How to Establish & Maintain a Positive Company Culture
Did you ever work for a company that paid pretty well, but the employees walked around like zombies with no motivation or excitement for their work? Or, did you land your first job at a company that exuded positive vibes, where everyone was happy to be there and you felt valued as an employee?
Now that you are a business owner, you are hoping your employees will think of your company more like the latter example than the former. What the zombie-like office was probably lacking was a thriving company culture; whereas the upbeat office likely had an established culture that employees adored.
With this in mind, the following tips can help you to create and maintain a company culture that your employees will appreciate:
Provide a service that is easy to believe in
One reason some companies have the walking dead for employees is because they lack a sense of purpose. In order to avoid this, make sure your company is providing a service or product that truly means something so that your employees can feel personally invested in your success. For example, this company offers identity theft protection plans that help to keep peoples’ precious and sensitive data private; knowing that they are truly making a difference and helping their clients every day makes it easier for this company’s employees to want to be there.
No matter what your company specializes in, be excited and proud about it and communicate this enthusiasm to your team. Assure them that they are valued members of your company and that their contributions matter are making an impact.
Employee benefits and rewards
As you might have learned firsthand, no one wants to feel like they are merely a warm body filling an arbitrary role; they want and deserve to be rewarded for their hard work and good results. Give credit and recognition when it is due, even if it’s in the form of a “great job” email or letting someone know that you really appreciate their hard work. You can also reward employees with small tangible rewards, like a paid afternoon off, a gift card to a local restaurant or coffee shop or the chance to work remotely for a few days.
Establishing a fair employee benefit package can also do wonders for company morale and the overall culture. In addition to offering health insurance to workers who qualify, you might be able to create a mutually beneficial working relationship with a local vendor, who, in turn, will offer discounted services to your team. For instance, if your company offers anything computer or IT-related, you might team up with the local cable company—in exchange for discounted or free cable service for your employees, you will provide your services at a highly reduced rate.
How to handle dress codes
If you expect your employees to dress in a certain way, either avoiding certain colors or shirts with their favorite basketball team logo, it is best to put all of this in writing in the company handbook. Adding a dress code policy to your employee handbook will give them a good idea of what they can and cannot wear to work, as well as make it easier on you to address anyone who is not abiding by the rules.
When creating the dress code, keep your company culture in mind. For instance, if you pride yourself on your laid back work environment you might be fine with your team wearing cargo shorts and T-shirts to work, but if you prefer a slightly more tailored look, that is fine too. If someone shows up in something inappropriate, casually ask the employee to join you in your office or for a quick walk around the block and let him or her know that while you like their choice of duds, it’s in violation of the dress code. It doesn’t have to be a big formal meeting and the employee doesn’t need to feel embarrassed; just gently reminded of what it says in the employee handbook.
A positive company culture means happier employees and customers too
By establishing your company culture, your employees will feel valued and will probably be more likely to do a great job at work. In turn, these positive emotions may trickle down to your clients, who can tell when they are dealing with a company where everyone is valued and appreciated.
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