8 Expert Tips for Outstanding Company Culture

July 11, 2015

4:00 pm

Company culture is the ‘it’ phrase of business. Forbes describes company culture as something that is inherent; it’s not something that your employees bring with them. As a business owner, your company culture is on your shoulders.

If you want your business to succeed, you need to evaluate your culture. Employees at companies with outstanding culture earn 1.2 – 1.7 percent more than their peers and have employees who outperform their colleagues by 202%. A great culture will also save you time hiring. A study by Columbia University found that job turnover in a company with exceptional culture was a mere 13.9 percent while a company with poor culture had a turnover of 48 percent.

So what are the keys to creating an outstanding company culture? There are many well-established companies that have figured it out. Let their expertise be your guide.

1. Respect Your Employees

You can achieve a great company culture if management trusts and respects all of its employees. Every worker from the lowest rank to the top should feel responsible for their duties and trusted to accomplish their tasks. You’ll find that your employees are far more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty if they feel valued.

Expert example:Google culture

Since 2013, Google has consistently ranked as one of the best places to work because the company respects their employees. In fact, 95 percent of Google employees say that they feel management trusts them to complete their responsibilities and to be successful.

2. Create an Engaging Atmosphere

While you might not need a gym on campus, there are many benefits to an engaging atmosphere. Providing free snacks and beverages or offering staff more than two weeks vacation can make a world of difference in the happiness of your company. When your employees want to come to work every day, and feel they have an appropriate home and work life balance, your company culture will reflect it.

Expert example:

SAS goes above and beyond with its atmosphere and focuses on providing myriad in-office benefits including an on-site pool and a resident artist. That’s why 87 percent of their employees state that they enjoy their workplace.

3. Check Egos at the Door

It needs to be easy for employees to talk to their managers and open conversations. If your management team always creates a barrier to access, you’ll never be able to improve and grow. Employees should also be open and able to receive regular training—no matter the amount of experience. If everyone is willing to grow and learn from everyone else, you’ve done your job.

Expert example:

Robert W Baird & Co creates an environment of collaboration and community. Even though the company has 138 offices in the U.S., 95 percent of employees feel that the company focuses on great communication.

4. Understand Your Employees’ Lives Outside of Work

As a growing company, it can be easy to forget that your employees don’t live and breathe the office. Companies that recognize the importance of work-life balance and provide understanding and help for the world outside of corporate, have a much more positive culture. When work isn’t all there is to life, but just a piece of it, you’ll find that your employees will always come to and leave work with a smile on their faces.

Expert example:

Wegmans enforces the family friendly company culture through their perks and programs. Whether their employees are looking for health and wellness options, a flexible schedule, or more than 150 discounts on various products, Wegmans offers it.

5. Integrate the Three Fs: Friendship, Fun, and Freedom

A great company culture is open to fun, building friendships, and providing freedom to do more than work. Allow your office to celebrate employee birthdays and new births with treats and parties. Hold a blowout celebration where executives get out and dance, showing their human side. Encourage employees to build friendships by offering after-work opportunities for additional engagement.

Expert example:

Camden Property Trust has a company culture all about working with great friends. In fact, you can foster pride and creativity by appreciating each employee as an individual. By allowing employees to bring their personality to the table, you’ll create a culture of growth and camaraderie. Beyond that, when you welcome creativity, you’ll find that your company’s struggles can be overcome with a few good ideas.

6. Welcome Self-Expression and Creativity

You can foster pride and creativity by appreciating each employee as an individual. By allowing employees to bring their personality to the table, you’ll create a culture of growth and camaraderie. Beyond that, when you welcome creativity, you’ll find that your company’s struggles can be overcome with a few good ideas.

Expert Example:

At Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, the company culture is all about self-expression and creativity. They understand that each employee is unique and offers something special, which is why 99 percent of employees have great pride in their work.

7. Focus on Team Building

Hire individuals who have a passion for your industry so that employees can share that passion with their coworkers. Then focus on building teams that have a shared set of values and ethics tying them together. Finally, reinforce your team environment with activity groups and company clubs.

company cultureExpert Example:

When you work at Riot Games, you’re not known as an employee, you’re a Rioter. Their culture has created an environment where 95 percent of employees feel the company has a family or team feel.

8. Put Your People First

Your employees will make or break your company. If you have amazing employees, it will reflect in every aspect of your business. By offering regular training, taking company pulse-checks, and ensuring management communicates appropriately with each department, you’ll improve your company culture drastically. If you place your employees as a high priority, they’ll place their work as a high priority.

Expert Example:

CHG Healthcare Services has fostered an environment where their employees feel like they are the priority. The company makes a noticeable effort to keep their employees happy and engaged, which is why they provide 125 hours of training to full-time employees each year and 73 hours of training for part-time employees.

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Kelly Vo is an avid reader, freelance writer, and the CEO/Owner of Kevo Writing. She is a creative strategist and resourceful consultant with both a broad and deep expertise in social media technologies. For the last 2.5 years, Kelly was the Director of Strategy for a digital marketing company: responsible for designing each prospective client’s overall social media strategy.

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