No matter the industry or paycheque, ultimately nothing is more important than a good work environment. Many have left or considered leaving lucrative positions because of poor company culture. Cultivating a healthy team, from the CEO to the summer intern, is paramount for producing quality work and keeping the best talent. Below is a list of considerations for building a strong and supportive work culture from the ground up.
Goals and Values
It’s important to have goals and values that employees want to support and put into practice. It shouldn’t be all about the bottom line. These goals and values can include social responsibility like being environmentally friendly, advocating for certain causes, or donating to charity. Make sure you are doing more than paying lip service; employees should have opportunities to contribute and take ownership of these goals and values, so they feel proud to work at the company.
Having official policies will help enforce a certain mindset in an employee from the top down. Be transparent and inclusive with clear language. Employees should feel that they are treated fairly by the company and know what steps to take if they aren’t feeling supported. It’s important that they don’t feel lost or unheard if they have questions about their role in the company. Also, having an open-door policy and unconscious bias training can help employees feel included and protected from unfair treatment.
High turnover is discouraging and detrimental to work and employee morale. Change a waning work culture through encouragement and constructive feedback and look to actively reduce stress in employees. Open channels of communication so everyone feels heard. Suggestion boxes, robust benefits, and morale boosters, like monthly paid lunches or annual company retreats, will make employees feel valued. Be clear about performance metrics and the steps for getting promotions, so that employees feel like they can work towards something concrete.
Employees should trust their employers and coworkers; employers should respect and care for their employees. Leaders can set an example by being aware of the strengths and struggles of their team and being willing to step in to help them succeed. Mental health is also important. Check in on employees. Allow people to express their feelings without judgment. Give everyone the chance to get to know each other with team-building activities like office-wide outings to sports events or restaurants. A strong team is one that has employees who can lift each other up emotionally and work together effectively.
Having a strong and supportive work culture builds loyal, happy, and invested employees, which means better results and a stronger company. Set admirable goals and values; write fair and inclusive policies; foster open communication; and build positive relationships. These things will lead to collaboration, honesty, resilience, and success.
Rose Ho | Staff Writer