Company culture plays a major factor in 46% of people seeking jobs. Does your company pass the test for creating a positive work environment? Consider momentarily what emotions are evoked when you think of your job. Do you work for a company that leaves you feeling motivated and inspired, or are you counting down the minutes until you can escape your desk and clock out for the day?

Discovering how to improve company culture is a critical step companies can take to both attract and retain talent. Improving a workplace culture may seem like a daunting and even impossible task. However, as outlined below, there are numerous steps to take to improve a company culture and boost both employee retention and engagement.

Improving Workplace Culture 101: What Is Company Culture?

Company culture is a hot topic, as it feels like everyone wants to know how to improve workplace culture at the moment. In the age of cancel culture, having a toxic workplace culture can sink a company’s reputation. Not to mention, it can cause a talented pool of workers to jump ship.

Younger generations are demanding a positive corporate culture, work-life balance, and defined values from their workplace, with 95% of Millennials reported as saying work-life balance is important according to B2B News. The evolving mindset around workplace culture has led to increased efforts and resources in recognizing employees and making them feel like part of a family rather than just another cog in a machine.

So, what exactly is company culture and what does a strong company culture entail? A company’s culture is a loose phrase that encompasses a mix of several concepts. Company culture includes:

  • The guiding principles of the company, including mission and value statements
  • Recognition programs that provide routine employee recognition and celebration
  • Interpersonal discussions, such as performance reviews and team communications

Additionally, an increasing percentage of employees seek companies that take a stance on societal issues. In fact, found that 75% of workers find it important for their employers to define clear positions on social issues. This leads to 25% of employees increasing their loyalty to their company.

All of these factors — including mission statements, employee recognition, and communication — play a role in improving workplace culture and earning highly engaged employees. And the effects of improving workplace culture are measurable.

Why Good Company Culture Matters

Soon, we’ll explore how to improve company culture, but first, let’s review how addressing the corporate culture will improve your company. There are direct ways to measure the impact of a strong company culture. It was already mentioned that 46% of people seeking jobs value a good company culture, a number delivered by career search company Zippia.

Zippia also found that 86% of job seekers actively avoid companies with bad reputations, while 94% of entrepreneurs demand good company culture as a component for success. Furthermore, a Jobvite survey also discovered that 88% of workers said that a strong company culture is a necessary component to success, as well as the most important factor for job seeking.

So what can a good company culture give employees?

  • Employee recognition can cause up to 69% of employees to work harder according to Business Leadership Today, while employees can also feel up to 10 times as likely that they belong in their company when they are recognized
  • Companies that attract highly engaged employees have a 33% revenue increase according to Gallup, along with attracting star talent
  • The Department of Economics at the University of Warwick concluded that satisfied employees are 12% more productive than average workers, as people work harder when they are happy

On the other hand, disengagement costs companies big time. Gallup found that while highly engaged employees are major assets for a company, disengaged employees cost their company on average 18% of the employee’s annual salary. However, this number could rise to as much as 33%.

In short, it costs to be disengaged. And company culture pays off big time.

15 Ideas for How to Improve Company Culture

Now that the importance of having a strong company culture has been established, let’s dive into tips for how to improve work culture. Implementing these tips can lead to an increase in employee retention, as they are all designed to make employees feel supported, confident, and cared for in the workplace.

1. Enhance Workplace Transparency

The first tip for how to improve company culture is to enhance communication transparency. Create a positive work environment where information about team performance, company decisions, and future plans are openly shared with all employees.

Regular town hall meetings and updates from leadership can help maintain transparency and improve company culture. Company intranets should also be kept up to date with all relevant information for full transparency and equal access to news.

2. Implement Employee Recognition Programs

As established, employees who feel recognized work harder and feel happier in their roles. Employee recognition programs are an excellent and relatively easy way to keep employees motivated while also acknowledging achievements. Recognize employees who go above and beyond in their roles.

Employee recognition can include employee of the month awards, bonus programs, or simple shout-outs in meetings or on employee apps and other team communication channels. Employee recognition programs improve employee engagement and can increase employee retention by making employees feel seen.

3. Promote Diversity and Inclusion

To improve company culture, you must care about the well-being of employees and make all employees feel included. Companies should create policies and initiatives that encourage diversity and inclusion to make all team members feel like part of a team and welcome to the company.

