Great businesses understand the importance of company culture. They know that investment in your people helps them to reach their full potential and contributes to the overall success of the organisation. In this article, we’re exploring how to improve company culture.

A poor workplace culture could end up costing the business, as it can result in widespread work-related stress, poor health, absenteeism and a high turnover of staff. Fixing this problem is therefore beneficial for everyone.

By contrast, a positive company culture has many benefits. When a company knows its values and has a clear, shared sense of purpose, it helps to create meaningful business goals and strengthens brand identity. It also nurtures employee wellbeing and enhances productivity, leading to high staff retention rates and employee satisfaction levels.

Keep reading for a range of tips around improving company culture, with further information on the advantages to your business.

Support ongoing development

Supporting people to advance their careers helps them to feel valued, grows their confidence and inspires them to do great work. When people have clear goals to work towards, they’re empowered to continue improving their capabilities and doing well in their role. If they see the potential for growth and know that there are opportunities within the business, they’ll be less likely to look for employment elsewhere. It also has a positive influence on colleagues when they see people around them showing what’s possible in their careers, as long as everyone gets a fair chance to progress.

It’s crucial for employees to feel like they are worthy of investment in professional development, whether this looks like having regular time with managers or funding training courses. Mentor schemes also promote a company culture of continuous development, helping existing leaders to pull the ladder up and pass on their knowledge.

Engage people socially

Good company culture requires a balance of social interaction alongside business activity. Scheduling regular social events not only helps colleagues get to know each other better, it boosts morale and inspires collaboration during working hours. Whether these are onsite team building activities or team outings away from the workplace, they help to establish positive working relationships and increase employee engagement.

Socialising outside of work doesn’t only help to strengthen relations between existing team members. It also gives people a chance to interact with other teams and departments they don’t usually encounter day to day. Connecting people to the wider business in this way helps them to feel better aligned with the overall shared mission, with higher levels of commitment to driving success.

Listen to employee feedback

Create an open and receptive company culture that allows employees at every level to share their ideas, suggestions and concerns. With structured feedback strategies in place, you can monitor employee satisfaction levels and help to manage issues in real time, before they cause people to leave the business.

Acting on employee feedback is just as important as listening to it. Take suggestions onboard in a proactive way that clearly lets people know they’ve been heard. This means communicating how suggestions will be implemented and  allowing people to get involved in strategies for new initiatives. If ideas are going to be declined, let people know politely and explain the reasoning.

Offer a range of incentives

Aside from salaries, bonuses and pension schemes, employees are increasingly interested in lifestyle benefits that support their personal interests and a healthier work-life balance. These can include perks such as flexible or remote working options, personal development budgets and mental health support. You might be able to offer discounts on health club memberships, subsidised bicycle schemes, volunteering days and onsite wellness events or fitness classes.

Employees also respond well to the smaller tokens of appreciation that uplift their day. These could include free breakfasts, team lunches or early finish times on Fridays.

Inspire innovation

When a company prioritises innovation, it becomes better able to adapt to change, solve business problems and understand the needs of their customers. It also establishes them as leaders in their field, gaining a competitive edge and inspiring pride in its workforce.

Encourage employees to innovate too. Let them take time for personal development and support them to understand their own strengths and personal motivations. Give them the chance to attend industry events and encourage a culture in which everyone keeps up with the latest industry trends, sharing knowledge on new advances in the sector. Listen to people’s ideas, praise the risk-takers and provide the technology and tools needed to perform their role well. 

Prioritise effective leadership

Company culture is enhanced by good management. The best leaders are strong communicators with good emotional intelligence, who people trust with their problems and keep employees informed on their development. Managers need to understand the company’s overall vision and be able to effectively communicate its values and aims. When they listen to their teams and empower them to contribute, they inspire commitment and facilitate effective teamwork.

A willingness to keep learning helps too. It is an advantage when managers can earn respect by being good at what they do, but are also willing to be wrong, encouraging a mentality of failing quickly and getting better each time. Lastly, inclusive leadership is essential for improving company culture. Management teams absolutely have to take on a range of different perspectives, from people with many different backgrounds, to drive progress and make all employees feel like an important part of the business.

What’s next?

Employees are at the heart of any business, so let them know they are valued – read our article 'Nine ways to show your employees you appreciate them'.

In order to build a strong company culture, it’s vital to know what employees want from their employers. Download our recent Talent Trends report to find out what UK workforces want and how you can adjust your business accordingly.


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