When analyzing the success of a company you will naturally find many factors influencing it, but what newer waves of workers are attracted to is the company’s culture. Company culture is defined as the values and behaviors that take place in a workplace that shape the experiences of both the employees and the customers. All companies have a culture, it is initially shaped by the mission statement and the managers who work as the main influencers in the workplace. Once you find that the current environment no longer benefits the company’s operations, 3 phases must be followed: Investigate, Implement, and Monitor.
Investigate what your Company Culture looks like now.
The investigation phase begins once the initial decision of change is made. It is essential to understand the current environment your employees are in. Take steps to identify the values they follow and the behaviors that are often used in the workplace. This means asking them questions about their daily experiences such as what they find most frustrating and most enjoyable about their work.
Also, include questions about the workplace facilities and how they find relationships with other departments to be. Is communicating between departments a nightmare or is it smooth sailing? Include as many questions that can be rated as possible; the use of a scoring system can help identify areas that need to be addressed first. It is important that this information comes from them, and if the relationship between manager to employee is estranged, anonymous questionnaires can be used.
Define which values can be kept, what behaviors promote a safe space for the employees, and which should be eliminated. Start from what the workplace looks like now and mold a plan that promotes the values fit for a positive environment. This way it will be easier for your employees to adapt and for you to see the benefits of this change. The values that are followed in the workplace should match those of the company’s mission statement to promote a cohesive image.
Lastly, identify the factors that influence the culture, both internal and external. Internal factors would be those coming from inside the company, like the kind of work the employees make, whether it is manual labor or office paperwork. External factors encompass those outside of the workspace: daily commute, family life, and a nation’s cultural influences, among others.
Implementing small changes.
Changing a company’s culture takes time. Submitting a list of rules for employees to follow suddenly can create confusion amongst them and lead to no change being achieved. Start by informing managers of what your plans are, this way they can adjust first to the upcoming changes that will follow. These are the people who influence the workplace the most, and if some behaviors need to be stopped and changed for your plan to succeed, they are the ones who will take charge and lead by example.
Open lines of communication to reach your employees. Communication is the key in most situations, and once employees feel comfortable speaking with their managers be ready to receive and implement the feedback you get from them. Your plan must be open to responding to feedback and change as needed, this way you will promote open conversation for future ideas and possible projects.
Implement as much transparency as possible. Let your employees know of your plans to promote a safe company culture so they are aware of future changes. Transparency promotes trust between your employees and you, and this trust can turn into loyalty.
The true change comes once transparency, recognition, and trust are established within the company. Being honest with your employees and recognizing the efforts they put into their work leads to loyalty. This loyalty influences employee turnover, people are attracted to workplaces that encourage honesty and growth within the company. This also attracts talented workers who are eager to work with innovative companies that care for their employees.
Monitoring progress to see the change unfold.
Once communication is flowing through your organization, keep up with what your employees are saying. It is through them that a company’s culture is sustained and, in this case, changed. Setting key goals is a great way to track how your plan is going. This means watching how productivity levels are affected, how many employees have adapted to new behaviors, and listening to outside channels.
Change from inside the company can be reflected in the company image and monitoring how the market and competition react to it can be a good way of knowing if you are on the right path. Create opportunities for your employees to grow; open programs for further education that can keep your employees engaged and motivated to follow along within the new company culture.
Why is this important?
The benefits of maintaining a positive company culture affect all levels of the company. Having a safe and motivating work environment directly affects the production levels and thus, the yearly returns. That’s money that can be reinvested into your company’s operation and even future projects. The importance of inspiring loyalty from your employees is that it not only attracts more talented workers but also enhances your company’s image. This can be a deciding factor for future partnerships as it can help your company stand out from the competition. Keeping constant communication and inspiring trust with your employees can be the key to developing innovative ideas that will help the company grow further.
Managing a company’s culture is a task that should not be taken lightly. Your plan will set forth a chain of events that affects the future of the company, both inside and out. These steps are not for one specific company to take; all industries around the world can be benefited by encouraging a positive culture within their operations.