When trying to look deeper into ways to build culture at work, it's important to understand that culture can be seen in everything from how the company onboards a new employee to how leaders treat their direct reports. Different industries, geographies, and C-suites will also set the tone for different cultures. However, there’s no reason that the ways to build company culture must cost excessive money. Many steps you can take are more focused on tone and values. To work on improving your culture at work, consider the following:
Remember that when you’re building culture, it’s also essential to define who you are as a company and stay true to that. Some companies have employees who thrive on happy hours; others would be more comfortable having a motivational speaker. Some use humor as much as possible, and others don’t find humor appropriate. Before choosing activities to help build and enforce your culture, figure out what values you want your company to stand for.
The ability to give back through volunteer work is often cited as one of the most meaningful culture-building activities at a company. Consider choosing one or two days a year when everyone works with a charity of the company’s choosing. Are your employees close geographically? If so, reach out to food pantries or a local elementary school. If — like many companies — you’ve got geographically dispersed employees, you’ll need a slightly different plan.
Some companies let each employee choose a place to volunteer for the day. Others may pick a project and let their employees lend their expertise: consider building a website for an animal rescue, help a hospital charity plan an event, or identify another project your team is passionate about. Giving back together can bring positivity, happiness, and joy to your employees, and an important way to build culture at work.
No one expects or recommends that every employee gets access to all your company information. On the flip side, feeling out of the loop is a quick way to lower both morale and productivity.
When you’re looking for ways to build company culture, think about whether there are employees who could benefit from some more context. Would it help if everyone got a mock presentation from the sales team, just like a potential customer? Do you have case studies or data that you’re proud of? Have all your employees seen them?
Many leaders are surprised when they start answering these questions and realize that their teams are so ‘heads down’ at work that there are actually major motivational pieces they have not seen. Likewise, if the company is struggling with something that’s okay to share, consider doing so. Maybe an executive left, or a percentage of people got laid off. Maybe a large customer is no longer with the company. Talk to your employees openly instead of letting rumors derail trust in the business.
Onboarding is necessary but sometimes overlooked as a substantial opportunity to set company culture. Similarly, if you’ve got quarterly or yearly training, think of those as chances to connect with people and reinforce the culture you want. Instead of doing the absolute minimum, consider whether there is additional training you could do or ways you could introduce quarterly informational meetings as touchpoints.
Building culture at work is a noble and important goal. It can mean the difference between keeping employees happy and potentially losing them to other opportunities. At Amazing Workplace, we love to talk about employee happiness and satisfaction. Get in touch with us and see a demo of what we do and how we can benefit your company in learning new ways to build culture at work.