We all know lousy company culture when we see it: unmotivated employees, lack of trust and communication, and a generally apathetic atmosphere.
So what’s the best way to create a great culture? To see if your organization is on the right track, check out these 5 corporate culture myths and ideas to improve company culture.
5 Company Culture Myths That Just Won’t Quit
Myth #1: You know what you’re doing
Reading articles like this one or taking a webinar on creating corporate culture is an excellent way to understand where to start.
But don’t think for a moment that general ideas about culture will help your company in specific ways.
You’ve got to ask your employees what kind of elements they want in their company culture — find out what’s working already and what’s not.
Bring your team in on the conversation, and involve everyone in the process of building your company culture. Managers, directors, and HR VPs have the power to implement great programs. But make sure they are programs and initiatives that make sense for your team.
Are your people asking for more flexible work options? Do they want to set their hours? Have free access to therapy?
Have your managers ask. Send out an employee engagement survey. Have a focus group. Don’t assume that you know what employees need.
Myth #2: Corporate culture doesn’t impact your finances
Happy workers are productive workers — who stay with your organization for a long time. This means less time, money, and resources spent on hiring new people once burnout hits.
Workers will stay where there’s positive career growth and pleasant people.
This is why it’s so essential to hire the right people in the first place. Don’t just hire for technical skills, but also for who matches the culture you are creating.
Aside from onboarding costs, the right corporate culture makes it possible for employees to do their best work, which means deadlines are met, problems are solved, and clients are kept happy.
We’re big believers that putting mental health first is a great way to transform your company culture for the better. Treat your people well (especially in this area), and it will pay off. One company saw a $4.10 ROI for every dollar invested in mental health programs.
Related: How to Increase Employee Retention
Myth #3: Employees create the culture alone
Everyone in an organization is involved in creating culture — whether the culture is positive or negative. It’s not on the employees’ shoulders to build the corporate culture.
Here’s the truth: Whatever the top management people believe about running a business will trickle down.
If a CEO believes their employees are replaceable cogs in a machine to make the company money, the culture (and employee mental health) will suffer even if there are “values” that try to claim otherwise.
What’s important to a boss will help create the worker’s experience. Suppose a CEO wants these particular employees to grow and help the business grow. In that case, the culture will be one where employees thrive, are appropriately challenged, support one another, and are happy to be part of the team.
For more company culture ideas, check out the article: 8 Changes That Will Make a Big Difference for Company Culture in 2021
Myth #4: Workplace culture is built from perks
Just like people, company culture is multifaced.
A foosball table and free snacks are a drop in the bucket of what creates corporate culture.
There are other factors to consider when thinking about shaping your workplace culture — ensuring that workers have creative freedom and reachable team goals is just as part of a culture as PTO policies and starting salaries.
There is also a shift towards employees wanting support in other areas of their lives, like their mental and physical health. Employees are starting to expect their employers to talk about mental health at work.
Bringing on a great new mental health program won’t transform company culture alone. You have to make mental health a priority yourself—as an HR leader or executive. Then, teach your managers how to put mental health first. Your employees will follow.
Myth #5: The right company culture ideas will fix your problems
While it’s true that a toxic culture is detrimental to your business, getting your culture back on track isn’t the one thing that will fix all the problems.
Just like the human body needs a combination of diet, exercise, sleep, and the right genes to function well, a business needs a mix of things to create winning results.
Culture is a crucial ingredient to creating a successful business because it enables your workers to excel at their jobs. But open communication and a ping pong table in the break room won’t fix a poor business plan.
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