What qualities, exactly, separate a strong company culture from a weak one?
Many employers today struggle to find a clear and definitive answer to this question. And in many ways, that’s perfectly understandable. “Company culture,” as it turns out, is a notoriously nebulous concept. After all, a virtually limitless number of factors contribute to the quality of an employee’s experience within a particular workplace. Everything from an employee’s daily commute to their relationships with work colleagues will ultimately play a role in their perception of their employer’s workplace. As a result of this multivariable complexity, many employers simply conclude that the quality of their company culture is an outcome that’s simply out of their hands. If anything (so goes this line of thinking), a strong company culture is just something that occurs organically, a natural byproduct of hiring the most qualified and talented employees.
Finding and hiring top talent is certainly a good place to start. But when it comes to building a strong company culture, it’s only the beginning. The fact is, employees aren’t going to build a thriving company culture on their own. That’s an effort that requires leadership and oversight from above. In other words, managers and team leaders must take it upon themselves to actively build strong company cultures within the workplace.
Of course, improving the quality and the character of any company culture will inevitably require some time, effort, and careful attention. But it is absolutely and always worth it. For years now, countless studies have documented the central and undeniable role that company culture plays in retention, productivity, and recruiting. A study from Columbia University, for example, found that the average turnover rate in companies with poor workplace cultures was as high as 48.4%, while that of companies with strong cultures was only 13.9%. A 2018 Gallup poll also found that organizations with strong company cultures tend to attract and hire the most talented 20% of the total candidate pool.
The tricky part when it comes to improving company culture, of course, is knowing where to start. The huge number of variables (mentioned above) that contribute to the quality of the employee experience can make it difficult for managers to identify what, specifically, they should focus on first. However, the good news is that building a strong company culture is far simpler than you might think.
In this article, we’ll highlight four different ways that managers can start to build a strong company culture that will improve employee retention and attract top talent.
4 Quick and Easy Ways to Start Improving Your Company’s Culture
The most important thing to remember when you’re setting out to improve your company’s culture is that no two workplaces are quite the same. A strategy that works well within the context of one workplace might not be beneficial – or even implementable – in another. This is especially true now that the pandemic has forced a huge number of employers to start working remotely or to adopt a hybrid model of work (partly in-person and partly online).
Having said that, there are some strategies that can be considered to be more or less universally effective. Regardless of whether your workforce is currently working in-office or remotely, here are four strategies for improving workplace culture that you might consider adopting:
1. Establish an open-door policy.
In the workplace (as in other areas of life), communication and wellbeing go hand in hand. As an employer, you have the opportunity to foster a feeling of trust, transparency, and accountability in the workplace simply by making it known to your employees that you’re available and happy to communicate with them face to face. Check out this article to learn more about starting an open door policy!
2. Celebrate group achievements.
A manager who takes all of the credit for the company’s success is virtually guaranteed to end up with a team of resentful and alienated employees. A manager that shares the credit and acknowledges the contributions of individual team members, on the other hand, has taken the first steps towards building a stronger and more stable company culture.
3. Make employee feedback a priority.
Providing your existing employees with regular, honest, and constructive feedback is a great way to nurture individual improvement amongst your employees. It’s also a highly effective way to improve rapport and respect within the workplace, which can go very far if you ever need to call upon your employees and ask them to refer you to potential job candidates.
4. Adopt flexible work options as an employee perk.
Now more than ever, employees need a certain amount of flexibility from their employers. Working from home, as many of us have come to learn over the last several months, presents workers with certain challenges. Parents, in particular, should be granted plenty of flexibility to be able to work around their children’s online learning schedules. Of course, the pandemic is continuing to evolve by the day, and it’s difficult to say at this point what, exactly, the workplace of the future is going to look like when all of the dust has settled. But one thing is clear: Flexible work options are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. In order to be able to attract top talent in 2021, employers must be willing to accommodate some degree of flexible work scheduling and location preferences.
Find Top Talent Today!
At Patel Consultants, we’re dedicated to helping employers identify and attract talented candidates. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how partnering with a staffing agency can help to improve your company culture!