Company Culture MattersBy definition, the term culture means your philosophy or values. You want to develop a culture that promotes excellence and is respected by your employees, clients and your community. How would you describe your company’s culture? More importantly, how would your employees describe your company’s culture?

If your employees have high confidence and trust in your company, they like working there and want to help your company grow. Your employees are your representatives and they’re in constant contact with your clients. Employees who like your company’s culture project a positive attitude and enthusiasm that is obvious to clients.

More positive is more profitable

It’s easy to see a company with a good culture and staffed with positively engaged employees. These are growing companies that are earning the respect of their peers and clients. Take time to analyze your company’s culture. It doesn’t take long, and it will give you insight on how to improve your company’s performance.

Employees consistently missing job completion deadlines or coming in over projected expenses are indications of a company in need of a culture makeover. Owners and managers should always communicate expectations for performance to employees in an encouraging and constructive way. Good company culture means establishing a camaraderie among the employees that makes them want to help the company succeed, not just punch the time clock.

Every company has — at one time or another — negative or disgruntled employees. This is most true of companies with poor cultures. Strong companies promote a positive culture that earns the respect of employees. Good employees don’t want the distractions negative employees foster. Negative employees should be weeded out.

Offer opportunities for advancement to all of your employees and promote the best to more responsible positions. During performance evaluations make sure to discuss the company’s culture and opportunity for advancement.

Encourage everyone to make suggestions and offer recommendations for improvements in procedures. Always welcome ideas. Not every idea will be a keeper, but every company that welcomes ideas has a great culture.

Challenge and trust

Challenge everyone to perform to a higher level and work more efficiently. Trust is a difficult thing for some owners to give. When employees feel trusted, they’ll accept more difficult challenges because they know the company appreciates their efforts.

Communicate the issues and challenges the company faces and assign teams of employees to address and resolve them. You’ll find that most employees will surprise you with their problem-solving skills once they are given the chance to contribute solutions.

Have some fun

There is a place in every company for fun. Develop contests between departments or crews to build relationships and competitive spirit.

Sponsor sports events or a company team and watch your people interact. Offer special recognition of employee milestones, like 10- or 20-year employment anniversaries or jobs well done.

Special acknowledgements build employee confidence and boost employee pride in working for the company. There’s nothing like a sign congratulating an employee for good performance to fire up the entire department. It will bring better results and more productivity.

PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO