If your company is thriving - growing sales, increasing customers and driven by an exceptional workforce - then you've already mastered the connection between a strong corporate culture and corporate success. Strong corporate cultures don't happen by accident and they certainly don’t develop overnight; they rise in companies that place their values at the heart of all their decision-making processes, including how to support and nurture their workers. When employees feel valued and respected, they perform better, which also enhances the overall performance of the enterprise. If this sounds like your company, then your corporate culture already nourishes a healthy workforce, but you might be asking yourself “what’s next?”
TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED
Often, when the myriad of management details and responsibilities become oppressive, some leaders lose focus on their employees. They let morale slide as they turn their attention to "more important issues," when in fact, for most companies, there really is no issue more significant to company health than maintaining a happy and engaged workforce. Therefore, even if your organization is flourishing, it's essential that you continue to positively engage your employees, celebrate their accomplishments and milestones and reward them for their performance and for upholding your values. Here are a few ways to maintain your 5-star culture:
Keep communications open
Most workers develop opinions over time about what's working (or not) for them on the job. Providing an encouraging and accepting environment where they can share those thoughts builds their trust in their company and their loyalty to its leadership. Furthermore, when they know that they can express how their experiences with day-to-day operations meet corporate values and ideals, they also know that they play an active role in keeping the company healthy and productive.
Open communication can also encourage employees to share what's not going well for them, too, including how company activities are not matching corporate values. Too many leaders leave the "happy worker" activities up to the human resources department, when, in reality, those activities are also critical throughout the management system, too. Your organization's welfare may suffer if your company conversations reveal how management behaviors don't match cultural expectations. A healthier culture ensures that company values permeate all enterprise elements and aspects, including management systems.
Timely and frequent recognition is key
On the opposite side of employee experience is employee productivity, and companies with happy employees almost always have productive employees. Making sure those workers understand their value to the company is one way to ensure that their productivity remains high. Consequently, organizations that not only require managers give frequent and timely recognition, but also encourage peer-to-peer recognition experience greater success in keeping their culture afloat and intact. Some organizations also offer flexible work hours or add recreation or playrooms to their offices to demonstrate the respect that they have for hard work that brings in high returns. While not all organizations are able to offer these types of benefits, it’s important that you constantly evaluate what’s possible and what’s necessary for the success of your engagement strategy and ultimately, the happiness of your employees.
Rewarding the workers of the future
Over time, the methods that worked in the past can become stale as generations change and workplace trends evolve. It's important for employers to understand when these shifts take place, and how to address them. Awards that were prized two year ago might seem outdated or have no value today. Issues an organization was trying to address with a specific recognition program might have been resolved, rendering the program no longer effective. It's important to constantly keep your finger on the pulse of your workforce.
As millennials fill more employee seats, corporate cultures are beginning to reflect their goals and aspirations, too. Companies that respond well to these new "standards of employment" will also see an uptick in their annual numbers. Adding community service opportunities and focusing on the work-life balance equation will not only attract the best workers but keep them onboard for a longer period of time.
Your enterprise is thriving today. Help it to thrive into the future by maintaining and growing a happy corporate culture that supports happy and engaged employees.