Good company culture is critical to employee morale and overall productivity, but knowing how to cultivate that culture isn’t always the most natural thing. The steps to take aren’t always distinct, and the specifics often depend on the industry you’re in, and even the personalities of individual team members.
There are, however, some basics that apply across the board, that can be used in nearly any scenario to create a strong company work culture, and make it a place people look forward to coming to. Here are some of the easiest and most useful of these strategies.
Set a standard of transparency.
Employees like being kept in the loop on matters above their pay grade for a few reasons. One is that they don’t like feeling like they’re intentionally being held in the dark, because it makes them worry they’re seen as cogs in a machine instead of as people, and they that if there are things they’re not being told, it’s because they wouldn’t like what they’d hear. Give them a window into company plans, explain why it’s important they do the work they’re doing and build trust.
Recognize team contributions, and reward accordingly.
It should come as no surprise that people who go the extra mile feel like they should get a pat on the back for it every now and then. Odds are they’re not working 60 hour weeks because they love being away from their family, so don’t let them feel like they’re doing that extra half a work week for nothing. Companies that make a point of rewarding hard work and dedication have drastically lower turnover rates, as well.
Don’t be a micromanager.
Have you ever had a manager who was always looking over your shoulder, wanted hourly updates, and meticulously directed your every move? If you have, and you didn’t enjoy it, you’re not alone, because most employees prefer to be able to use their own skills and creativity rather than merely being another physical body attached to their manager’s brain.
Promote team camaraderie.
The ideal team isn’t just a bunch of people who can do their individual jobs really well. You want to make sure their skills complement each other, and that they can rely on each other for support in areas they’re weak in. You also want to make sure there’s personal chemistry, and that everyone is for the team instead of the type to leave each other hanging once 5 PM hits.
Solicit your team’s feedback in addition to offering your own.
As a manager, it’s obviously your job to guide your team and provide mentorship on areas where they need to improve. However, one of the best things you can do to strengthen that relationship is to accept their feedback as well. You aren’t always going to do everything right, so be willing to take those opinions or even ideas you may not have thought of.
These tips should get you off to an excellent start to creating a terrific company culture, but don’t be afraid to get creative! Parties, surprise perks, and even prank calling apps can keep the mood light and make work a place everyone enjoys coming to.