YOUR QUICK GUIDE TO CREATING A POSITIVE COMPANY CULTURE
What do I mean when I say “Company Culture?” What started as a trendy corporate term has developed into a crucial idea that involves establishing and implementing organizational values. If your mission and vision is putting your organization’s values into words, company culture is taking action on those and demonstrating how you live it.
The newest generation of employees value the culture of the company they are working for more than ever. There is no better time to work towards demonstrating your companies values to improve your workplace. Cultivating a positive corporate culture also helps your organization build a trustworthy reputation with its external publics and stakeholders. Below is our quick guide to building a positive company culture.
BENEFITS OF BUILDING A POSITIVE WORKPLACE CULTURE
Building a better workplace culture has a variety of different benefits. Knowing these benefits can be a motivating factor as you understand and implement organizational values. Below are some improvements in your organization you may notice when working towards your workplace culture:
Employee safety is a major part of creating a company culture where people feel comfortable going to work everyday. Making safety a priority will significantly reduce the number of on-the-job accidents, which is an excellent way to contribute to a positive workplace culture.
Consider workplace safety in the context of your industry. What kind of safety values should you consider? Some of them may be:
- Fall Prevention – Keeping areas clutter free, and taking care of spills quickly to reduce the amount of falls.
- Chemical Safety– Proper use of chemicals used in the company, this can range from acids used in machinery to office cleaning solutions.
- Electrical Injuries- Taking away electronics with frayed wires, using appropriate procedures when wiring electronics, and keeping properly maintained equipment.
- Illness Prevention– Having employees not at work when they have a possibly contagious illness, using disinfectants, and offering flu shots.
- Workplace Violence Prevention – Having a zero-tolerance policy on violence and harassment.
CONSERVATION OF MATERIALS/ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS
Supplies are a necessary expense, but a lot of supplies are wasted, broken, or somehow lost in the shuffle. Focusing on conservation is a great organizational value that will save you money and even reduce your environmental footprint.
Engagement is a state in which an employee is content, committed, and involved in their job. Some of the common traits of engaged employees are:
Emotional attachment: This refers to having an emotional connection to one’s company, position, and the work he/she does.
Understanding: This refers to understanding the company’s goals and values, and how they contribute to achieving those goals.
Motivation: This relates to employees willing to invest effort in bettering their performance.
An engaged employee works hard and cares about the company they work for. They waste fewer materials, and have strong customer service skills. Those same employees are usually motivated to develop new skills and further their careers in the company.
IMPROVED EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE
A happy worker makes a happy company. Having a corporate behavior that promotes safety, recognition, and engagement (to name a few) creates happy employees. Here are some ways your employees’ performance can improve:
- Better customer service
- Rise in productivity
- More positive work atmosphere
- Fewer wasted resources and supplies
- Less absenteeism
- Better team work
- Better communication with co-workers
There are an immeasurable number of categories for a positive company culture. The trick is finding out what behavior you need your company to adopt. This could include adopting values like punctuality or safety. A great corporate behavior can make or break a company, so it is important to provide the appropriate support for your employees.
CLARIFYING ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES: WHERE TO START
In order to take action on building a positive company culture, you must prioritize your organization’s values. Some ideas to consider when clarifying your organization’s values are:
TYPES OF VALUES AND ETHICS
A value is a standard of a person’s behavior. There are two types of values; terminal values and instrumental values. A terminal value is a value that a person would like to achieve during their lifetime. Some examples of terminal values are:
- Having wisdom
- Having self-esteem
- Having inner peace
- Having a real and meaningful friendship
- Being content in life
An instrumental value is a behavior used to achieve your terminal value. Some examples of instrumental values are being:
What it means, in a nut shell, is that if you want to have great success in business, you have to work hard. The terminal value is having great success in business, and the instrumental value is working hard.
Ethics are moral foundations that regulate a person or group of people’s behaviors. Some examples of ethical behavior could include:
Ethics and instrumental values may seem like they are the same, but they are not. An ethic is a moral basis, it is not hinged on accomplishing a value. An ethic is a conviction that a person or a group of people have because they feel like it’s the right thing to do.
Managerial structure relates to how the management team is put together, and what types of employees make it up. Nothing squashes employee morale quicker than a poorly trained manager. A supervisor should meet three major qualifications:
Leadership Skills: Understand how to lead a team effectively. Understand the proper way to address employees and how to encourage and motivate them. Should have knowledge on how to give constructive criticism.
Departmental Knowledge: Knowledge of the processes and function of the department. This means that the manager should know how to perform the job tasks of the employees they supervise. The worst thing in the world is to have a boss that doesn’t know how you do your job, and wants to critique you.
Company Knowledge: The manager should be knowledgeable about what product or service the company provides to the public, and about what is new with the company. They should know what the company goals and values are, and what the future plans are for the company.
Employee accountability means that an employee takes responsibility for their actions. This could refer to positive or negative actions. So how do you promote accountability? It starts with the employees identifying with the company’s mission. As a supervisor, it’s also important to make sure the employees understand that the company wants them to take ownership of the results of their job. Suppose you were a janitor, and one of your job tasks was to remove the trash daily. The company does not want you to take ownership of the act of removing the trash. The company wants you to take ownership of the trash can being empty- thus making the area look clean. Accountability also relates to something that an employee is doing that is inappropriate. An employee who is constantly late for work needs to take accountability for their actions.
DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING ACTION FOR YOUR POSITIVE WORKPLACE CULTURE
If you are ready to start designing and implementing a positive company culture, it is important for you to set realistic behaviors for your employees to follow. Make sure to keep open, two-way communication and get as much feedback as you possibly can. Here are some ideas to consider when taking on the task of developing a positive company culture.
Group Planning: Having a group planning committee will help you maintain realistic goals, and help the employees become engaged in the process on establishing your company culture. When picking your group, you will want to get as many of the departments involved. Remember that the company was built by employees, and having employees in the group helps you see the big picture.
Define Preferred Organizational Behavior/Values: Being able to identify the type of behaviors the company needs and wants to inspire their employees to adopt is crucial. When it comes to identifying desirable behaviors, there are no black and white guidelines. It’s all subjective to the needs of your employees and company. You want to clearly outline the behaviors you want as specifically as possible.
Hiring: When you are taking on new employees, it’s very important to try to hire people whose values align with your organization. Asking appropriate personality driven questions in an interview is a great way to find employees who will thrive in your company culture. Be sure to communicate your company’s values and provide an overview of its culture so your interviewees can also determine if they would be a good fit.
Training Employees: Training is always important, but it’s especially important when implementing new policies that will change corporate culture.
Not only do new employees need to be trained on policies and culture, but current employees also need training when new policies are implemented. Some training can be informal, but if there are a lot of changes, more formal training will be needed.
We hope this quick guide has sparked inspiration for building your company culture.
Are you looking to provide training on developing your company culture? Check out our Developing Corporate Behavior Workshop training materials today!
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