10 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Culture

Each company’s culture is its own. It’s very hard to generalize the unique characteristics of company’s culture down to a single list of 10 items.

Over my career, however, I’ve seen a few strategies and tactics that have proven to be effective to motivate the workforce to be excellent at what they do and how they do it.

The 10 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Culture:

  1. Pair up new employees with long-time ‘veterans’. Some ‘go getters’ will naturally do this, but think about putting a formal program in place to connect the ‘new’ with the ‘experienced’. 
  2. See point #1. “It’s on the Intranet” is a great answer, but HR, or some other group in your company should connect with new employees after 1 month, 2 months, and 3 months to answer questions and be a helper. The first 90 days are critical in helping new employees find their stride.
  3. Make it crystal clear to every employee the value he or she is providing. I firmly believe we are all craftsmen and we strive to do great work. 
  4. If you do employee satisfaction surveys, be ready to act on the feedback. If you fail to act, your participation next time will drop faster than the temperature on a January evening in Minnesota. 
  5. Embrace your history. The movement towards ‘why companies do what they do’ is aspirational and inspirational. Be bold with customer and employee testimonials, especially the partners who have been with your firm for years. 
  6. Break down the walls. Whether your employee is a specialist or generalist, give him opportunities to work out of his lane or area of expertise. Stretching to grow is always a good thing. 
  7. Reward top performers with cash and experiences (tickets, gift cards). Life is short and expensive and everyone wants to be appreciated for a job well done. The real world doesn’t give the entire team participation ribbons. 
  8. Every employee should understand how he’s measured. There’s always ‘work’ to do to stay busy, but transformative work happens when you focus your attention on activities that will move the needle (revenue, productivity, cost savings). 
  9. Share knowledge and information freely. The next game-changing idea for your business might come from the most unlikely source. Build forums and exchanges that foster collaboration (both online and offline). Good ideas grow into fantastic ideas when they are looked at from all angles and perspective – a true multiplier. 
  10. Let the personal improve the professional. We all have hobbies outside of work. If you don’t, go find one. If you adore Nascar and can discover other Nascar fans in your team, department, or company, you’ll probably bend over backwards to help that person become successful. The personal bonds make a job seem less like a job.

Do you agree with this list? Disagree? Share your perspective.

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