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Operations

The Complete Guide to Company Culture

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Want to boost employee morale while increasing productivity? This guide to company culture has everything you need to keep employees happy while growing your business. Check out these tips for how to improve your company culture now and long term.

Why Company Culture Is So Important

Culture impacts every area of your company. Think of it like your company’s personality. 

If people like your company’s personality, they’ll want to stay there. If not, they’ll be unhappy or leave.

Not all company cultures work for all employees. But your company’s culture guides just about every area of your business. By creating a healthy work culture, you create business growth.

Your ideal company culture should have employees wanting to come to work. They should feel safe and comfortable raising concerns and giving and accepting feedback. A healthy company culture allows them to do their jobs better both internally and when interacting with customers.

Keep in mind that company culture isn’t about doing non-work-related activities. For example, a company outing is fun, but it probably won’t impact whether your employees feel comfortable telling you about a problem in the workplace. Creating a positive company culture impacts the whole workplace system and affects the actual work people do.

Many businesses have seen improvements in productivity and growth after improving their company culture. 

A Pennsylvania public accounting firm saw that employees were feeling less recognized due to the company’s outdated software and policies. The firm then put together a team to recreate their system for recognizing employees.

They used company culture software to give employees a space to give shoutouts and highlight exceptional work. The company also used the software to give rewards to more employees more often in the workplace.

Management said that the new system increased their employees’ satisfaction with their work. They also saw an increase of up to 90% in employee recognition, which increased employees’ enthusiasm in the workplace. 

Quick Tips to Improve Company Culture Today

Company culture is an ongoing project, but there are some steps you can take to boost yours right away.

Get Employee Feedback

How can you know improve your company culture if you don’t know what needs fixing? Talk to your employees before you start making changes.

Employees will be the ones most affected by company culture. That’s why it’s important to get everyone on the same page.

You can start by sending out a survey with questions about company culture. It can include questions about:

  • Job satisfaction
  • Whether employees feel recognized at work
  • Whether employees feel comfortable bringing concerns to management
  • Any specific areas employees would like to see improvement

Employees are happier when they’re heard. By creating a workplace where employees feel comfortable approaching others in their environment, you’ll boost employee satisfaction.

Encouraging employee feedback shows that feedback goes two ways. It’s not only for managers to give to employees but for everyone to share in order to create a more productive and satisfying environment.

Use Company Culture Software

Company culture software like Nectar makes it easier for employees to connect. The software specializes in recognizing employees for exceptional work.

Nectar is a top-rated, versatile platform for employee recognition and rewards. With it, you can set up social recognition where employees highlight each other’s great work. You can also customize the platform to create incentives, challenges, awards, and perks for employees.

The platform works best for small to medium businesses. It serves every type of business from nonprofits to businesses with over 100 employees

Nectar helps your team connect beyond perks and rewards, too. It lets employees connect with each other and makes it easier for them to communicate with management.

Nectar has reasonable pricing, which makes it even more appealing for smaller businesses. Many Nectar users have cited pricing as one of the deciding factors for getting the software.

Nectar has three packages to choose from:

  • Free: $0 per month
  • Standard: $2.50 per user per month
  • Plus: $3.75 per user per month

The free version gives you plenty of features, including peer-to-peer recognition, unlimited users, custom core values and allowances, a leaderboard, and corporate discounts and perks.

Standard gives you all free features, plus manager to employee recognition, Slack and Teams integration, create-your-own rewards, and analytics to see how your company culture system impacts employees.

Plus upgrades you with custom branding, SSO, HRIS/HCM integrations, challenges, advanced analytics, and a dedicated account manager to keep your system going strong.

Recognize Employee Efforts

Nectar gives your employees a place to recognize achievements and great work. It’s easy for everyone to use, and a leaderboard lets everyone see who gets the most shoutouts.

Recognition can both improve the morale of people getting recognized and encourage others to put forth similar effort. But it’s not just about who’s doing the most work.

Recognition allows employees to get attention for their unique skills. When you give employees the right kind of attention, they feel valued and dedicated to their work. As a result, they create a more balanced, productive, and successful workplace for everyone.

Employees who feel recognized and rewarded for their efforts have higher job satisfaction than those who don’t. It’s one of the easiest places to create immediate improvement.

With company culture software like Nectar, you can customize recognition and rewards. Nectar ensures everyone gets satisfaction and feels like the company is paying attention.

Communicate with Your Team

Sometimes, a positive company culture involves being receptive and creating an environment that helps employees feel comfortable talking about what is and isn’t working.

Without good communication, your business suffers on every level. You don’t want employees to feel afraid to tell you when something goes wrong. You also want them to feel like they can express what they like about their jobs.

Nectar integrates with Slack and Teams to help employees talk to each other and communicate with managers. In this way, it works well for remote teams as well as in-office environments.

Creating better communication shows employees what to expect at every level of your company. It also means that everyone can work together more effectively to fix mistakes and problems that arise. As a result, employees work better with each other and with customers.

