Soft Metrics: 7 Ways Companies Can Improve Corporate Culture

Have you wondered why everything in your workplace feels like a chore when successful organizations seem to be easily attracting and retaining top-performing employees?

The answer lies in your corporate culture.

In his book The Culture Cycle, Professor James L Heskett writes that an effective company culture can account for 20-30 per cent of the difference in corporate performance, in comparison to culturally unremarkable competitors.

Organizational Culture factors that make an impact

Although there is value in focusing on tangible metrics and key performance indicators, success can rarely be achieved without also focusing on the intangible – the human resource element.

Some of the benefits of a strong corporate culture include:

  • High employee morale
  • Top talent retention
  • Strong leadership and management
  • Improved financial performance

Companies that encourage employee engagement and feedback often report positive numbers in terms of overall performance. This allows the company to focus on what is most important – exceeding organizational goals and achieving a more lucrative bottom line.

“If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning.” – John Mackey, Whole Foods

Here are 28 free employee engagement posters to get you started!

Another way that organizations achieve success is by making use of human capital management systems (HCM). This allows them to improve in three key areas:

  • Top workforce acquisition and onboarding
  • Seamless management processes
  • Workflow optimization

Using relevant applications such as learning management systems, companies can not only facilitate healthy employee feedback but also improve their existing skill sets.

Employee surveys have shown that using these systems can play a huge role in pushing organizational agendas while benefiting employees in the long run.

Why Should Organizations Worry About Their Corporate Culture?

Role of leaders and employees in organizational culture

Cultivating a positive organizational culture is a long-term investment, but it pays off.

“A company’s culture is the foundation for future innovation. An entrepreneur’s job is to build the foundation.” — Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb

It’s easier for HR professionals to engage with employees firmly rooted in a positive work culture because everyone feels invested in the mission, vision, values and success of the organization.

Everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done, and how to achieve it as a team. When everyone from senior management to temporary staff participates in the rewarding behaviors that contribute positively to the culture, it becomes deeply embedded in the company.

Here are 7 quick methods for improving your corporate culture:

1. Make Organizational Transparency a Key Component

Trust is a foundational component of great company culture because it builds loyalty so that employees feel invested in the organization.

“Trust starts with trustworthy leadership. It must be built into the corporate culture.” – Barbara Brooks Kimmel

When employees trust and believe in the organization they work for, the results go beyond the paycheck. In 2014, a CareerBuilder survey revealed that 37% of 3,008 employees interviewed were likely to leave their jobs due to poor relationships and lack of confidence related to their boss’s performance.

This means that organizations lacking transparency cannot retain top-performing employees. The most effective way of fostering transparency in an organization is through open communication channels between everyone in the enterprise.

Sharing information fosters a sense of belonging and promotes team spirit. By leveraging communication tools, an organization can successfully ensure that everyone is in the loop, at all times.

2. Reward Loudly; Coach Privately

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Rewarding top-performing employees encourages healthy competition and contributes to a constructive corporate culture. This can be in the form of departmental awards, certificates of recognition, or annual bonuses.

These types of simple but significant gestures play a big role in boosting employee morale.

While organizations should find meaningful ways to recognize employees who do well, they should strive to do so without shaming those who are lagging. Underperforming employees sometimes just need a little extra coaching or training.

Management needs to find ways of initiating self-improvement programs without making embarrassing employees or showcasing their fallibility.

An especially effective way to do this is via a learning management system that allows team members to work on their weaker areas without the scrutiny of coworkers, but under discreet and productive supervision by their line managers.

3. Teamwork Produces Better Work

A healthy corporate culture encourages an environment of teamwork.

Collaboration raises employee morale, efficiency, expertise, initiative, and learning. Collaborators tend to plan better because they play off each other’s strengths while minimizing the group’s overall weaknesses.

Working with people who are driven by the same purpose forms strong lasting relationships that can translate into powerful mentorship programs as well as cross-functional projects.

Ultimately, these synergies across your workforce will translate to a consistently better bottom line for the entire enterprise.

