A positive company culture directly contributes to employee satisfaction. Additionally, a company’s reputation has been shown to be a significant deciding factor for new applicants. Historically, organizations that take the time to perfect their company culture have a higher employee satisfaction rating and deal with less turnover compared to those that do not. The improved work environment is an all-around win for companies, since they are perceived more favorably by the public, as well as important stakeholders. Companies with healthy cooperate cultures often land on Best Places to Work Lists every year, which helps attract and retain top talent.
In a study published by Duke University, it was revealed that about 90 percent of people in management positions believed that company culture is important. Furthermore, 92 percent of survey respondents indicated that they believed the culture at their company could use some improvement. While these numbers are promising, there are still plenty of companies that have missed the mark.
While many C-suite leaders understand that company culture is important, some still miss the mark and make costly mistakes. Learning about the potential issues that come up when reshaping a company’s culture is key in preventing problems down the line Here, we’ll take a look at some of the key ways that leaders can build a positive company culture.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
It almost goes without saying, but poor communication is quite possibly the biggest problem when it comes to understanding company culture. Employees who feel that they are constantly left out of things that impact the company can create an atmosphere of mistrust. This lack of trust, in turn, can impact morale and negatively impact workplace culture.
Keeping the lines of communication open is one way to remedy or prevent this problem. There are certainly things that cannot be discussed with all employees on all levels, but major changes that will affect the entire company should not be closely guarded secrets. Regular updates and feedback help all employees feel that they are valued enough to be kept in the loop.
Organized Hiring Practices
As the old adage goes, good help is hard to find. This is particular true when a company’s hiring protocol has not been refined. Companies that are solely focused productivity and the bottom line tend to hire a little less thoughtfully than those that prioritize company culture. The result: employees who don’t necessarily fit into the culture are hastily onboarded. Employees who do not blend with the existing culture are more likely to seek employment elsewhere, leading to turnover. Additionally, tenured employees may feel uneasy as new employees constantly come and go.
So how can companies avoid this mistake? Deciding on core values and sticking to them is possibly the most impactful thing an organization can do to attract the right candidates. Management should work closely with human resources staff to develop screening questions and an interview process that goes beyond qualifications and education. By being clear about what the company culture entails, it can be better conveyed during the hiring process, and it will be easier to tell if a candidate meets these parameters.
Nothing kills company culture faster than micromanaging. Loosely defined, a micromanager is a person who exhibits controlling behaviors as they observe the work of others. Leaders can sometimes mistake micromanagement for true leadership, but it is anything but. For the person being observed, micromanagement can stifle productivity and creativity.
Avoiding micromanagement means finding ways to monitor progress without being overbearing. Employees want to feel that their skillset is valued and when they are being micromanaged. It is common for a person to feel that nothing they do is good enough. Don’t be afraid to have management at all levels go through re-training to understand effective monitoring vs. micromanagement.
Give Company Culture the Attention It Deserves
Developing and maintaining a healthy corporate culture involves work that is essentially ongoing. The company leadership must stay abreast of what is happening within the company and continuously work on improving things.
While salary is certainly an important factor when candidates are searching for work, the data indicates that intangibles like company culture are also being considered. Only companies who have demonstrated that they care about their reputation and employees can improve their chances of attracting top candidates. Learning where mistakes commonly occur is critical in avoiding these pitfalls and working towards a more positive company culture.