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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.

COVID-19 Has Revealed What We Need More of in Business: The Female Brain

StrategyDriven Diversity and Inclusion Article | COVID-19 Has Revealed What We Need More of in Business: The Female BrainThe coronavirus crisis is a wake-up call. It’s waking us up to what we need to pay attention to in order to live sustainable, healthy lives on this planet. It’s waking us up to the global leadership and cooperation that’s required to ensure our human survival. And it’s highlighting how the female brain is highly adapted to the actions that are needed — right now.

Across the globe, we’re witnessing shining examples of women leading nations through this crisis (here’s to you, Germany and New Zealand) and instances of the worst kind of dominant male behavior here in the USA.

Women, men, and the balance of power

In each of these cases, women have expressed their power differently than men. But why? Differences in neural connectivity and hormones combine to shape male and female power behaviors. Modern brain scanning reveals that neural connectivity in a female brain activates broadly across the left and right hemispheres as the brain analyzes the many facets of a problem. In contrast, male brain connectivity runs with equal intensity from front to back, focused inside of each hemisphere, but with little connection between the two sides of the brain, giving men a singular focus.

Neurochemically, women’s brains and bodies contain far greater quantities of oxytocin, the bonding hormone. For men, the quantities of testosterone are far higher. Under stress, men’s testosterone levels go up, and oxytocin goes down. In women, it’s the opposite; the stress response increases oxytocin.

Because of these combinations, women and men tend to have different takes on the world. Put simply: women create solutions; men fix problems. Women, by nature, are more inclined to connect, collaborate, and communicate. Men with higher testosterone tend to care more about their place in the pecking order.

To be clear, none of these responses are fully married to either sex. How we respond and react are unique to us, with our life experiences shaping these basic biological underpinnings. But we all know that women and men generally have very different ways of living in the world, based on millions of years of evolution. And, as we are experiencing with COVID-19, you cannot argue with Mother Nature.

Right now, a broad, collaborative, and connected perspective—one that sees the whole and isn’t about competition, ego, and turf wars — is exactly what’s required.

Our ‘new normal’ requires female ways of leading

Research shows that many pre-COVID-19 corporate cultures favored male-oriented brains, having been largely created by certain kinds of men for similar kinds of men. But in this new world of working remotely, female ways of leading are creating the space for neural diversity to speak up and find its voice.

Women who were often silent in big office meetings are speaking up online. So are the less-alpha men, along with introverts. Power and status symbols have been stripped away. Working from home is a great leveler and liberator, and it’s allowed female leadership to access the best of all the brains in the business.

COVID-19 has caused us to hit the pause button. To stop and think. Just like the impact of women coming into the workforce after World War II, we are experiencing the positive effects of a different kind of leadership at work. These coronavirus days are allowing female power to shine. There will be no going back, and the world will be better for it.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Kate LanzKate Lanz is the founder and CEO of Mindbridge, a UK-based global leadership company specializing in the power of modern neuroscience and releasing latent brain potential. She is the author of All the Brains in the Business: The Engendered Brain in the 21st Century Organisation. Learn more at mindbridge.co.uk.

Diversity and Inclusion – Return on Investment, part 3: Employee Productivity Enhancement

Unseen millions are lost by companies every year; the result of employees withholding the full commitment of their physical, intellectual, and emotional contributions. Surveys conducted by the Gallup Organization identified an 18 percent difference in productivity between the best and worst performing companies.1 Yet, as we shall explain, even the best performing companies have room for improvement.


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Diversity and Inclusion – Return on Investment, part 1: Employee Turnover Reduction

The cost of employee turnover is staggering and yet goes largely unrecognized. There is no financial statement line item, no general ledger entry, and no budget explicitly set aside for this expense that can cost an evenly modestly sized company well over a million dollars each year. And a significant portion of voluntary attrition is directly related to the abusive work environment many employees indicate exists within the marketplace today. Thus, improvements in workplace civility can directly improve the organization’s bottom line.


