3 Big Misconceptions About Corporate Culture

StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures Article |Corporate Culture|3 Big Misconceptions About Corporate CultureCorporate culture is a term that gets thrown around a lot and it’s often misunderstood by business leaders. Your corporate culture refers to the often unspoken set of rules and values that govern your business. The way that things are done in the company day to day and the way that all of your employees interact with one another and you all has to do with your company culture.

In most cases, businesses without a positive corporate culture will struggle to survive. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that people get wrong about corporate culture and this leads to problems in the business. These are some of the big misconceptions about corporate culture that you need to stop listening to.

Corporate Culture Can’t Be Built

People talk about their corporate culture like it’s a vague thing that can’t be pinned down. It’s an ethos or a feeling, maybe it’s a vibe. It’s assumed that the culture of your business develops naturally on its own without direct input from you, but that isn’t the case. Business experts like Marc Spizzirri have a lot of experience helping companies build a corporate culture because it is something that you have direct control over. The policies and systems that you put in place to govern the day to day running of your business create the company culture. So, don’t make the mistake of thinking that culture can’t be built and it will sort itself out.

Good Corporate Culture Just Means A Fun Workplace

This misconception is largely down to big tech companies creating new-age offices with ping pong tables and bean bag chairs everywhere. People have this idea that a positive company culture just means a relaxed work environment where people are allowed to have fun instead of being stuck in a cubicle, but it’s so much more than that. It’s also about the direction of the business and the priorities that you have as a company. For example, sustainability is often a central part of the company culture. In some businesses, the focus is on providing opportunities for development. Whatever your company culture is, it has to be about more than fun workspaces and relaxed schedules.

Culture Is Defined By Employees

People often think of culture in terms of how employees interact with one another and work together. Things like conflict resolution, work-life balance, and perks all factor in too. But even though that is an important part of corporate culture, it is not defined by the employees and it is not built from the ground up. Your corporate culture starts with you outlining the values that are most important to your business. You then need to build a company and put processes in place to ensure that you uphold those values. The way that your employees interact with one another is part of that, but it happens as a result of the culture you have built, not the other way around.

If you keep believing these myths about corporate culture, you will struggle to get yours right and it will have a big impact on your business.

5 Reasons Why Companies Should Give Back

StrategyDriven Corporate Culture Article | 5 Reasons Why Companies Should Give Back

On the surface, running a business may seem simple. Products are created and sold to customers, expenses are paid, and profits are tallied up. However, the process is much more nuanced than that. While establishing a relationship with the community is not required, it can play an important role in determining how successful a business is. Taking the time to build a positive relationship with the community can be an excellent way to establish a good reputation and promote positive word of mouth. Giving back can also improve employee morale and encourage a positive culture in the workplace.

1. Establish a Positive Workplace Culture

Providing a safe, comfortable work environment is something that many entrepreneurs strive for. However, the management style, personality of the workers, and expectations placed onto staff members also contribute to the workplace culture. Toxic workers, impossible goals, and unfair distribution of work can all create a poor environment. Even if a company has fantastic managers and workers, employees may not feel completely fulfilled. From high-level management experts like Claire Lucas DC who are passionate about equality to entry-level workers who want to foster animals, most people want to do something to help the world.

Inviting staff members to contribute ideas about what causes they care about can help business owners figure out what is important to workers. If many of the workers are ardent environmentalists, then perhaps scheduling everyone to participate in cleaning up a beach once a month could be a big hit. While giving workers a few days off to volunteer may seem counterproductive, there are many studies that show a correlation between employee happiness and an increase in daily productivity.

2. Benefit the Community

While the people who live in a community may want or need certain things, they may be at a loss about how to get them. A company can provide some of the funding and use its large platform to advertise to a wide audience. Even though it may cost the company money to allow workers to volunteer, donate money to a charity event, or organize a fundraiser, the benefit to the community can make the effort worthwhile. Whether the company is able to make a difference on a local level or a global scale, many people will be able to benefit. A business that contributes towards the construction of a public park may not reap profits from the new space, but the employees and community members can use the area to exercise, socialize and play games.

