with your customers and community.
It can be broken down into a few key components:
- Your brand’s core beliefs about your mission and what it entails for how you interact with your employees, your customers and your community
- The core values which stem from your beliefs
- Practices which reflect your core beliefs and values
Improving work culture involves taking proactive steps to optimize your company in each of these areas.
To illustrate, let’s say a software provider defines its mission as providing the most user-friendly app and best service to its market. Accompanying this mission is the belief that the best way to deliver superior software and service is to hire, train and retain the best-qualified app designers and customer service representatives.
Based on this belief, the company might place a high value on recruiting top-notch workers, training them and supporting their skill development. To manifest this value, the company implements a policy of investing in selective recruitment and ongoing employee training.
How to Improve Team Culture at Work: 10 Top Tactics
You can build a better team culture by systematically articulating and adjusting your core mission, beliefs, values and practices. Here are 10 effective ideas to improve company culture in your workplace:
1. Publish a Company Culture Statement
One of the most fundamental ways to improve culture at work is to formally document what your culture is. This makes it easier for you to review your culture so you can make adjustments and improvements. It also can assist you in communicating your culture to workers and customers.
A company culture statement should answer questions such as:
- What is the mission of your company? How will you serve your market, workers, customers and community?
- What are your core beliefs about business and how your company should be run to achieve your mission?
- What core values do you hold about your business, workers, customers and role in your community?
- What policies will you follow to implement your company culture?
Publish your cultural statement on your website where it can be viewed by your employees, customers and website visitors.
2. Set and Track Company Culture Goals
To help you put your company culture into practice, you can set measurable performance goals. You can then track key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure how well you’re achieving your goals. For example, if one of your values is delivering superior customer service, you might set a goal of responding to every customer support call within 2 minutes.
You can establish KPIs related to any area of your culture you want to improve, such as:
- Employee satisfaction: What percent of your workers say they are satisfied with their job?
- Employee retention rate: What percent of your employees remain with your company over a given time frame?
- First response time: How long does it take your customer service team to respond to customer support requests?
- Customer satisfaction: How satisfied are customers with your product or service?
- Customer retention rate: What percent of your customers buy from you again within a given time frame?
- Net Promoter Score (or NPS, a metric created by Bain): How likely are employees or customers to recommend you to others?
Focus on KPIs which reflect your current cultural goals.
3. Build Your Culture Into Your Recruitment Process
Incorporating employees into your company culture begins during the recruitment process. You can set the stage for a thriving corporate culture by screening your hires to make sure they have qualities compatible with your policies.
Create a checklist of qualities that support your company culture, such as:
- Work ethic
- Communication skills
Emphasize your desired qualities in your job descriptions and interview questions. Create a scoring system to evaluate applicants based on your checklist. This will help you attract employees with qualities that promote your company culture goals.
4. Train New Hires in Your Company Culture
Your onboarding process provides another important opportunity to train workers in your company culture. Take steps to build your culture into your training procedures, such as:
- Instructing new hires to read your company culture statement
- Reviewing highlights of your culture statement with new workers
- Training new workers in procedures that reflect your culture
- Explaining how your procedures reflect your culture
- Mentioning your culture in company messages and meetings
Create standard operating procedures for teaching your culture to new hires so that they assimilate it more quickly and thoroughly.
5. Support Worker Career Development
Workers feel more engaged with your culture when they feel their work challenges their skill set and supports their career and life goals. Building support for employee career development can help you create an environment that promotes happier employees and a stronger culture.
Promote worker skill development and personal goals through steps such as:
- Asking workers about their career goals during the onboarding process and performance reviews
- Providing on-the-job training opportunities
- Reimbursing workers for upskill training
- Allowing telecommuting or flexible hours
- Offering wellness programs
- Providing child-care services
These steps will let workers know that your company supports them, making your culture more attractive to top talent.
6. Celebrate Company and Employee Achievements
Workers feel stronger ties to your company and culture when they feel that their work makes a difference which is appreciated. Reinforce your company culture by taking measures to celebrate company and employee achievements:
- Announce company milestones, and thank workers for helping achieve them
- Recognize individual and department achievements with announcements and rewards
- Celebrate employee birthdays, anniversaries, retirements and other special events
- Provide periodic pay raises, incentives or fringe benefits in recognition of performance
Create standard policies for worker appreciation to promote a stronger company culture.
7. Promote Team Spirit
A strong company culture should make your employees feel like they’re part of a team. Promote your culture by taking steps to encourage teamwork:
- Assign mentors to greet new workers
- Introduce new workers to other team members
- Tell workers how their work contributes to department and company goals
- Encourage workers to ask questions of supervisors and coworkers
- Track individual and team performance
- Provide constructive corrections during supervisory meetings and performance reviews
- Ask for employee input
Encourage individual workers to be part of your team culture.
8. Use Team-Building Activities to Improve Company Culture
Another way to encourage workers to identify with your team culture is to use team-building activities which reinforce personal connections between employees.
These can include:
- Participating in discussions on company social media profiles
- Encouraging workers to play games with coworkers through social media
- Sponsoring worker contests with prizes
- Inviting workers to live or virtual social activities such as dinner, movies or sporting events (with appropriate social distancing and safety measures during the pandemic)
Use these types of social activities to make recreation a part of your company culture. This will make work more enjoyable and increase worker satisfaction, strengthening your team.
9. Communicate Your Company Culture to Customers
Your relationship with your customers also is part of your culture. Strive to communicate your core beliefs and values to your customers by taking steps such as:
- Posting your company culture statement on your website where customers can see it
- Mentioning your company beliefs and values in your interactions with customers
- Demonstrating your values through customer service policies and procedures
- Training employees to exhibit company culture when dealing with customers
Letting customers know your company culture will build your reputation with both your market and your workers.
10. Support Community Causes Consistent With Your Culture
What you give back to your community also contributes to your company culture and reputation. Your community contributions reflect your mission, beliefs and values just as the way you treat your workers and customers does.
Demonstrate your company culture to your community by taking steps such as:
- Giving to charitable causes
- Sponsoring community events, such as sports events
- Cultivating relationships with business partners in your community
Take steps to let your community know about your brand’s culture and commitments.
Improving Workplace Culture Benefits Your Business
Following these strategies to improve workplace culture will benefit your business by promoting higher worker satisfaction, increased employee retention and better relations with your customers. All of these outcomes translate into a more profitable business model as well as a more fulfilling work environment.
It’s worth your while to invest the time and resources necessary to improve company culture. Consider hiring a human resources firm to help you develop a customized company culture strategy. If you need funds to hire a consulting firm, consider tapping into a business line of credit or other form of small business financing.