Company DNA: 4 Ways to Enrich Your Organizational Culture
Here at wiv, we believe company culture is like DNA. It is present in every part of your organization, from yearly events to day-to-day interactions and the tone or content of your exchanges. Every experience shapes the way your employees perceive their workplace and its’ culture.
These are our top 4 ways to promote a positive company culture at work:
1. Creating time to connect
Whether working remotely or working from the office with a million looming deadlines, it can be easy to forget to connect with our colleagues and employees. Some top ways to find time to connect can include creating company rituals such as:
- Coming together at the start of each day for a 15-minute mindfulness session, or an inspirational TED talk. Anything that creates a shared, and energizing experience.
- Getting together once a week for ‘after work drinks’ or ‘Friday takeaway’ to develop relationships outside of your immediate team.
- Choosing one day for the entire team, remote and in-house, to come together in the physical space to reconnect as a team.
- Finding time for an informal conversation with your team members, touching base with them on a personal and professional level.
- A ‘pot luck lunch’ where everyone brings one of their favorite meals to share. If working from home, this can be run as a ‘pot luck delivery’ where employees have a meal delivered to a colleague from a local restaurant.
No matter the method, the intention is the same – to create and build relationships and improve workplace engagement.
2. Celebrating the employee lifecycle
Certain milestones in the employee lifecycle like onboarding, anniversaries, job promotion, and moving to the next position represent large life changes for your staff. Remember how excited you were the last time you landed a job, or how bittersweet it was to leave a fantastic team? In each situation, how we treat our employees affects not just them but their coworkers as well.
Creating celebrations at each of these steps, stopping to really appreciate the person and the contribution they made to the team is guaranteed to be positively noticed.
3. Small actions, big impact
Remember the last time someone at work celebrated your birthday? How did that feel? Recognizing small events, whether personal or professional make people feel valued in a team and organization. Some other great times to recognize employees include:
- After a difficult interaction with a customer, colleague, or manager.
- Recognizing a small workplace success or a task that required a lot of effort.
- Noticing an improvement in a skill or someone’s knowledge.
- When someone steps out of their comfort zone.
Here is a personal account of one of our team members who experienced such a thing before. She told us that she still remembers the manager who wrote her a card after a difficult interaction with another member of the staff, and how supported she felt after that interaction. The simple gesture of receiving that card over a decade ago had a lasting impression on her. In fact, she was prompted to keep a few cards in her desk drawer for employees in similar circumstances.
4. Authenticity, the cornerstone to respect
Leading organizations respect and promote candor in all relationships and interactions. Being inauthentic is easy to detect, and can erode the trust in a relationship. Despite this point, there are times in any relationship where speaking honestly may be hard to hear for the listener. Developing the skill to speak both authentically and diplomatically can build trust and remove ambiguity from your relationships and team. This is especially useful when giving feedback, discussing job performance, and analyzing potential outcomes of a situation.
Authentic conversations can be difficult, but the rewards far outweigh the initial discomfort. The transparency this process creates leads to far more honest and effective working relationships than those that rely on sugar-coating the truth or avoiding difficult conversations.
Each of these methods not only creates a link between you and your employee but also fosters links between employee groups. Applying each of these methods into your next working week is guaranteed to have a noticeable effect on your team, and company culture. Check out some of our other articles for industry tips, amazing apps, and creative ideas to take your company culture to the next level.