Acknowledging your employees, providing opportunities for growth and investing in communication can greatly improve company culture.
The culture found within a company is incredibly important to a venture’s long-term success. Having a good culture will improve productivity, help attract top job candidates, ensure customer service delivery is better and, in particular, help with retention rates. If you want to boost your organization’s retention rate so that you don’t see years of knowledge walking out the door, or have to spend lots of time and money on finding and training new workers, company culture should be a prime focus.
If you’re worried that improving your organization’s culture will cost too much money though, don’t be. There are plenty of things you can do to make the workplace a more fun and engaging spot for all employees, that won’t break the bank. Read on for some ideas you can implement today.
Ensure Workers Are Acknowledged and Thanked for Their Efforts
One of the key ways to improve the culture within your company is to regularly acknowledge workers for their contributions, and thank them for their efforts. Most organizations don’t focus on this nearly enough, because they don’t understand how much of a difference it can make to each employee’s happiness and engagement level.
You don’t have to fork out a lot of cash to improve culture in this way. For starters, a simple heartfelt thank you (either in person, in front of a group, on the phone, via a handwritten note, an email, or through Skype) can go a long way in making people feel they are truly part of the team and that their work is valued.
In addition, consider acknowledging efforts and/or results (remember: noticing work ethic is just as important as commending results) through actions such as celebratory drinks or food, an Employee of the Month award, or by adding a shout out to top staff members in company newsletters or on social media sites.
For an affordable price, you can also boost morale through appreciation gift ideas such as clocks, sweet treats, water bottles, wine, flowers, hampers, movie tickets, pre-loaded credit/debit cards, gift vouchers, and so on. Also, consider giving workers perks such as time off work, a better parking spot, or the chance to attend industry events like conferences and trade shows.
Provide Opportunities for Growth and Development
Next, keep in mind that people are happier and engaged within a workplace when they are challenged to just the right degree, and have opportunities to progress. To ensure your employees aren’t bored in their jobs, bitter about not being promoted, or feeling that they need to leave the firm in order to further their career, it is important to find ways to provide your team with opportunities for advancement.
For starters, it helps to run regular training sessions so that people are always learning something new. It pays to bring in guest speakers too, who can motivate your workers (which automatically helps to boost morale and improve company culture) and help them work together as a team.
In addition, it is wise to arrange performance reviews and planning sessions for each employee annually, or better yet, every quarter. Sitting down with staff members to find out what goals they would like to set for the coming period, and what development they would like to take part in (either internally or externally) will help to keep them on track. It also ensures that leaders know the aspirations of workers and can help them move up through the ranks over time.
Lastly, be aware that company culture often tanks when employees do not feel that they are being communicated with properly by management. This can arise in many ways. For example, workers might feel that they get mixed messages from their managers and can therefore never do things right; they might not be spoken to kindly by their supervisors; or they might feel that they are always finding out about new deadlines or important company news too late.
Another issue that arises regularly that affects engagement in many firms is that team members don’t feel heard. They might not feel comfortable or safe enough to put forward their views, or might find that when they do, their thoughts aren’t listened to or ever actioned.
There are multiple ways you can improve communication levels within your company. For starters, make sure all leaders are trained in top management techniques, and are encouraged to operate in a transparent way. As well, find ways to allow employees to contribute opinions anonymously so that they feel safe to really speak their minds. For example, you could have a suggestion box (and make sure the best ideas are actually actioned), or administer a company survey. The performance reviews mentioned above can also help in this regard.
It is also worthwhile seeking out technological tools that can help boost communication. An app such as Smarp, for example, can give you a more connected and well-informed workforce. The system is designed to bring company news and content to the fingertips of employees quickly and easily, and ensures that workers are always kept up to date and communicating well.
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