Sometimes, the sole reason why a person chooses to remain loyal to the organization that they work for is because of the company culture that they are exposed to. In this era of increased employer and employee demands, it’s important to analyze all the things that your company is bringing to the table. Company culture is something that has to be frequently accessed, cultivated, and continuously improved. As an entrepreneur and business owner, I have experienced firsthand what a huge impact company culture can have on employee perception.
Learning the Hard Way: My Personal Struggle with Employee Satisfaction
When I started my first company, The IT Group, I honestly had no idea how the company would evolve and what I needed to do to ensure the happiness of my employees. I just started with an idea, a passion, and an absolutely insatiable drive for success. As the company grew and I hired more employees, I just assumed that all of them knew that I cared for them simply because of the smile I wore on my face every day or because I would say hello to them as we passed each other in the hallway. Little did I know, that due to my lack of collaboration and communication, I was just viewed as the man who wrote them a check every two weeks. As a result of the lack of attentiveness placed on company culture, my employees would frequently quit, sometimes even starting their own businesses, and taking away my clients.
It wasn’t until one of my trusted employees, my bookkeeper, who I engaged with every day, wrote me a very blunt letter along with her formal resignation that I finally realized I needed help. Even though what she said hurt, it was an eyeopener. The next day, I hired a consultant who interviewed all of my employees, reviewed the company structure, or the lack thereof, and finally gave me a huge laundry list of what I needed to do to better support my team. It took some time but within a year, we had an improved office environment, happier employees, and more satisfied customers.
Lesson Learned: How to Create a Positive Company Culture
My prior experience has taught me that a successful business is only as successful as the people behind it. Here are some ways that I was able to establish a positive company-wide culture within my business:
- Create reasonable goals and emphasize your company’s core values––Make sure to implement a company-wide mission statement. People want to know your ‘why’. They want to be emotionally moved by your purpose.
- Give helpful feedback and frequently communicate––Seek out feedback from your employees while also simultaneously making yourself available to them for any feedback that they may seek.
- Respect and recognize your employees––Acknowledge achievements whether they are big or small. Celebrating the little things can motivate your team members to work even harder towards accomplishing the bigger things.
- Empower those who embody the culture––Those who best embody your company culture can help inspire others to do the same. They are your advocates and deserve recognition for the great work that they do every day to deliver your value and mission. Consider pairing them up with new hires to show them the ropes as a way of spreading the positivity.
- Have fun as a team––Team bonding is essential to cultivating a positive workplace culture. Even the simple act of getting together at the end of the week for a happy hour lunch can go a long way and create a stronger team.
For many employees, work is their home away from home. They likely spend more time with their fellow employees than they do with their own families, and because of this, it’s important to ensure that your team feels appreciated, valued, and accepted and is protected under the umbrella of a positive company-wide culture.