3. Foster Feelings of Public Goodwill

Companies, especially large ones, can sometimes be perceived as uncaring by consumers. Unlike the local shop where the owner is often behind the counter, a large corporation can appear faceless to customers. Giving back is an excellent way to create feelings of warmth, admiration, and appreciation in the general public. A positive reputation can result in an increase in customer loyalty, even if prices go up in the future. A company with a positive reputation can enjoy more sales from happy customers.

4. Promote Brand Awareness

Often, if a company contributes to a cause, the name of the business is featured somewhere. Pamphlets and banners at events may feature the names of any sponsors, while charities may list their donors on a website page. Current and future customers may notice the name of the company, especially if the contribution made is notable, such as a large dollar amount or a flashy, unique prize won at a raffle. Companies that give back also enjoy good word of mouth among consumers. If people are impressed that a business supports a cause they agree with, they are more likely to not only support that company but to share that information with others.

5. Networking Opportunities

Charity events often appeal to local philanthropists, local celebrities, and business owners. Hosting or attending a notable event is an excellent way for business owners to meet other like-minded people. The opportunities for networking are limitless as long as it is done correctly. The business owners should not make it appear as if they are only present to meet people who may benefit them. However, they should be sociable and friendly with everyone they encounter, which will leave a good impression on all of the attendees. Business cards can be handed out and asked for in return in the hopes of sending an email or making a follow-up phone call after the event.

When a business gives back to the community in any way, the benefits are numerous. The charity selected should be as free from scandal as possible and provide a valuable service to the community or the world. As long as the cause and charities are carefully selected and align with the company culture and vision, then the business can provide support through donations and volunteer time while also generating goodwill.

How To Create A Positive Culture In The Workplace

StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures Article |Positive Workplace Culture|How To Create A Positive Culture In The WorkplaceSuccessful leaders never overlook the importance of establishing a set of core values and following positive culture within their organizations. Company culture is defined as a set of values, goals, practices, and attitudes that characterize the organization.

Culture is reflected through customer relations, employee engagement, and the types of people you want to hire for open positions. It naturally forms within the organization, as reflected by its leaders and employees.

Importance Of Having A Positive Culture In The Company

Here are other reasons why a positive culture is important in any organization:

1.It Decreases Employee Health Expenditure

A study by the American Psychological Association shows that about USD$550 million are lost each year due to employee’s workplace stress. Workplace stress has been linked to several health problems like cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndromes. A positive workplace culture ensures that employees are happy, healthy, and able to deal with stress more productively.

2. It Eliminates The Culture Of Fear

Building a business with an environment and culture of fear causes employee disengagement. Employee disengagement is costly because it leads to higher absenteeism rates, more workplace-related accidents, and more errors and defects in their output. A positive workplace culture is critical in increasing employee productivity because it drives employees to trust their bosses and work hard to perform well.

3. It Promotes Loyalty

A strong and positive workplace culture also decreases turnovers and improves employee engagement. Employee turnover is costly because it increases the expenses related to recruiting and training. Expertise loss will also decrease productivity.

StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures Article |Positive Workplace Culture|How To Create A Positive Culture In The WorkplaceHow To Establish And Maintain A Positive Environment Within The Organization

To create a strong workplace culture, leaders must be intentional in establishing and applying core values and culture initiatives. As a leader, how can you start fostering a positive attitude and culture within the organization?

Here are some steps you should take:

1. Have Good Interpersonal Skills

When you show employees that you operate from a set of values based on interpersonal skills, your employees will follow suit. Good leaders show empathy, kindness, and respect for their employees. Companies search for executives who have this set of skills because they know how critical it is to build a positive workplace culture.

A good leader goes out of their way to help and mentor those employees who they think are struggling with work. Leaders who have good interpersonal skills demonstrate compassion towards these employees to foster their resilience and encourage them to perform better.

Firms like M&A Search help organizations find the best executives and leaders who can help establish this culture. Hiring the right team leader is critical in establishing healthy work climates for the employees. When this is overlooked, employees will feel fear and resentment towards the organization and reduce their productivity.

2. Set Clear Goals

Having clear goals guides individual performance as employees will feel empowered to contribute to achieving them. Besides that, emphasizing your KPIs (key performance indicators) will cultivate a sense of professional purpose for your employees, becoming the source of their motivation to work. Talking with your team regarding departmental goals will encourage collaboration among team members as well.

