A company’s culture, its vision and values, beliefs, habits and assumptions, speaks volumes about not just what that company does, but how and why it does what it does. While that is critical to external relationships with vendors and customers, it’s even more impactful in-house. Company culture affects employee morale, and consequently, employee retention. How does a St. Louis small business create a “caring culture”?
See it for what it is (and what it needs to be).
Is there consistency between who you say you are as a business and how you operate? Would your employees agree that your external messaging matches how your team is valued and/or treated?
You want your people to be invested in your company’s work and culture. For that to happen, they must buy into it. That requires them to believe that you are invested and operating authentically.
Commit to your cause.
Make it clear what your company’s mission is, then live it. Be passionate about the work you do and the reason you do it. Passion is contagious and you want your team to catch it!
People work harder and perform better when they care about the work they do. Remind them why they should care and how you’re all working together towards a common goal.
Acknowledge your people.
Never underestimate the power of a “thank you” or “job well done”. It’s important to acknowledge accomplishments and extra effort.
When appropriate, make a note to acknowledge those things in a team setting. Utilize team meetings and/or company events to give credit where credit is due. Your praise will not only reward a valued team member, it will encourage and motivate your team as a whole to want to receive the same.
Shift the scenery.
Get out of the rut of operating within the same space with the same few people. If you want your team involved and engaged with each other, facilitate opportunities for your employees to interact with each other. You can move desks, or meet in different places to encourage creativity and collaboration. You can also create opportunities for joint projects with team members who might not typically work together.
A caring company culture is not some idealistic far-reaching goal. Identify what your company’s culture is, with all of its strengths and any potential deficiencies. Be passionate about your mission, and share it often. Acknowledge the people who work with you, and create opportunities for true community within your workplace.
Your reward will be increased productivity, and improved employee morale.