Build Trust with Transparency

Communication plays a role in transparency, too. When you’re transparent and honest with your employees, they’ll feel they can offer you the same.

Transparency helps employees feel secure in their work. When you have open and honest communication between you and your employees, you keep operations running well in your company.

When it comes to communicating with employees, transparency helps them feel safer at work. It’s not just about the dynamic between you and your employees but about the nature of your company. Transparency and trust give you more accurate data and information that you can use to identify weak spots and strengthen them.

Trust within your company creates trust outside of it too. Employees are more honest with customers, which gives your company a better reputation. Customers will then trust your company and you’ll retain more employees.

Long-Term Strategies for Company Culture

Many parts of creating good company culture involve long-term efforts. Here are a few actions you can take to keep up consistent culture over time.

Encourage Diversity and Inclusion

Part of establishing and continuing a positive company culture is making employees feel welcome, accepted, and celebrated. By encouraging diversity and inclusion, you create space for people of many different backgrounds in your company.

A diverse team means you get many perspectives on problems and their solutions. It encourages learning and better understanding, which leads to a more cohesive team.

When people listen to diverse thoughts, opinions, and experiences, they generate better ideas. With a diverse team, you’ll create solutions that benefit more people, both internally and externally.

With a diverse team, you encourage employees to respect and celebrate differences in a way that doesn’t happen when your entire company only includes people with similar experiences and backgrounds. It also helps more people feel safe at work with productive interventions that challenge biases and reduce discrimination.

Workplace safety and comfort are an even bigger part of company culture than any event you put on. This is the day-to-day environment your employees work in. Their workplace should make them feel safe, heard, and valued.

Keep Company Values Consistent

You may have heard about or worked at a company that states its values in its employee handbook. However, when it comes to the actual work environment, those values don’t seem to come into play. 

For example, sometimes a company says it values employee feedback but then doesn’t listen to its employees. The company then has unhappy employees and experiences a high turnover.

When you state that your company embodies certain values, make sure that it really does. Consciously implement those values in everyday work life. This is part of showing your employees that you’re consistent, transparent, and that you care about them.

Consistent values help you build trust with employees. They’ll feel more comfortable both with management and with each other when they know what to expect, rather than having to guess at what the company truly stands for.

Keeping consistent and clear values also helps employees interact with customers. It allows customers to trust your brand more easily when what your employees tell them is accurate across the board.

Having consistent values and implementing them accordingly makes it easier for you, too. Employees know what to expect from disciplinary action as well as when they do exceptional work. They then feel less stressed and can focus on productivity and teamwork when they know exactly what they are working toward.

With Nectar, you can implement custom values that your employees can view whenever they want. That allows everyone to stay on the same page and refer to the components that create the ideal company culture at any time.

Engage Employees and Encourage Collaboration

When you engage employees, you show them that you value their input and create a culture that centers around collaboration.

Employee engagement should factor into every area of the workplace. That may look different for each company, but you can always start with feedback.

Nectar lets you encourage collaboration by giving employees a place to talk to with their teammates. They can chat via the Slack integration or simply boost another employee for their hard work.

Nectar allows for many customizable opportunities to engage employees both with each other and with management to ensure that no one gets overlooked. Its platform is easy to navigate, which means that connecting is effortless while still offering a chance for everyone to interact positively.

Engaging employees also means that your company can evolve as needed. If a current policy isn’t working or becomes outdated, involving employees and getting their feedback helps change it to become something more helpful and accurate to the current time.

Engagement also ensures that those policies help everyone. Without employee engagement, management might make a decision that adversely affects employees. As a result, the company can’t run as well because employees don’t get what they need to do their jobs best.

Create Flexibility in the Workplace

As more people have shifted to working from home, flexibility at work has become even more essential. Whether that means flexible time off, remote work opportunities, or more unique solutions to company problems, employees thrive on flexibility.

Creating a culture that accommodates employee needs allows people to have a better work-life balance while being more productive. Flexibility reduces employee stress when they know they can take care of their own needs while balancing them with the company’s.

Flexibility may mean you allow for: 

  • Video meetings
  • Work from home opportunities
  • Schedule changes
  • Unlimited PTO
  • Part-time options
  • Caregiving leave
  • Paid maternity and paternity leave
  • Sabbatical options

Flexibility may look different from one company to the next, but most employees agree that it helps with productivity, job satisfaction, and their personal well-being. Each of these factors is important to create positive company culture.

Next Steps

Company culture is an ongoing project. Nectar can help with improving employee engagement, collaboration, and recognition, but you’ll need other tools and contributions to keep things going.

When it comes to flexibility and employee comfort, you may want to look at remote tools and practices. That way, you can ensure your employees have everything they need no matter where they work.

You can also use project management software to keep everyone engaged. Before you spring for one, check out what to look for in project management software.

Whatever approach you take to creating and improving your company culture, the most important part is to make sure it works for both your employees and your growing business.


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