3. Encourage Them To Provide Feedback

Employees should be given an avenue to express their thoughts without worrying that the management will take it negatively. As the organization leader, you should take this as an opportunity to improve yourself or the strategies you are all working on to achieve organization’s goals. Listening to their feedback and suggestions will help employees feel empowered and respected as well.

4. Recognize Those Who Do Well

Recognizing and awarding employees who achieved outstanding results or who show initiative and innovation at work is critical in keeping them motivated to continue the good work. It also encourages other employees to do better because they know that the organization sees their hard work. Giving out awards fosters a culture of friendly competition that leads to higher productivity and improved employee performance.

5. Protect Your Employees’ Rights

It’s important to give employees a safe avenue to report incidents in the workplace. Organizations have the responsibility to maintain a healthy and safe working environment for their employees. When an employee feels they were harassed or bullied, they should talk to human resource or their leader about the incident.

Organizations should act on these reports by initiating an investigation to provide fairness to both parties. Once it’s proven that an employee’s rights were stepped on, leaders should be firm in giving sanctions. Having zero tolerance for abuse, harassment, and bullying makes your employees trust the organization.

Summary

A positive culture in the workplace increases positive emotions among your employees and improves their well-being. This, in turn, helps improve their relationship with others, amplifies their abilities, and encourages creativity. Aside from that, establishing a positive culture impacts how work gets done in the company. Organizations tend to achieve significantly higher effectiveness levels, which include customer satisfaction, process productivity, financial performance, and employee engagement.

13 Apps & Ideas To Improve Your Company Culture

StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures Article |Company Culture|13 Apps & Ideas To Improve Your Company CultureWhat is company culture?

Company culture essentially means the personality of a company; it includes all of the values, behaviors, and interactions of both management and staff. The company culture is reflected by how staff engage with their organization and how they relate to the business goals. The company culture is evident in many aspects of the business operations, including the office arrangements, the hiring decisions and the staff perks.

With a strong company culture staff will feel both valued and engaged. Companies with high levels of staff engagement are more productive and more profitable. By developing a strong company culture, you’ll also improve your branding and your reputation.

According to a study by Smarp, ‘companies that had the best corporate cultures, that encouraged all-around leadership initiatives and that highly appreciated their employees, customers, and owners grew 682 percent in revenue.’ There are many ways that you can seek to improve your company culture, so let’s take a look.

Tips to improve your company culture

1 . Offer Flexibility

When you offer your staff flexibility, you will boost productivity levels. Flexibility allows employees to feel free and creative, and this has a positive impact on engagement. There are several ways that you can offer flexibility, including:

  • Flexible shifts: Instead of insisting on a strict 9-5 work regime, try offering your staff a little more flexibility with their working patterns.
  • Remote options: Working from home has become the norm lately and many businesses are making changes to operate fully remotely. According to a survey on FlexJobs, ‘65% of respondents are more productive in their home office than at a traditional workplace.’
  • Special days off: You can offer flexibility by allowing your staff to take special days off. It might be birthdays off work or a certain religious holiday that they celebrate.

2. Staff perks

According to Employee Benefits research, ‘75% of employees are more likely to stay with their employer because of their employee benefits package.’ By offering staff benefits, you can improve staff loyalty, engagement, satisfaction, and retention. Staff benefits you could considering offering include:

  • Staff discounts: There are plenty of staff discounts you can offer your employees, whether it’s retail discounts, dining discounts, or fitness discounts. Staff discounts are an excellent way to ensure that your staff feel valued.
  • Healthcare plans: To look out for your staff’s health and well-being, try offering an attractive health care plan. When you offer a great healthcare plan, you’re more likely to attract and hold onto talented staff.
  • Wellness programs: Burnout and mental health problems are increasingly common, which is why it’s a great idea to offer a wellness program. Apps such as ‘wellspace’ can support you to offer a wellness program that prioritizes the mental health of your staff.

3. Regular one-on-ones

Get into the habit of having regular one-on-ones with your staff, use these opportunities to ask your staff for feedback, and give them any feedback that you may have. One-on-one catch-ups can be helpful to:

  • Ask your staff if there is any extra training they feel they might benefit from.
  • Discuss their goals within their role and within the company as a whole.
  • Create a roadmap to achieve their goals within their role.
  • Provide them with feedback on their progress and projects.

