The Saavy Entrepreneur’s Guide to Improving Company Culture

Whether you are a manager or a C-level executive, you want your employees to love where they work. Why? Simply put: happy employees are productive employees.

In fact, according to an article published by Business Insider, company culture is one of the most important factors to consider when running a business and could ultimately affect your bottom line. Here are four tips to help improve your company culture, and in turn, help your company’s success.

Practice What You Preach

Do as the old adage says and, “lead by example.” When your leadership team is fully engaged and enthusiastic about their respective roles in the organization, employees follow suit. Ask your management team to model the behavior that embodies your company and you want employees to emulate: mutual respect for colleagues, optimum internal and external customer service, and company pride and loyalty. These top-down improvements in your employee culture will trickle down, and are more effective in creating a positive and thriving company culture than expecting your employees to build one on their own.

Inspire Creative Team Building

Regardless of what you call employees who work together—teams, work groups, squad or whatever the buzzword is for the year—great teamwork is an effective way to improve the company culture. Whether you assign employees to teams or permit employees to select their own, Inc. magazine suggests working with an employee’s or co-worker’s talents (as opposed to using teamwork to “improve” their professional weaknesses). This will not only encourage the spirit of collaboration and inspire a “we’re all in this together” mindset, but help you succeed as a team and a business.

Plan for Employee Recognition

Forbes suggests placing an employee recognition program in the hands of your employees, rather than a top-down recognition program. So, take that employee-recognition program off your to-do list. From the planning stage to implementation, involve employees in the process so they have ownership and pride in the company’s program. Make room in the budget, whether it’s for hosted luncheon or engraved award plaques. Most importantly, emphasize the importance of the awards to your employees by marking their calendars so everybody—especially upper management—can celebrate in your company’s success.

Develop—Don’t Demote—Employees for Trial and Error

When running (or working for) a business, mistakes are bound to happen. Rather than jumping the gun and immediately penalizing employees for honest mistakes, use mistakes for teaching best practices. Employees who have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes may recognize the benefit of working for your organization and exhibit loyalty that other employees might not, says Carrie Kerpen, CEO and co-founder of Likeable Media, in Inc. magazine.

This article originally appeared on Office Depot OfficeMax


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