Whether you are a large corporate company or a small niche business, you all start out with exciting ideas and concepts. However, as your business grows business culture becomes harder to maintain. Culture comes from the people within your firm and a positive culture is built through motivation, satisfaction and happiness of your employees, as they work towards a common vision through shared practices and values.
Company culture is vital to the success of your business, companies who align their culture with their business goals consistently outperform their competitors. Employees working in a progressive and positive culture are less likely to leave a firm because they know what is expected of them, they are united with their colleagues and are rewarded and recognised for their achievements.
Follow our advice on how to drive cultural change to engage and retain your staff:
Communicate with and listen to your employees for a give and take culture.
Embedding a positive culture should come from the top down. As the CEO, MD or the Line Manager, depending on the size of your business, your diary will be full of meetings, which could involve you being out of the office or not at your desk. Setting aside time every week to communicate with your employees on a one to one basis should be a permanent and essential fixture in your diary. By taking the time to open the lines of communication, not only can you ensure your staff understand your vision but it enables you the time to listen. Being able to listen is important, it shows you value your staff, that they are a priority and ultimately it builds trust and a rapport, which is not only empowering for them but enables you to gain vital feedback. If people feel they can discuss their concerns openly with management and genuinely feel they are listened to they are more likely to stay with the organisation.
A consistent and positive two way communication can motivate and inspire your employees, by giving them direction and attention you will get a lot more back. We are all guilty of firing off emails rather than speaking in person but the personal touch can have a greater impact, so say it in person.
Ensure everyone knows what they are working towards and their role within this.
Buy in into your business, values and vision is essential to implementing and maintaining a progressive company culture. Ultimately, you need your staff to really care about your business. Transparency is key to delivering this. Being transparent about company goals, the direction the business is heading in and how each staff member contributes to this will increase employee trust and compliance whilst reducing speculation and uncertainty, which could lead to attrition in your retention rates.
Hold firm wide meetings to clearly set out your business goals and plans for the short and long term and give regular updates on progress. On an individual level people need to know what is expected of them and how they contribute to your goals, particularly if you are introducing change. Ensure everyone is met with regularly and personally to talk through what is expected from them, how this affects the bigger picture and listen to their concerns and feedback.
Integrate your employees for continued professional development and communication.
Continuous learning and support is synonymous with a successful culture. Implementing a mentoring programme can help to tackle challenges in development, progression and retention. Traditional mentoring programmes involve integrating longstanding employees or management with new and junior employees. Your mentoring strategy can be taken further for career progression development such as future leaders or situational development such as diversity. Mentoring allows for more personal connections which lead to stronger and more cohesive teams, heightened individuals and organisational learning. In a traditional program this additional line of communication and interaction allows for extra channels for passing culture and spirit through from top to bottom.
Open and encourage channels of communications across size, location and sector.
As your company grows it is essential that communication across teams and offices is sustained and encouraged. Implementing a central, internal system for staff to communicate, discuss and share ideas, organise social events whilst having immediate access to handbooks, guides and company notices can help keep a business united regardless of size, location or sector.
Help to advance your employers careers and skills sets.
Show your employees that you want to invest in their career and support them professionally and personally in growing them as an individual. Investing in continuous development and training not only proves your confidence in your employees’ career but makes them more valuable and productive for your business. Professional training can include team building days where there can be one to one coaching in presenting, public speaking, managing and time management. As well as opting for external trainers and coaches to look within your firm for how to share existing knowledge among your employees through internal lectures or seminars. Development does not need to be confined to professional training. Offering life skills coaching for personal development can set you apart from your competitors as an additional benefit to employees whilst giving them the ability to manage their personal lives so not to impact on their productivity and happiness in the workplace.
Happiness of your employees will lead to strong business performance.
Issues related to a poor work life balance can have a significantly negative impact on a business, not only on productivity and satisfaction but levels of retention and attraction. Implementing positive measures to offer employees a greater chance of achieving balance will not only differentiate you in the competitive employment market but will ensure your employees stay with your organisation. There are a number of programs that can be introduced from the more common such as flexible working hours to family day where employees can leave earlier to spend quality time with their families, counselling for employees, emotional health and stress and childcare facilities.
Ensure you hire the right personalities for your business.
Hiring the right people for your business does not necessarily mean the best CV. The individual and their personality will play a big part in building upon your company culture. As you are injecting new personalities into your teams, dynamics will change. It is much easier to employ the right people from the outset as opposed to getting the wrong people and trying to mould them into the people you want them to be. We advise that you work with a recruitment consultancy who ensure they fully understand your culture and during the interview process make sure you really get to know the candidates you meet.