Being intentional about your organization’s culture is good for your staff, customers and, of course, your bottom line.

Open communication, being inclusive, leading by example, living the company’s values, working with purpose and focusing on people over profits are all ways to build a company culture your employees will love.

What is Workplace Culture?

A company’s culture is essentially its personality and the characteristics that make it a unique place to work.   

Company culture has many facets, such as dress code, office perks and the attitudes, values and behaviors of employees and management.

Why is Culture Important?

Being intentional about culture can help your organization reach business goals and attract top talent. Studies have shown a direct correlation between workplace culture and employee retention, wellbeing, engagement and productivity, which all impact customer service and revenue:

  • 89 percent of employers think employees leave because they want more money, but actually that’s only the case for 12 percent of employees, according to Leigh Branham, author of The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave.
  • According to The Forbes Conference Board, 53 percent of American workers are unhappy at their workplaces.
  • A survey by the Harvard Business Review revealed that 58 percent of people reported they trust strangers more than their own bosses.
  • Across the globe, employees cite recognition as the number one way their manager could inspire them to do their best work. In fact, they ranked it even higher than a raise or a promotion.

As a leader, creating a work environment where employees feel supported, safe and inspired can help your team achieve both personal and company goals.

How to create or improve your company’s culture

Set the standard. As a leader, your team will be looking to you for an example of the corporate values, attitudes and behaviors, so be sure you’re putting out the right message.

Establish company values and goals. More than a mission statement, company values are the things that are interwoven through everything you do, such as inclusivity and integrity. This will give your staff a common vision and purpose to get behind and support.

Encourage good, open communication. Don’t leave employees wondering what you expect from them. Providing clearly defined goals and constructive feedback can help everyone improve, including leadership teams. Create an atmosphere where everyone feels empowered to share opinions and make suggestions without fear of ridicule or punishment.

Cultivate respect and inclusivity. You probably already have a non-discrimination clause in your hiring paperwork, but are there things in your day-to-day business operations and company norms that could be changed to help people on your team feel more valued and included? For example, a mother’s room can help new moms on staff make an easier transition back to work.  

Focus on people, not profits. This is really what it all boils down to, because if you engage your employees and get their buy-in, the profits will come. Your customers and clients will receive better service. People who get to know your brand’s culture will want to be part of it. And, a highly engaged, talented staff person is likely to refer other talented people your way when it’s time to hire.

Taking these steps toward creating a positive company culture will turn your employees into advocates, increase productivity, improve job satisfaction, reduce turnover and attract customers.