Company Culture: The two most overused “C” words in the office. What do they really mean? Why are they so important?
The company culture conversation continues to increase in popularity as Millennials begin to dominate the workforce. Identifying exceptional company culture is a key component for current job seekers looking to make a long-term commitment to a business. Gen Y’ers have the desire to show up at work and do a job they love with people they enjoy being around – rather than just putting in time for a paycheck. The balance of power is shifting such that obtaining a position where you are fulfilled daily, often outweighs targeting a role based on salary or other factors alone.
Research shows a correlation between having great company culture and an increase in productivity and better overall company performance. As a result, there’s a rallying effort by companies to retain strong talent by finding ways to improve their culture. Corporate culture improvement companies even exist now and they are solely dedicated to measuring and enhancing other companies’ culture.
Now, let’s get real. The core of a company’s culture does rely heavily on executives and upper management. They control work hours, office perks, budgets, as well as the majority (if not all of) the hiring of other individuals that make up your company.
So, what can you really do to help improve it?
1. Say “good morning” and don’t just leave it at that –
Adding a smile with your morning greeting is a great way to start the day. Assuming that already happens out of habit, it can’t hurt to up the overall effort when engaging with co-workers. People want to feel as though others have an interest in what they enjoy doing outside the office too.
2. Try to lend a helping hand –
Whether it be cultivating ideas for other teams or helping carry boxes to the stockroom, volunteering to lend a hand will not go unnoticed. At the end of the day, you’re all on the same team, trying to promote the same brand and better the company as a whole.
3. Give credit where credit is due –
It may be difficult (for some) to toot your own horn, but it’s important that your accomplishments don’t get overlooked! The same goes for the achievements of your colleagues. You can be a better employee and co-worker just by making it a point to celebrate your co-workers’ victories, however large or small.
4. Leave the trash outside –
…and by that I mean the “trash-talking.” Try to avoid gossip at all costs. A slip-up here and there is inevitable, and while I agree in the power of venting, try to stay as neutral and professional as possible. If there is an issue that truly needs to be addressed, be sure that you are discussing it with someone in a position to listen, like HR or your direct manager!
5. Get involved –
When an employee feedback/innovation survey comes to your inbox, that’s your big chance! Even if you aren’t 100% sure your suggestions will fly, you can’t complain if you don’t contribute.
These are just a few of the many steps you can take to help improve your culture and be a solutions-oriented presence in the office. If don’t see improvement with your current company, maybe it is time for a change.