As more employees return to the workplace post-COVID, now is a critical time to think about the company culture they will be coming back to.
A positive company culture where your employees feel appreciated, respected, and inspired is associated with better job performance and increased employee retention, in addition to improving your ability to recruit top talent.
While culture has always played a role in the success of your organization, a great company culture is now considered a major differentiator among employees. Events like the pandemic, the shift to work-from-home, and the Great Reshuffle have changed many people’s opinions toward their employers and how they want to work.
If you’re looking to start the new era of work on the right foot, here are key tips to developing a great company culture.
Foster A Sense of Community
The foundation of a strong company culture is community. Social connections, gatherings, and peer collaborations are essential to building a place where people love to work. It’s important for company leadership to provide opportunities to foster connection. Consider activities like weekly team lunches, Food Truck Fridays, happy hour excursions, birthday celebrations, book clubs, or even company vacations.
Offering these opportunities to socialize will strengthen bonds, increase employee retention, and allow for mental breaks from work.
Provide Open Lines of Communication
Companies with a great culture provide two-way communication avenues between leadership and employees. Company leadership should regularly communicate with their team about key metrics, projects, and strategies to help build trust and transparency.
While leaders often have frequent meetings with executives and managers, it’s a good idea to have broader meetings with all employees on a monthly or quarterly basis. These gatherings not only reinforce community, but they also reaffirm the company’s purpose and get employees energized about their work.
Leaders also need to listen to employees. Being a good listener is one of the simplest ways you can start building a positive culture. A study showed that 86% of employees at companies with strong cultures feel their senior leadership listens to employees, compared to 70% at organizations without one.
All employees should have a point person they feel comfortable communicating with, whether that’s a direct supervisor or HR representative. You may also want to add a way for employees to provide anonymous feedback, like administering an online employee survey or setting up a web page where they can anonymously submit a comment or question. You would be surprised what employee concerns, thoughts, and questions you might uncover as a result.
Consider Employees’ Needs (Inside & Outside the Office)
Employee needs have evolved in the last two years, and addressing these needs is important to creating or maintaining your positive company culture. The major focus for employees right now is wellness: financially, physically, and mentally.
A strong company culture today will include employee benefits like physical and mental health care coverage, retirement savings plans and other financial incentives, and increased flexibility – ranging from flexible schedules to hybrid or remote work opportunities.
One area you should be especially conscious of is work-life balance. Burnout rates are at an all-time high, and a healthy work-life balance is vital to employee retention and recruitment. While you want employees to work hard, people can’t come in early and leave late every day (or never log off at night) without experiencing burnout. Your employees will perform better when they have time to disconnect. Reduce overtime where you can, don’t pressure employees to be available 24 hours a day, and encourage limiting emails and texts after work hours.
When your people are happy and healthy, you will find great success for your company too!
If you have further questions about company culture or Human Resources, reach out to us via the online chat tool in the lower left corner of your screen. We love helping companies align their people with their business needs, and we love to share what we know.