What do you think of when you hear the term company culture? Is it the employee perks like free gym memberships? Monthly team lunches on the company dollar? Even something as small as free parking? While these do determine a small portion of what sets your organization apart from your competitors, it’s not everything. Company culture, in short, is how you build the sense of community (and what type of community that is) throughout your team.
What does building company culture mean to you? Scott Boulton (@HR_ScottBoulton), CHRP with Fleetway Inc., said:
“I tend to focus a lot on leadership action as it pertains to how it drives organizational culture. That is, I tend to look at what we are doing, how we should do it and what we need to be doing as leaders to define, drive and support the type of company we want and how we create and define our culture.”
Not every organization knows how to effectively create their culture. Here are 7 ways companies fail big time in building company culture that fits their organization and ways you can remedy the problems.
Lack of inspiration
The vast majority (86%) of organizations have rewards programs and 70% of those offer 3 to 6 different programs. This isn’t to say you have to go spending all sorts of money you don’t have on company cars and trampolines. In fact, 42% of job seekers look to rewards and recognition programs when considering your job offer.
Recognize your employee’s successes to inspire them to continue doing what they do best. If you don’t tell them, how are they supposed to know they’re doing a great job?
No flexible hours
In the American workforce, 1 in 9 employees work 50+ hours a week. This causes over 60% more likelihood of heart-related illnesses, 2.5 times more likely to be depressed and an overall 40% of Americans to be very or extremely stressed (which induces on overall lack of well-being).
Give your employees some room for flexibility. Whether that’s extrapolations to FMLA, or simply the ability to work from home if they are under the weather, employees need the flexibility to take care of themselves, their family and their productivity at work.
Where’s my vacation?
Employees working full-time (50%) say they work more than 40 hours a week. When this stacks up, it can begin to weigh on the employee resulting in disengagement. Dave Ramsey (@DaveRamsey), New York Times Best-Selling Author and host of The Dave Ramsey Show says disengaged employees tend to be negative, shift blame from their plate to a coworkers and start gossip which is toxic to the effectiveness of the entire team and organization.
Taking a vacation from the busy work life can refresh your employees. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant 3 week trip to Barbados, but allowing even a few days of reprieve can ameliorate performance levels.
Diversity does impact culture
Apple believes diversity in the workforce opens inclusion and broadens employee perspectives and thought processes. They honor individuality, human dignity and equality.
Create a workforce diverse in both gender and ethnicity for a team that integrates company views and various employee backgrounds.
There’s no “I” in team
Your team doesn’t get things done individually, they are a team for a reason. Because most things in the office take the help of multiple hands, careful team matching is important. Oz Alon (@OzAllon), Co-Founder and CEO of HoneyBook Inc. says making your team your top priority is key when building a quality company culture.
Observe your team members, and meet with them to give feedback to show you actually care about their needs and success.
Playing it safe
Take a look at companies like Airbnb and Uber who have impacted 10 times larger than their peers for thinking outside of the box. Playing it safe can get you and your company caught in a loop, leading to stunted growth and innovation. Procter and Gamble’s Tide has pushed annual division revenue in the past from $12 billion to nearly $24 billion within ten years by fostering growth and innovation.
Take it from the pros, encourage new ideas. Don’t be afraid to encourage your team to take risks.
You’re a special snowflake
Not. Creating an effective company culture doesn’t mean everyone has to love each other and agree all the time. Alon explained further:
“Debate is exactly what you need to make sure your company is constantly putting its best foot forward.”
It has been psychologically proven that humans are built to debate – we need to argue to create an effective team otherwise we ruin cohesiveness and create frustration among coworkers when true opinions are bottled up.
Don’t let the mothership (your organization) go down. Engage your employees to create high performance and collaboration. It’s as simple as giving them a voice, allowing them a healthy work/life balance and not breathing down their neck by being a friend, not a micromanager. The role of a manager is to leverage your team, not take them down with you. See where these top seven mistakes can be changed in your organization.
Bio: Chris Arringdale
Chris Arringdale is the Co-Founder and President of Reviewsnap, an online performance appraisal software that allows you to customize performance management, competencies, rating scales and review periods. Reviewsnap serves more than 1,200 customers worldwide including, Penske Racing, CubeSmart, PrimeSource and Nonprofit HR Solutions.