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Tear Down This Wall: 4 Ways to Fix Business and Tech’s ‘Women Problem’

StrategyDriven Diversity and Inclusion ArticleInformation technology (tech) is at the epicenter of the world’s economy. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are the foremost companies in the world. But women in tech, as in other industries, face obstacles from entry-level positions to the C-suite.

If industry truly wishes to fix this, it must stop retreating into seemingly noble expressions of sentiment, and instead evaluate and adopt specific procedures and programs. That is particularly true of tech, exhibit “A” in the corporate failure to hire and promote women. Re-allocating burdens, from women who aspire to the companies and industries that would employ them, and adoption by those companies of specific programs, is what my book is all about.

Women can lean in, education can push STEM, states may enact wage gap and family leave legislation. But those developments mask the more fundamental issue. From startups to the largest firms, firms themselves actually hire and promote females. In contrast, many of these companies have gender aversion baked into their DNA. Tech, for example, has been unable to support women at any level. A mere 5 percent of Tech’s senior executives are women. Branches of the industry, such as video gaming, are overtly misogynist in governance, in culture, and in product content.

Can tech and other industries redeem themselves? Here are four steps companies could take:

Change the mindset, reallocate the burdens. Bookshelves are overloaded with advice books for women who aspire in business. Get a mentor, network, don’t be a “bully broad,” be strategic, lean in, lower your voice, don’t be a “queen bee,” dress conservatively, and so on. Now is high time to look at the other side of the equation, what responsibilities companies and industries bear and what sorts of measures they should be considering. The onus shouldn’t be solely upon women anymore.

Adopt specific programs and procedures. Professional advice books emphasize that women should obtain mentors. Women have, and it has not moved the needle at all. Women in business complain, “I have been mentored to death and I am still in same position I was 7 years ago.” Recently, emphasis in Australia has shifted to corporations themselves and to mentoring plus sponsorship. It has moved the needle – significantly. Ideas include comply or explain requirements (“if not, why not?”), certificate programs, pledge regimes, quota laws (Norway, Spain, Italy, France, Germany but probably not for the United States), mandatory disclosure, voluntary disclosure, structured search (Rooney Rule) adoptions, and more.

Cast a wide net. Compared to other countries around the globe, the U.S.’s progress on gender diversity issues has slipped below the global median. Governments, stock exchanges, and industry groups in Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand, for example, are very active on gender diversity issues. Surprisingly, promotion of women in business and in governance is hot-button issue of in the Peoples’ Republic of China (not in Japan, however: fewer than one percent of corporate directors are female). On the Atlantic side, proposals and programs proliferate in the countries of the European Union and with the EU itself.

Look to the future: pay attention to the pool problem. We now appreciate that executives must balance maximization of shareholder value with sustainability. Long-term sustainability requires gender diversity. The pool problem speaks to that issue. The pool consists of the women from among whom boards and executives will choose senior managers — not now, not next year, but 10 years, 12 years, or 15 years in the future. Compared with today’s meager pool, the future pool will be markedly inferior, unless companies put in place steps to deal with the deficiency. One vital strategy is to ease the off ramps and ease the on ramps for women as they find it necessary to step aside from their careers, temporarily, often because of childbirth and child rearing issues. Dial up, dial down, alumnae, and welcome back programs, among other things, can ease those on and off ramps. Companies must think about these type of measures.

When it comes to promoting women to leadership roles or positioning them for executive roles in the future, tech is the most backward of major industries. Even lower down the ranks, the number of women tech companies employ has declined – from 37 percent in 1995 to 24 percent in 2016 — and is predicted to decrease further in coming years.

Neither does the future appear as hopeful as we have wished. Yet there are steps and programs that might brighten that future significantly.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert ContributorDouglas M. Branson is the W. Edward Sell Chair at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a visiting professor at Cornell University, the Universities of Washington and Hong Kong, and Melbourne University, among others. He was a State Department–sponsored corporate governance consultant to New Zealand, Indonesia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Serbia, and Bulgaria. He is the author of 23 books on gender and corporate governance. His new book is The Future of Tech Is Female: How to Achieve Gender Diversity (NYU Press, July 2018).