This can involve diversity training, forming employee resource groups, and ensuring diverse hiring practices. Inclusivity practices lead to a better work environment by allowing all employees to feel welcome to the company.

4. Make Employees Feel Supported

The question of how to improve company culture should be answered by finding ways to increase the well-being of employees. Supporting career growth, educational ventures, and development are all excellent ways to improve your company and strengthen the workforce.

Professional development opportunities can be presented through training programs, workshops, and educational reimbursement. A positive company culture can also be built through fostering mentorship and offering clear career progression that makes employees feel secure and valued.

5. Create a Flexible Work Environment

The workforce isn’t the same as it once was. An increasing number of workers seek flexibility in their work arrangements. Improving workplace culture now means supporting flexible working arrangements when possible, including remote working options or hybrid offices.

Workers also need the opportunity to balance their home and professional lives. This means allowing flexible work hours for doctors’ appointments and sick children. Employee wellness should be at the forefront of corporate culture and employees should not be penalized for illness or unexpected events.

6. Give & Collect Feeback at Work

To ensure that employees feel comfortable sharing feedback, create a workplace culture where feedback is both regularly given and collected. This is crucial for allowing employees to feel valued, as well as heard. An easy way to improve workplace culture is to listen to what people say and recognize employees who contribute outstanding work.

Implement regular feedback sessions and share anonymous surveys on employee apps and intranets to gauge employee satisfaction. This will highlight areas for improvement and make it clear what initiatives are successful. Most importantly, acting on the feedback you receive will encourage employees to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and suggestions to have a healthy organizational culture.

7. Promote Core Company Values

The World Economic Forum found that 70% of people say they buy from brands that reflect their own values. Did you know that the same principles now apply to the workforce? People want to work for companies that stand for something above the bottom line.

Companies should have core values that they maintain and integrate into everyday workflows and decision-making processes. When one asks how to improve company culture, one must consider what makes a company worth working for. Reinforcing company values unifies employees and rallies team members around shared values, group principles, and common goals.

8. Foster a Positive Work Environment

A strong company culture means a place somebody wants to go to every day or at least several days a week. Create an environment that is not only productive but also enjoyable. This can include a variety of benefits and amenities designed to enhance the employee experience and provide wellness, as well as organizing routine activities to bring team members together in a fun and relaxed environment.

Search within the budget, office space, and available resources for areas of improvement. This could mean offering fitness courses or an office gym membership. Large companies could provide company childcare options and relaxation spaces. Offer monthly massages or weekly healthy snacks. Provide desk workers with standing desks and work equipment that supports lumbar health. Paying attention to these sorts of details can make a massive difference in your company’s culture.

9. Provide Clear Employee Communication Channels

When it comes to improving company culture, especially in our age of remote work and distributed workforces, communication channels are a must. Employees need a single, defined place where they can come together to collaborate and seek information. Modern intranet channels allow for an improved and streamlined organizational culture that is paramount to modern business success and employee satisfaction.

Open., mobile channels of communication must be fostered within an organization to maintain transparency. A company’s culture hinges on the clear flow of information within the organization. Communication channels involve employees in the company decisions. Company intranets, internal newsletters, employee emails, town hall updates, and AMA sessions are all ways to align communication for improved corporate culture.

10. Increase Employee Engagement through Internal Marketing

Effective internal marketing is crucial for companies that recognize their employees as valuable brand ambassadors and key drivers of success. Companies are built from the inside out, which means that employees make the difference whether a company succeeds or fails.

By employing targeted strategies and leveraging modern technology, businesses can cultivate a strong, engaged, and loyal workforce. To do so, employees need to be connected on a communication platform that encourages them to routinely engage in company discussions and share company news.

11. Prioritize Employee Well-Being

Happy employees work better. So do healthy ones. When it comes to improving both company culture and workplace productivity, well-being should be prioritized. Companies should offer programs that support both physical and mental health. Supported employees are far more likely to feel engaged, with a greater percentage of them becoming more deeply involved in their work.

Options include gym memberships (or company gyms for large institutions), mental health days in addition to sick days, access to counseling services, health checkups, and scheduling flexibility for doctor appointments. For desk workers, office spaces should be designed to support physical health, with standing desks offered, routinely checked monitor alignment, and mobility breaks encouraged.

12. Encourage Co-worker Relationships

To create a more cohesive and collaborative work environment, positive relationships between coworkers should be encouraged. A positive company culture includes team-building activities, social events, and collaborative projects. This can help strengthen bonds between employees and make new hires feel like part of a team.