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4. Encourage Regular Feedback

All employees need to feel that their voice matters.

The Center for Generational Kinetics reports that a staggering 75% of employees would remain longer with an organization that listens to and addresses their concerns.

Organizations can initiate and encourage healthy feedback channels like focus groups, town hall meetings, and employee surveys to understand staff perception in the workplace.

However, organizations don’t necessarily need to source employee feedback via formal channels. Informal conversations can reveal very useful insights.

When employees have established rapport with their management team, they are more likely to “drop-in” for quick chats that may result in helpful new ideas or suggestions that would benefit the organization.

5. Culture: Lead by Example

Leadership has a powerful influence on an organization’s culture because it’s responsible for benchmarking how employees perceive their work experience.

According to the American Psychological Association, 89% of workers with leadership support are more likely to recommend a company as a good place to work. A good corporate culture comes from the top – leaders who lead by example.

Management has to unequivocally “walk the talk” by visibly demonstrating that they consistently practice the organization’s core values.

A simple way to illustrate this could be the CEO joining in on a new training program to improve on their skills, or taking a pay cut to support staff bonuses.

Here are some methods leaders can adopt to shape and uphold good corporate culture:

  • Demonstrating selflessness
  • Showing conviction
  • Consistently displaying strong character

6. Empower the Employee

An empowered employee will often go above and beyond their job description without being asked. This is an excellent indicator of a good corporate culture.

The Harvard Business Review reported that when employees feel empowered at work, the results include:

  1. Stronger job performances
  2. Higher job satisfaction rates
  3. Continued commitment to the organization
  4. More execution of best practices
  5. A culture of flexibility towards change

In addition to being more productive, employees also generally adopt a winning attitude.

Employee empowerment can be in the form of allowing employees varying degrees of autonomy and decision-making responsibility in their daily tasks or giving them access to the tools and resources they need to successfully align or spearhead their projects with their personal goals and career objectives.

7. Remember the Human Element

Did you know that companies scoring in the top 20% for building a ‘recognition-rich culture’ have a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate?

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”
Simon Sinek, Start with Why

A successful organization can’t have a healthy corporate culture without understanding that employees are human beings who occasionally require support and validation. This is the hallmark of employee engagement and retention.

Your People Must Believe in Your Business

Reward your employees for sticking by your side as a collective. Make team-building excursions both meaningful and exciting.

Remember that information sharing and acquisition is vital for a successful corporate culture.

Organizations that focus on collaboration and teamwork create meaningful opportunities for informal learning to occur.

Humans are social by nature, and in most work environments, only 10% of what employees learn comes from formal training or induction; they learn the rest by interacting with their colleagues.

Therefore, the more positive interactive training your employees receive, the better they become at executing their roles.

How can organizations demonstrate a sincere and authentic interest in every employee’s well-being?

  1. Actively manage and ask about workloads
  2. Be transparent about goals and expectations
  3. Provide flexible schedules
  4. Proactively intervene when you see indicators of high-stress levels in your employees
  5. Support a culture of work-life balance
  6. Encourage mental health days
  7. Educate employees
  8. Offer employee assistance programs

Here is another great source for tips on being a great candidate for employment can be found.  Secrets To Improve Job Prospects

Use the Right Tools to Maintain a Healthy Organizational Culture

So there you have it – establishing and maintaining a healthy organizational culture largely depends on your ability to really connect with your employees.

The connection needs to be visceral – your people have to feel it, not just understand it.

And their training and development should be about so much more than just knowing how to do their job – it needs to be genuinely engaging. Even fun.

This is why the best tools have evolved to do exactly that – engage with the employees, making it easier to learn and retain information.

And that level of engagement needs to permeate beyond training – it must continue through to every aspect of communications, operations, reporting and scheduling.

The right platform simply becomes part of your organizational DNA.

Forget the frustration of poor employee engagement and restrictive reporting across multiple platforms.

Invest in a platform that offers world-leading solutions in your own branded application.

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Disclaimer: This information is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor World Manager will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this information.

The best companies use World Manager to train staff, maintain standards, and set the company up on the road to success.