4. Social side

To improve your company culture, it can be a great idea to encourage a social aspect to your business. You can do this easily by hosting social events for your staff and management. Whether it’s team-retreats, dinners out, or drinks on Zoom, give your staff the chance to become friends and opposed to just colleagues. Building healthy relationships with colleagues can improve the morale and atmosphere at your workplace. During 2020, many businesses have no choice but to work remotely. Due to the coronavirus, many staff members may now feel more comfortable attending online social events.

5. Mentoring

To nurture the progress of your employees, it can be useful to offer a mentoring program. All you need to do is pair up your less experienced staff members with those employees who have a little more experience behind them. There are many benefits to offering a mentoring program, including:

  • Staff can learn from one another and exchange advice and tips.
  • Improve the relationships between your staff members.
  • Improve your in-house training regimes.
  • Peer-to-peer feedback can often be more well-received than traditional feedback.
  • Mentoring programs can help you to build a supportive community within your company.

6. Diversity & inclusion

To improve your company culture, it’s essential to think about diversity and inclusion. To build a diverse workplace, you must create a team that’s representative across different ethnicities, sexual orientations, and genders. Your team should also be representative of individuals with disabilities. To create an inclusive workplace, you must include that everyone is treated equally and included, without any level of discrimination or bias. To ensure that your business is diverse and inclusive, there are several things that you can do:

  • Unconscious bias training: This type of training focuses on helping individuals understand their unconscious biases and help them avoid accidentally discriminatory behavior. When we challenge underlying prejudices and seek to correct this behavior, we are better equipped to build an inclusive workplace.
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines: WCAG provides instructions and advice on ensuring that your content is accessible. By following WCAG guidelines, you can make sure that your content is easily accessible for people with a wide range of disabilities. Such disabilities might include hearing loss, blindness, or learning difficulties. If you’d like to get your website up to WCA standards, then check out digital accessibility with AudioEye.

Diversity apps

Besides these ideas, you could also take a look at applications such as Blendoor. It’s a people analytics app that can help you to prioritize diversity as part of your recruitment processes. The software hides photos and candidate names in the primary stages, to ensure that recruiters cannot be accidentally biased.

Apps to improve your company culture

8. Jostle

This application is a type of ‘people engagement’ platform and employee intranet. The app was created to improve staff engagement by encouraging excellent communication and a positive culture. Jostle helps everyone to celebrate the successes of their colleagues and share workplace stories. Jostle’s best features include events planning, surveys and polls, collaboration, and employee recognition. With Jostle, you’ll improve the communication between your employees. It’s simple to target the info you need using employee type, location, or division. Further features of Jostle include matrix reporting, employee targeting, and workplace structures.

9. Quantum Workplace

Quantum Workplace is a type of employee engagement and performance management software. Using QW, you can access surveys, set goals, and take advantage of employee recognition features. The platform was designed to seamlessly fit management processes, and you can scale it to whatever your requirements are. Quantum workplace also has coaching features, so that you can make the most of the software. Other features of QW include analytics and feedback.

10. Lattice

Lattice is a people management platform which can support your company to encourage high performing and engaged teams. Using the software, you can carry out one-to-ones, set goals, use engagement surveys, and access insightful analytics. There are so many ways that you can customize Lattice, meaning that you can tailor this solution to your company culture. When teams are disengaged, it’s unlikely that they’ll reach their full potential or produce truly creative work.

11. Kudos

Kudos is a type of employee recognition platform, helping you to appreciate and value your staff. The tool has plenty of great solutions for employee recognition. The tool allows teammates to recognize one another’s achievements, which helps to boost engagement levels. It’s essentially a private social network that enhances communication between your teams. Kudos is also useful to represent your brand and to reinforce your core values.

12. Motivosity

The Motivosity application was developed to create a more fulfilling workplace experience. Using the platform, company owners can encourage higher productivity levels and help staff to each their true potential. Motivosity helps businesses to assign the right tasks to the right workers while boosting engagement. The platform allows staff and managers to show appreciation and recognition for workplace efforts. Further features of Motivosity include digital gifts, awards, organization charts, personality assessment, and milestone section.

