“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
Management guru Peter Drucker said that years ago and wow, was he spot on. Thousands of companies have wrestled with how to improve their company culture, in the hope of improving employee engagement, talent attraction, and talent retention. This blog will show you how to improve company culture, including five tips that will make a real difference at your organization.
1. Develop a Shared Vision and Mission for the Organization and its Team Members.
Including employees in the creation of this shared vision is critical to getting their “buy-in.” Make sure to clearly define the organization’s beliefs, values, direction, goals, and values. Furthermore, you are much more likely to improve, and sustain, a world-class culture if you ensure new hires share the same beliefs, values, and goals. Make that objective an integral part of your recruiting process—as shown in the next tip.
2. Recruit the Right People to/for Your Culture.
Hiring the wrong people is the single greatest mistake companies make vis-à-vis employee engagement. In fact, the following statistic illuminates just how poorly companies recruit and hire: almost 20% of employees are gone before their first employment year ends.1 Not a great report card.
The primary reason for failure in this area is that companies settle by knowingly ignoring what should be seen as red flags about prospects. Best-in-class companies with magnetic cultures do the opposite, highly scrutinizing interviewees during the hiring processes. One extremely useful tool they use is my Non-negotiable List – 20 warning signs that should terminate the prospect’s interviewing process. Have a look and share this resource with the rest of your management team.
3. Establish Meaningfulness, Purpose, and Passion.
When developing job content for your employees, make sure you are giving tasks and assignments that have meaningfulness and purpose, since these are some of the strongest drivers of employee engagement and talent retention. Similarly, ensure that you give your employees tasks and responsibilities that they can approach with passion. Indeed, when delivering my keynote speeches and workshops, I always refer to purpose and passion as the “two Ps of engagement,” which are critical elements when you’re wondering how to improve company culture.
4. Prioritize Workplace Flexibility and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Let’s face it: our workplace demographic has, and will continue, to change dramatically. As such, managers need to change with it, both acknowledging and meeting the flexibility/CSR preferences and requirements of the Millennial and Gen Z generations. Doing so is a proven way to improve company culture to world-class levels. For more information on how flexible work arrangements and CSR can actually help your business, check out my blog post on The Business Case for Remote Work, and my post on Leveraging Corporate Social Responsibility for Employee Engagement.
5. Have Fun.
People often feel stumped on how to improve company culture, like it’s a complex formula. But it can actually be very simple. One of the central messages in my keynote presentations focuses on what is consistently missing from most companies’ solutions for building world-class engagement and attracting fantastic new talent: FUN.
This woefully absent and missed opportunity is beginning to get noticed and corrected by more and more organizations. Why? Because it’s good for business. Having a fun company culture helps engage current employees, as well as attract top job candidates.
The reality is we spend way too much time at work toiling away without laughing enough or having much fun. Given that the number one reason people quit is the combination of job stress, workload, and a lack of work life balance, what better antidote for curing this costly turnover than fun?2 Also, what better magnet for being able to hire the best talent than showing them a culture that promotes fun?
Take a look at some of the specific case study best practices on leveraging fun as a way to improve your company culture.
Stop wondering how to improve company culture and take action! These five steps are exactly what you need to kickstart your culture today.
1 Society for Human Resource Management, 2019.
2 HR Solutions Research & Development, 1995-2011