10 Ways to Improve a Company’s Organizational Culture

10 Ways to Improve a company's organizational culture

Company executives often ask me, “What’s the best thing I can do for my company’s organizational culture?” Truth is, there are many things that will make your employees feel better about their work and the people they work for. Culture is the collective heart and mind of an organization.

There are many factors that influence employees’ attitudes towards their jobs and the company they work for. We often discover that employees feel differently when we do culture assessments. There are many processes and mechanisms that affect how employees feel about their work. The employee’s manager is often the most influential factor in the employee experience. Here are 10 tips for leaders at all levels to improve the employee experience and your company’s organizational culture

1. Communicate and create meaningful values

Values shouldn’t be just philosophical nonsense. The values are the guideline for employees and customers on how to interact with one another and the community. Our clients should have no more than five values.

This makes it easy for employees and managers to understand the importance of the company’s values. Leaders should communicate the values and the expected behavior associated with each value. This helps employees to understand the expectations and reduces uncertainty. It also ensures that everyone is on the same page about how things should be done.

Setting an example is the best way to communicate your values. Values should not be limited to the frontline employees but must be communicated to all staff members. Frontline employees need to see that their managers adhere to values every day in order for them to have any meaning.

Also read: Staff Augmentation: What is it, Pros and Cons of Staff Augmentation

2. Conduct proper selection

Managers are often too eager to fill a job and forget to ask the right questions. Experience is often a key factor in hiring employees. However, if you are looking for the right person to work with others and succeed, they must be able to fit the company’s values. Interview questions that are based on the company’s core values can be a great way to get to know the candidates and predict how they will contribute to the company’s culture.

As part of the interview process, I recommend a behavioral-interview approach in which candidates are required to engage in an activity. This allows candidates to step out of their comfort zones and gives them the opportunity to evaluate their behavior rather than just asking questions.

3. Improve orientation and onboarding

Nearly 30 percent of new employees leave within the first 90-days. The new hires should be given a positive and engaging orientation within the first 1-2 days of their job. They also need to undergo a thorough onboarding process within the first 90 days.

To ensure that they feel connected to their job, their team, and the organization, it is crucial that new hires have a successful onboarding process. To ensure that they are on the right track, it is important to establish the right priorities from day one, make employees feel welcome, implement a structured and effective training program, test new hires for comprehension, and assess their ability between 30 and 60 days.

4. Empower and enable employees

Leaders need to give their employees the right information and tools. They also need to provide the support and control necessary for them to make good decisions. Leaders should set expectations, give employees the tools they need, and let them do their job without micromanaging. It is important to empower employees and build trust.

5. All year long, engage employees

Employee engagement is still a problem. Only 34% of employees are engaged in their work. Leaders should ensure that employees feel connected to the company’s mission and make sure they know what they can do to help. Employees should be educated about the company’s purpose, annual goals, and different action plans. Employees should be kept informed about company progress and company scores. Encourage employees to participate in the development of plans for improvement.

6. Coach employees

Employees can get informal feedback to help them understand their behavior and how it compares to expectations. Yet, 32 percent of employees do not receive feedback from their managers for more than three months. This leaves employees uncertain about how their performance is up to expectations. To be effective, informal feedback must be prompt, fair, balanced (providing both constructive and positive), specific and personal. It must also include a sincere thanks or gesture of appreciation.

7. Effective communication with employees

Focus groups with employees reveal that communication issues are frequent complaints. Managers are often shocked when we mention this to them. They feel like they are communicating with their team. It is not usually the amount of communication that is the problem, but the quality of the communication.

You can improve the quality of communication by keeping your words short and direct and paying attention to your body language, tone of voice, and timing. Make sure to reinforce your message using multiple channels. Communication goes both ways. Make sure you check that your employees understand your message and ask them questions like “What’s your next step?”

8. Recognize employees how they want to be recognized

Recognizing employees is a great way to show appreciation, reinforce positive behaviors, retain top talent, and increase engagement; by letting them know that what they do makes a difference. But employees are often not appreciated. 63 percent of employees don’t feel they are getting enough praise. Managers must recognize that employees learn differently and have different ways of processing information.

Some like to be acknowledged, others prefer to see it and some prefer to feel it. Managers should use a mix of recognition methods, such as Say, Write, and Do. We love to see managers use a combination of recognition methods, such as saying thank you in meetings, writing a thank-you card, setting up a fun recognition program, and working alongside employees who are not enjoying a particular task. Each employee is unique, so recognition must be tailored to them.

Also read: How to Transition from Office Culture to Cloud Culture

9. Have tough conversations and make tough decisions

Leaders who don’t hold their employees accountable create a hostile environment that causes high-performing employees to become dissatisfied, decrease their efforts, and ultimately leave. Leaders need to be comfortable having difficult conversations with employees who do not display the expected behavior. Leaders should also be able to make difficult decisions and let go of employees who aren’t performing as expected.

10. Show your employees you care about them and your company’s organizational culture

You should show employees that you care about each individual and are committed to improving the company’s organizational culture. Be available to them and listen to their needs. Listening to employees is a matter of giving your full attention. Respect your employees and show appreciation for their work. Learn about your employees and their interests. Trust is built by being honest with your employees.

Leaders at all levels should take stock of the experience of their employees and find areas for improvement. Culture is created from a combination of many factors and influences. Although culture is complex, there are ways to improve and change it

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