When it comes to running a company, most people think that all it takes is a great product and good marketing. However, entrepreneurs who think in these terms only are missing the true key to company success.
It is a fact that all businesses depend on their employees. Company culture and workplace satisfaction have a huge impact on employee productivity. If you want to enhance your employees’ satisfaction levels and enhance their efficiency, you need to create a company culture that focuses on communication and workplace satisfaction.
Here are 5 principles that will help you improve your company culture:
1. Change Behaviors and Attitudes Will Follow
Often, we live under the belief system that our behaviors depend on our mindset. While this may be partially true, it is just as true that a turn-around in behaviors will ultimately lead to a change in attitude. You can’t brain-wash employees to share your company values; however, you can work to develop the right attitudes by getting them involved through action.
For example, you can train your employees in the field of customer service, but this may still result in little to no change in the way that employees truly treat customers. However, if you get employees involved in teams where they are working together to make sure clients are satisfied, the action will change their behaviors and ultimately their attitudes.
You may wonder: should employees seriously have to fake to be on board with company culture when they just don’t feel it? Actually, faking can be a good thing. According to research performed by psychologists and neuroscientists, people have the ability to act their way into believing something. In other words, if an employee pretends to care about customer service and starts acting on this, they soon will genuinely start to care.
Bottom line: Rather than focusing solely on the attitudes of your employees, do a 180 and start looking at their behavior and actions first. The change in attitudes and mindset will inevitably follow.
2. Adopt Open Communication
Employees aren’t simply machines that clock in, perform their tasks, and then leave eight-hours later. Instead, they are individuals with goals, plans, and valuable insights. If you want to change the culture of your company, striving to allow employees to share and take in information through open communication is vital. When employees are able to take place in conversations, they feel more like a part of a team and develop a better understanding of the company’s goals.
Open communication needs to involve everyone in the company from managers to those in the lowest positions. If an employee is able to share their thoughts, their attitude will greatly improve as they realize their insights are valuable. In addition, clear communication will help the entire team understand what is expected of them.
When a company is involved in open communication, this means that employees should feel safe asking questions and voicing complains. Managers should never try to shoot an employee down; instead, feedback should be positive, even if it involves some constructive criticism.
3. Encourage More Flexibility
It’s easy to get caught up in the mindset that rules, regulations, and stiff guidelines are going to give employees the push that they need to perform at their best; however, it now appears that a rigid workplace can actually undermine company culture. To get the best results from employees, many companies are turning to a more flexible workplace.
Obviously, there are some deadlines that simply can’t be ignored; on the other hand, many tasks can be completed with a less-structured schedule. Similarly, some jobs can be performed working from home, while others have to be office-based.
While flexibility is a great thing to incorporate into the office, it is not a simple process. Letting down on the general structure involves making adjustments, redesigning certain aspects of the job, and involving collaborative technology. There may be some employees who perform well when working under flexible conditions and others who thrive within a highly structured environment. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which jobs can be performed at alternate times and places in addition to identifying what employees will be more productive under flexible conditions.
4. Embrace the Aloha Spirit
Nope, we’re not talking about planting coconut trees or taking the entire company on a trip to Hawaii – although that would be nice! Embracing the Aloha spirit is all about a change of attitude in the workplace.
The word Aloha can be translated as “hello” and “goodbye”; however, it also represents an attitude of compassion, caring, including others, being genuine, embracing fun, and treating others like your own family.
The Aloha spirit is something that can truly revolutionize company culture. It can push employees to not only accomplish goals, but to achieve them as a family-like team. The attitude of being kind to others promotes good feelings and opens up the potential for better communication. The Aloha spirit doesn’t just look out for number one, but instead sees everyone as a valuable part of the workplace.
When a company embraces the Aloha spirit, everything about productivity shifts in a positive way. You can promote the Aloha spirit by reaching out to employees as individuals and showing that you truly care about their lives. Your employees will be able to translate this into a genuine care for your customers. In other words, the Aloha spirit will enhance both workplace productivity and customer service delivery.
5. Provide On-Going Employee Training
Some companies simply give new employees an overview of the basics and then leave them to sink or swim. While this is a way to cut down on the cost of training, it certainly doesn’t leave the employee feeling valued or empowered. If an employee is spending all their time trying to figure out what they’re doing, they will have a hard time becoming as productive as they could be.
This is why employee training is so important. Not only does it help individuals develop the tools that they need to accomplish their goals, but it also allows them to feel more confident, important, and on-track.
Training should be an on-going process that continues throughout the course of an employee’s time at the job. Employees who receive on-going training not only have a better attitude about their work but they will also become more efficient at what they do.
In conclusion, company culture isn’t always easy to change; however, it is a goal that is definitely work the struggle. By implementing new workplace behaviors, allowing for communication without the fear of punishment and promoting respect, you can see your workplace change. Don’t settle for less than the best; instead, re-energize your entire business by improving your company culture and enhancing workplace satisfaction.
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Heather Redding is a freelance writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is a coffee-addict who enjoys swimming and reading. Street photography is her newly discovered artistic outlet and she likes to capture life’s little moments with her camera. You can reach Heather via Twitter.