Last week we talked about our key core value, "Treatment of People," and that goes hand-in-hand with a big emphasis on company culture. Company culture isn't something that just happens, it's something you have to consciously work at improving all the time.
What are some of the ways to cultivate great company culture?
Creating a good culture isn't just good for employee happiness, it's vital for company-wide success. Here are 9 ways to get started:
- It starts with the hiring process. Always hire employees who are first a good fit for your company culture, and then look at skill sets. The person who may be able to help you the most right now, but is not a good fit for your culture, will not be the best employee for the future of your company.
- Implement a process to track how your employees are feeling about your company. There are many systems out there, we use and really like Office Vibe. It helps us get a pulse on company happiness and works as a great tool for people to anonymously give feedback and make suggestions.
- Think about establishing a company event committee. It's great to aim to have some kind of employee event once a month. With the way we've been growing, these events have been integral to helping new employees quickly get acclimated to the team. We like to reserve some extra cash to throw one big event every quarter and go all out, so there's always something fun to look forward to as a group. These events really help with teamwork.
- Keep it fun. Get employees involved in decorating the office to make the space feel like their own and find ways to inject fun every day. We always encourage silliness and like to joke around a lot. People spend a lot of time at work, you want to make work a place where they want to be.
- Regular team huddles. Have team huddles with all your employees to share what is going on in your company. Everyone should be aware of your companies most important goals and the team's progress toward them, not just the usual goals of making customers happy, but the specific and measurable numbers that have been set in order to reach success. You can do this every day, 3 times a week or at minimum once a week depending on the size of your company.
- One-on-one meetings with your employees. Ensure that every employee has a one-on-one meeting with their supervisor at least once a month. This is not a meeting aimed at discussing performance, this is a meeting to simply a chance to see how your employee is doing; to ask them what they like about the company and what they would like to improve.
- Get your employees invested in your company. This can be done several ways: an employee recognition program, awarding bonuses for performance if you want to go further, establish an employee ownership program--actually awarding shares of the company to the employees. That means they'll have an actual stake in the company and a vested interest in seeing it grow and thrive. Whatever way you choose to help invest your employees, you'll see a direct impact on retention rates.
- Establish an employee-run 'Safety and Health Committee.' Caring about your employees' safety at work and at home is the ultimate way to show them that you really care. The committee should meet at least once a month and have share topics with the full company weekly. The facts show that companies with strong safety programs and low accident rates have higher morale, better productivity and provide superior service to their customers.
- Investing in your employees and your company culture is one of the best investments you could ever make in your company.
Also, if you're interested in going further, we got a lot of inspiration from reading Delivering Happiness, by Zappos founder, Tony Hsieh.
Do you have any awesome tips for improving company culture? We'd love to hear them!