13. Peakon

Peakon is a great employee engagement platform that can support you to improve your company culture. The app automates the collection of feedback, delivery, and analysis. Using Peakon, it’s simple for companies to be able to identify issues and deal with them appropriately. You can take a look at the highest performing teams, analyze their productivity, and use these insights elsewhere. When you increase your engagement, you’ll improve your company culture and see a greater ROI. Other great features of Peakon include trending dashboard, flexible scheduling, continuous monitoring, and personalized insights.

Improving your company culture means happier employees, improved branding, and, ultimately, higher profits for your business. Developing a strong company culture is a process that can take a little time. Most importantly, when you are recruiting new staff you should ensure that you are choosing individuals who are a good fit for your culture and company values.

Improve Workplace Safety With Cooperative Efforts

StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures Article | Improve Workplace Safety With Cooperative EffortsEvery day, people head to work believing they will complete their allotted hours and duties and then go home safely. It’s true that everyone deserves to have a safe working environment, and many businesses take steps to make sure employees are safe. However, many workplace accidents still happen.

Understand That Safety Impacts Everyone

Employee safety is important for everyone at the worksite whether it is a low-risk office environment or a high-risk off-shore mining site. When employees get injured at work, this affects their ability to take home a paycheck and it negatively impacts the employers’ bottom line. Additionally, this leads to added responsibilities for other employees. It’s very important that employers, supervisors, and everyone else at the worksite cooperate to prevent injuries and accidents.

Identify Common Causes of Accidents and Injuries

One of the first steps to reducing the occurrence of workplace accidents is identifying the most common causes of accidents. According to Travelers Insurance, the situations most likely to cause injuries are:

  • Material handling, with 32 percent of claims
  • Falls, slips, and trips, 16 percent
  • Colliding with or being struck by an object, 10 percent
  • Use of tools, 7 percent
  • Overuse, strain, and other traumas that occur over time, 4 percent

In addition to understanding how most accidents happen, it’s also valuable to understand which injuries are most likely to happen. The following numbers also come from Travelers Insurance:

  • Strains and sprains
  • Cuts and punctures
  • Contusions (bruises, for example)
  • Inflammation
  • Fractures (such as broken bones)

These numbers can help you understand where to start reducing your risks; for the best results, contact your workplace insurance provider for a more specific risk rundown.

Build a Culture of Safety

Remember that no matter how well you complete the following suggestions, if everyone in your workplace isn’t involved in improving safety, then everyone will be at risk for accidents and injuries. Improve results by showing your employees that you place a high priority on safety. Implement procedures that encourage safety, even when this means slowing down work processes, and then find a way to reward workers who support those safety measures.

Increase Workplace Safety

There are many things you can do to increase safety, reduce employee injuries, and protect yourself from workers compensation claims:

  • Keep common areas clean and uncluttered, provide good lighting, and use slip-resistant flooring materials.
  • Train employees to use equipment appropriately, including ladders, heavy machinery, and even staplers. Provide ongoing training to make sure all employees are up to date.
  • Education employees about physical safety and ergonomics. Heavy lifting is a task that employees complete in offices, warehouses, factories, and many other worksites. When you teach your employees to lift and handle materials safely, you could reduce some of the 36 percent of injuries that fall into this category. Physical safety in offices can be increased through a better understanding of ergonomics.
  • Post and send safety reminders. A well-placed Accident Prevention Safety Poster can help employees remember to wear their hard hats. Office-wide memos can remind staff to participate in first aid courses. Regular reminders to put phones down while walking through the worksite may reduce slip and fall injuries.
  • Create an incentive program that rewards individuals and teams for improving workplace safety. Remind employees to be alert at all times, slow down enough to complete tasks safely, wear required safety gear, and follow instructions fully.

It takes time to change behavior in the workplace, but it is possible to see improvement with consistency.

Create a Cycle of Safety Improvement

Even minor accidents or injuries can cause missed days of work, loss of income, decreased workplace efficiency, and workers’ compensation claims. When safety issues are addressed quickly and business leaders emphasize workplace safety, employees will participate in a culture of safety. This creates a cycle of improvement that is beneficial to everyone in the workplace.