Company culture can either coax a company to greatness or lead it down a slow, insidious journey to potential bankruptcy. Culture cannot be denied. Every policy you put into place, every employee decision, and every human resource choice will directly contribute to the overall style of the company. As a business owner, you should be aware that company culture is a metaphysical force that cannot be avoided.
At it’s very core, company culture can be defined as a “company's way of doing things.” And it matters more than you might think. A strong company culture, for example, can encourage employees to remain with your company for a longer period of time. Companies with a strong company culture have 34.5% less employee turnover than ones with bad company cultures. This is a big deal. Especially if you consider that job hopping is the new normal. According to Forbes, the average stint of an employee at a job is 4.4 years. A strong, positive culture can encourage employees to remain with the company for a longer period of time. Below are two strategies to help you set your culture on the right path.
The misery of employees will not unlock a secret level that rockets your company to career success. In fact, the employee unhappiness could lead to your employee productivity floundering. Employee happiness can increase productivity by 31% and employee misery can decrease productivity by 10%. Here are a two tactics you can utilize to increase employee happiness.
Encourage employee interaction.
Short conversations throughout the day can be a fun way to refresh, recharge, and then return to work more efficient than ever. More than that, how much an employee loves a company is directly tied to the number of work friends an individual has. According to Ohio University, 45% of individuals with one to five work friends love their company, while only 24% of individuals with no friends love their company.
Allow employees to decide how, when, or where they work.
This allows employees to decide the work conditions where they would be happiest and most productive. You can allow employees to bring personal laptops to work outside, work from home, or decide what hours they will work. Make sure when you move in this direction, you set up firm rules about what is and is not allowed. You should also make it clear that the ability to earn this type of agency must be continually earned.
Culture of Learning
Encourage a culture of learning. Grant your employees the ability to increase their knowledge base every day. Learning has a few core benefits that employees should tap into. The primary reward is that employees will continually learn new skills that will allow them to perform their duties more efficiently, discover new tactics to streamline the company’s current work tactics, and learn new skills that will aid them in their professional career ambitions. The ability to learn and use skills that coincide with an employee’s personal goals will encourage employees to remain with the company for a longer period of time. Here are a few methods you can use to encourage a culture of learning.
Have managers and employees build and teach 5 to 30 minute lessons. Give employees a little time to plan the lessons. The only downside to formalized, away from your desk lessons, is that employees must deal with conquering resumption lag. Resumption lag, Rutgers Professor Jack Aiello explains, is “the period of time an individual needs to recover concentration and resume task performance at pre-interruption levels.” That lack of temporary efficiency can be reduced by giving employees enough time to prepare for the interruption.
Give efficient employees the ability to utilize some of their free time to read articles and have conversations about their job in order to expand their knowledge base.
Offer employees scholarships or grants to attend formal college courses. In order to make the investment worth it, you can require employees to maintain a certain GPA or remain at the company for a pre-determined period of time.
At the end of the day, if a company’s culture if left unchecked and unguided, it will begin to craft its own feel and message. In order to avoid a slow descent into a negative culture, business owners should begin crafting their culture as soon as they can. An easy place to start the journey towards a better culture is to encourage employee happiness and education.