Top Tips for Leaders
Workplace culture remains a critical method for firms to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Indeed, some firms, such as Zappos, have now made it their USP and have seen exponential rise in sales as a result. At a more basic level, every employee wants to enjoy their work, to feel motivated on a Monday morning and feel that their contribution in the workplace is valued. Here are 14 ways to build a great workplace culture that can help you stand out in the market, and make employees feel engaged and valued.
Leadership teams should….
1. Leadership teams should be open to feedback and in fact, seek it out. The smallest actions will have an effect on employees at all levels, and we should be actively finding out how our actions affect others.
2. If feedback has been received and understood, then don’t file it, act on it.
3. Communicate, communicate, communicate! Regardless of whether you think your actions will impact employees or not, give them the opportunity to feed into your thinking. For an employee, there’s nothing worse than being kept in the dark.
4. Recognise that company culture defines the values of the organisation. Why is this important? Because values determine how employees behave.
5. Won a contract? Taken on board a new hire? Met company targets? Celebrate!
6. Use the company culture as a method of telling the company narrative. You will have a vision for how the company wants to look in six months, a year, or ten years’ time. Sell your vision to new and existing employees.
7. Recognise that culture is crucial to employee retention. Employees will leave companies with a toxic workplace culture. Engage with your employees, stay open and honest, and watch them thrive.
8. Think others won’t be aware of your culture? Think again. Whether it be partners, consumers, stakeholders, or board members, your culture will determine your interactions with them.
9. Take your employees career growth seriously. They want to learn and grow, so take the time to find out what and how they want to learn. Employee development does not necessarily mean breaking the bank; a medium size enterprise will have individuals with myriad skill-sets. Use other employees for internal training and development.
10. One of the reasons Zappos has had such success with their culture is because it cannot be replicated. Many other businesses sell footwear, but their culture is unique to them – as your culture will be unique to you. Build a fantastic culture and use it as a differentiator from your competitors.
11. Own it. The culture is yours to cherish and nourish, and the manner in which you look after it will determine what it looks and feels like.
12. Cultures can be changed, but slowly and over time. Incremental steps in a forward direction is the name of the game here. Everything from employees, employee pay and benefits, dress code, systems, processes, values, office layout and more will affect the culture, so consider any changes before they are made.
13. Consider the past, but remember the future is more important. What you have done in the past will act as an indicator to the way things may be in the future, but you have the power to change this – for better or worse. Have your actions in the past had a positive impact on your team or to their detriment?
14. Physical culture is important also. What does your office look like? Does it have a kitchen? A gym? What colour is it? What way do the desks face? Everything in your office will have an impact on the culture.
There are many attributes that make up a company culture, and the above makes up the 14 we think stand out. As each company culture is unique, you may find that some of these are more relevant than others, while there may be other factors that you can identify.
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