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10 Ways to improve culture in the workplace

10 Ways to improve culture in the workplace

 
In today's competitive business landscape, fostering a positive company culture isn't just a nice-to-have – it's a necessity. An organisation's own company culture influences everything from employee engagement and retention to productivity and innovation. In fact, research suggests that a strong organisational culture can significantly impact a company's bottom line. 

With this in mind, check out our ten business changes that can help improve workplace culture and create a more positive and productive environment for all.
 

How to improve company culture

1. Align company values with actions

A company's core values serve as the foundation of its culture. However, it's not enough to simply articulate these values; they must be reflected in everyday actions and decisions. 

Leaders play a pivotal role in demonstrating and reinforcing the company's values through their behaviour and decision-making processes. By consistently conveying these values, leaders can make these principles a core aspect of the company's culture. Living these key values helps create a strong, united organisation that works together to achieve common goals.
 

2. Prioritise employee recognition

Employees thrive in environments where their contributions are valued and recognised. Implementing formal and informal employee recognition programmes can go a long way in fostering a culture of appreciation and acknowledgment. 


There are various ways to recognise employees for their hard work and dedication:

  • Monthly awards 

  • Peer-to-peer recognition platforms

  • Verbal acknowledgment in team meetings 

  • Posting recognition on social media 

  • Organise special events for high-performing employees

3. Invest in employee wellbeing

Mental health and wellbeing have become increasingly important considerations in the workplace. Creating a culture that prioritises mental health not only benefits individual employees but also contributes to a more positive work environment overall. 


Companies can support employee wellbeing by offering resources such as:

  • Mental health counselling

  • Flexible work hours

  • Wellness programmes

4. Encourage continuous professional development

Employees value opportunities for personal and professional growth. Companies can significantly help employees enhance their capabilities by providing access to:

  • Training programmes

  • Mentorship initiatives

  • Skill-building workshops 

  • Performance and development plans

This subsequently enables staff to advance their careers within the organisation, with the potential for accepting more challenging and rewarding roles over time. 

Investing in professional growth doesn't just benefit the individual employees, it fosters a culture of continuous learning and innovation across the organisation, encouraging everyone to strive for excellence. This commitment to progression can also improve employee retention, as staff members feel more valued and supported in their career paths.
 

5. Promote transparency and open communication

Transparent communication is essential for building trust and cultivating a positive environment. Leaders should regularly communicate with employees about company goals, performance metrics, and any changes or updates that may impact them. Eliminating silos, encouraging open dialogue, and soliciting feedback from employees also demonstrates a commitment to listening and addressing their concerns.


There are many ways in which companies can ensure open communication: 

  • Schedule regular one-to-ones

  • Organise weekly team meetings

  • Integrate internal communication channels like Slack and Microsoft Teams 

  • Encourage face-to-face communication where possible  

  • Conduct company-wide 'town hall' meetings

6. Entrust employees with autonomy

Employees who feel empowered to make decisions and take ownership of their work tend to be more engaged and motivated. This cultivates a productive workplace culture where creativity and innovation thrives. 


Autonomy doesn't mean a lack of guidance. Leaders can remain supportive by offering help and feedback while facilitating trust through:

  • Clear goal setting

  • Effective delegation

  • Encouragement to take initiative 

This approach not only enhances job satisfaction but also contributes to the personal and professional growth of employees, leading to higher levels of team performance and organisational success.
 

7. Create opportunities for meaningful work

Employees are more likely to feel engaged and fulfilled when their work is aligned with their values and interests. Companies can enhance the employee experience by offering meaningful work assignments, projects that contribute to the company's mission, and opportunities to make a positive impact both internally and externally.
 

8. Conduct regular employee surveys

Employee feedback is invaluable for identifying areas of improvement and gauging the overall health of the workplace culture. 


Employee surveys can help organisations in various ways:

  • Offers a cost-efficient platform for gathering feedback

  • Provides an opportunity for further discussion

  • Track shifts in satisfaction levels over time

  • Acknowledge areas requiring improvement

  • Identify factors influencing employee retention

  • Compare feedback variations among different departments

  • Evaluates managerial practices

  • Demonstrates care and concern for employees

  • Explore ways to improve company culture 

  • Showcase positive outcomes in recruitment materials

9. Lead by example

Leadership teams set the tone for organisational culture through their words, actions, and decisions. It's essential to encourage leaders to embody the company values they wish to see in their employees. By modelling integrity, accountability and empathy, leaders can instil trust and create a positive work environment where employees feel valued.
 

10. Integrate culture into the recruitment and onboarding process

Building a strong company culture starts from the moment a new hire joins the organisation. Companies can improve their workplace culture by integrating values and expectations into the recruitment and onboarding process.
 
Recruitment
 

Remember, not only are you interviewing candidates, but the interviewees are also assessing your company. There are various ways to communicate the organisation’s mission and values during the interview process.

  • Promote company culture in job descriptions: Listing unique perks entices candidates by setting your company apart from other organisations. Perks can vary from social events, cupboards of communal snacks and beverage-stocked fridges to additional annual leave days per year and birthday leave policies. 

  • Promote career progression: Outlining opportunities for career advancement instils confidence in candidates that there's room to grow in this role. It also proves that the company values ambition as a characteristic of its employees and actively strives for staff retention. 

  • Ask culture questions: Hiring staff that gel with your team is just as important as their ability to perform the job. How applicants answer culture questions like "Do you prefer working alone or in a team?" and "What motivates you?" helps ascertain certain personality traits and gauge how well they would interact with other team members. 

  • Complete behavioural assessments: Education and training can easily be provided to enhance certain skill sets. However, instilling the right attitude is a trickier task. Combat this challenge by offering behavioural assessments to help gauge whether their values and priorities align with those of the business.

Onboarding
 

As well as providing new employees with comprehensive training, consider emphasising the importance of culture and teamwork during the onboarding stage. 

  • Icebreakers: Team building activities help improve social experiences. From team lunches to icebreaker games, there are many ways to make new hires feel connected to their colleagues. 

  • Buddy system: Pair new starters with a buddy so they have a go-to person for asking questions. This can help them find their feet during the often-nerve-wracking transition period.

  • Introductions: Introduce new hires to stakeholders across the business including leadership team members and representatives from the HR department.

  • Be there: Provide support and convey gratitude and patience during training periods.

 
Cultivating a positive workplace culture requires ongoing effort and commitment from leaders and employees alike. Investing in a strong organisational culture not only enhances employee satisfaction and retention but also drives business success in the long run.
 
From recruitment tips to management advice, explore additional insights for employers with our readily available articles. Prefer to speak to an expert? Get in touch with Hays today.
 

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