Rather than have managers plan events for team members, have the entire team share their input for activities such as group dinners, hikes, bowling, or other excursions. When employees feel connected to each other, workplace morale and group collaboration are both heightened.

13. Encourage Employee Innovation

Many people feel as though there is a separation between work and personal interests, which can leave them feeling stifled. When it comes to how to improve workplace culture, employees should be encouraged to be innovative and creative, as well as to explore interests and ideas that are inspiring.

Employees should be supported by their managers in taking risks and thinking outside of the box without fear of failure. This can lead to a more dynamic and future-thinking workplace culture where innovation is encouraged. Employees should also feel comfortable sharing their desires for further education and training that can be supported by the company. Continual learning is a hallmark of a thriving company culture that will allow you to improve your company by increasing knowledge and talent.

14. Invest in Internal Communications

Here’s a daunting stat. Gallup found that 74% of employees feel as though they’re missing out on company news because the internal comms department either doesn’t exist or isn’t doing a satisfactory job. An internal communications department achieves numerous objectives that dramatically impact company culture when done right.

Internal comms departments directly foster engagement by focusing on employee voices and facilitating the flow of information within a company to keep everyone in the loop. This builds trust and transparency and makes employees feel heard. Such practices also work to align goals and values through openness. Internal communication channels must be established to reach all employees within an organization.

15. Celebrate Milestones and Achievements

A final tip for how to improve company culture is to celebrate milestones and achievements. This is similar to an employee recognition program but doesn’t have to involve more than keeping track of major events for employees and giving appropriate shout-outs when the time comes.

Acknowledge and celebrate company milestones, team successes, and individual achievements to foster a sense of accomplishment and pride within the organization. This can lead to improved employee retention and long-term engagement. Keep a channel that celebrates birthdays, employee anniversaries, and company milestones to recognize employees for their achievements.

Creating Good Company Culture: What Does It Look Like?

We’ve now explored how to improve your company culture, as well as why doing so should matter. Now, let’s take a brief moment to examine what a strong company culture looks like in action. Some examples of good company culture would be a place where:

  • A company has defined values, such as acceptance and tolerance
  • The company’s mission statement is clearly defined and reiterated
  • New hires receive a clear onboarding process in which values are shared
  • The workplace encourages diversity and maintains respect and equality
  • Team members are routinely celebrated and recognized for their achievements
  • Birthdays, milestones, and other major events are acknowledged
  • Employees feel comfortable sharing grievances with their managers
  • Progress is routinely discussed and long-term goals are kept in mind
  • Communication across various levels of seniority remains open
  • Team members feel supported and tasks are clearly created and shared
  • Interaction between team members is encouraged and team events are planned
  • Employee retention is high and employees feel confident in their roles
  • Corporate culture is strong and employee wellness is prioritized
  • There are mental health programs in place, as well as physical health initiatives
  • Solutions are offered for burnout, mental health, and overall well-being
  • Group events are offered such as company runs or celebratory occasions

Hopefully, you already recognize some of these examples of positive company culture in your workplace. If you find that your company falls short with any of the bullet points, then perhaps some of the aforementioned tips need to be taken to heart. Company culture is fortunately something that can be built up over time with clear communication, effort, and defined practices.

Improve Workplace Culture by Connecting Employees

In order to improve company culture, it is necessary to bring all employees together through an advanced communications platform like Staffbase. This comprehensive communications cloud facilitates collaborative, cross-departmental communication within a single, centralized location.

Staffbase provides a suite of tools including employee apps, intranet, and email, all customizable to reflect the company’s corporate design. It also integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365, offering a unified communication experience.

Employees want a place where they can collaborate and be kept up to date on company news, and Staffbase is the solution. With Staffbase, companies can inspire and connect with employees across all channels, leading to successful internal marketing, enhanced employee retention, and an improved customer experience.

Closing Words

Company culture is the way of the future. Not only are Millenials demanding more from their employers, but Gen Z has defined their strong sense of self-care, while the emerging Generation Alpha is sure to have their own demands for a healthy company culture.

To earn employee retention and maintain talent, companies need to consider the well-being of their employees above all and ensure that all employees are connected regardless of physical location. Communication is the most important aspect of this connection, with transparency being key to earning trust and respect.