6 simple steps to changing your corporate culture for the better

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In addition to setting the tone of your workplace environment, it’s no surprise that your corporate culture also significantly affects the level of happiness from your employees—and subsequently the quality of work that is produced.

If you find that your current corporate culture is not where you’d like for it to be, here are six simple steps to getting your office back on track.

1 – Communicate the Positive.

Only 62 percent of employees think that their organization positively affects the lives of others, which means that there is likely a significant number of your employees who do not feel like the work they are doing is changing the world. From our research, employees want to understand how their organization offers its customers, community, and society something they can’t possibly get anywhere else—so communicate your organizational purpose to employees in a way that helps them understand the positive effect their work is having on others.

2 – Promote Continued Learning.

Of note is the fact that only 55 percent of employees agree that they regularly learn new, valuable things in their current role, and as much as 45 percent of employees have not seen personal growth since starting at their organization. In order to ensure that your employees continue to increase both their knowledge and love of the job, it is important to stretch them in ways that allow them to learn new skills and make connections with other employees with whom they may not normally interact. This can be done by giving employees the opportunity to participate on cross-functional teams, take a professional development class, or simply by giving them exposure to other business functions.

3 – Celebrate A Job Well Done.

Only 43 percent of employees think their organization rewards high-performing employees, and only 51 percent of employees feel that the recognition they do receive is authentic and sincere. Take time, both at the individual and the team levels, to celebrate successes through both formal and informal employee recognition (something as simple as giving verbal praise is a start). Genuine recognition for contributions is very important to employees because, when they feel appreciated for the work they put in, they feel as though the organization respects them as a person as well as the quality of work that they do.

4 – Excellence in the Balance.

Only 58 percent of employees say their job allows them to balance their work and personal life, and as much as 36 percent of employees believe their situation at work is hurting their ability to be happy in other aspects of their life. That said, it is essential to ensure your employees that you understand the need for work-life balance, and you are an advocate for it. Let your team members know that their wellbeing is both considered and acknowledged through simple means such as the option to occasionally work from home, the ability to leave a little early at times, or the confidence in knowing it’s ok to take a day off.

5 – Focus on Mentorship.

It is said that employees don’t leave organizations, they leave their leaders—and it is so true. What’s even more startling are the facts: more than 1 in 4 employees do not trust their direct manager, and almost 1 in 3 employees say their direct manager does not know people on their team as individuals and that they are all just workers to him or her. With that in mind, focus on successfully motivating your employees, advocating for them, and driving passion and commitment. Provide honest feedback about what steps to take on a project, a new opportunity, or a tricky situation. Be a mentor—not just a boss.

6 – Freedom to Fail.

Employees want to have some sense of control in the work they do as well as how they go about doing it—and that includes allowing them to innovate and revel in both successes and failures. By giving them the freedom to experiment and ultimately succeed, they need to know that they are also allowed (and encouraged) to recognize how projects could have been improved upon. This enables them to consider “failures” as learning opportunities, and it helps them to feel successful by creating improvements that benefit others.

You won’t master corporate culture overnight, but these six simple steps are a great start, particularly as employees increasingly look to their organizations to create great employee experiences that attract the best talent and keep them wanting to stay.

Need help getting started on your journey to a better corporate culture? Contact O.C. Tanner today for more ideas.

By o.c. tanner
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