In today’s war to attract talented employees, a company’s culture has become synonymous with its brand — a beacon that can either lure or repel the best and brightest.
Your culture is evident in everything, from how your team dresses to what time they come in; from how they spend their lunch hours to how they create solutions for internal and external issues. And the better your culture is on the inside, the more attractive you will look to the outside.
In her book “The Progress Principle,” Harvard professor Teresa Amabile studied the work habits of 238 professionals in seven different corporations. Her research found that:
“[I]nner work life has a profound impact on workers’ creativity, productivity, commitment and collegiality. Employees are far more likely to have new ideas on days when they feel happier. Conventional wisdom suggests that pressure enhances performance; our real-time data, however, shows that workers perform better when they are happily engaged in what they do.”
Creating a great company culture takes some work, but it’s easier than you might think. To get started, follow these simple, actionable steps.
1. Lead by Example
Team members unintentionally can create a negative environment with their actions. Model the behavior you are seeking to promote, observe how members communicate with one another, and give them feedback in the moment on how they can improve.
2. Create a culture of continuous goal setting
Set key priorities for the team and personal goals for yourself — and encourage others to do the same. Then revisit those goals and see how you are progressing toward them. This is a way for you to lead them but also something for the team to strive for on their own. Setting SMART Goals will foster a culture of performance in your organization.
3. Remember to say ‘Thank You’
Talk to your team and find out what inspires them. Often, it’s not about the money. Giving a simple thanks in public will do the trick — and it won’t cost you anything!
4. Create an open feedback channel
On a day-to-day basis, employees want to know how they are doing and how they can improve. Providing simple feedback will allow them to excel and benefit the company as a whole. Having a transparent company will help the team to feel equal and able to provide feedback to each other and the manager.
When it comes to feedback, timing is everything. The more frequent it is, the more effective it will be.
Which activities have helped you create a great workplace culture?