04 Jan Make Company Culture a Priority in 2021 With These Tips
Welcome to 2021! A new year is a great opportunity to take a deep breath, look around, and set some company-wide goals.
While there are some strategic, bottom-line-driven goals that will be obvious in order to keep your company successful, it might be time to try something different. Let 2021 be the year you focus on company culture, creating an environment in which employees are happy, committed, and feel appreciated.
When company culture is prioritized, everyone has the same sense of purpose and priorities, plus employees are less likely to feel overlooked and unimportant, which translates into reduced turnover.
Here’s how to make company culture a top-level priority in 2021, and why everyone will benefit.
1. Define your culture by clearly establishing shared values and behaviors.
If everyone is working for the same goals, it’ll be easier to understand what you’re all working toward. This will help promote the idea of working as a team and will encourage all employees to “buy-in” to the idea that what’s good for the company is good for them, too. If everyone knows what company values, and which behaviors are to be promoted or discouraged, there will be no confusion about how to act, what matters, and what, frankly, isn’t as important. Make sure these are stated simply and can be found and referenced easily, maybe in common areas or on an internal website.
2. Build strategies and processes for the company based on those shared values.
For example, if treating everyone, at all levels, with kindness and respect is identified as a value for the company overall, that can translate into the hiring process, the way customers are greeted, even how contracts are drafted. The company’s mission, from the top down, should reflect and embody the shared priorities and values. The way employees are reviewed might change, as might the way in which promotions are awarded. The more that can be done to reiterate and reaffirm the culture and priorities, the more clear it becomes that they are taken seriously.
3. Set an example and hold people accountable.
It can be effortless to let things slide when work picks up, everyone gets busy or tensions run high. But that won’t help reinforce a culture in which people are expected to share responsibilities or practice patience. Make the tenets of culture second-nature to the point where it doesn’t matter whether it’s a good day or a bad one, whether things are stressful or carefree: the same standards apply all the time. Praise the people who uphold these values and quietly and personally discuss with anyone who lets down their guard the importance of maintaining them.
4. Offer regular reminders.
Human nature is to get comfortable, which breeds complacency. It’s almost inevitable, but it can be helped! Every few months, send out a reminder or offer some kind of activity in which the company’s priorities can be gently brought back up and all employees (and managers!) can be reminded. By including everyone, it sends the message, again, that these rules and priorities apply to everyone and should be upheld from the bottom up — everyone has a role to play!
5. Allow opportunities for feedback, without scrutiny or punishment.
Company culture and priorities are, to some extent, ideals. But if some people feel left out, overlooked, treated unfairly, held to different standards, or otherwise called out, it won’t work. Goals that can’t be uniformly accomplished aren’t true achievable goals, after all! Provide your employees with the opportunity to provide feedback after the company’s values have been clearly established. Discuss what’s working and what isn’t, then adjust accordingly. Make it clear, also, that there are no wrong suggestions or invalid concerns. That alone can make employees feel better and valued instead of skittish and unappreciated.
Employees who feel valued and that their concerns are taken seriously are more likely to not only stay with the company but will speak positively about it when asked. If everyone is held to the same standards and embraces the overarching goals while knowing they have a role to play in the company’s success, it will benefit everyone!
Connect with LeadingEdge Personnel
If the new year brings with it the need for new employees, contacting LeadingEdge! We’ve built our reputation on working with companies to find talented new workers that can meet their exact needs and we can do the same for you. Contact us today and let’s start 2021 on the best footing possible.