When you look out over your employees, what do you see? Their faces are one of the many company culture examples that signal whether your culture is good or bad. So, check their expressions to see if they are smiling, concentrating, engaged or if they are frowning, despondent, or annoyed. Then read on to see whether you’re facing a company culture catastrophe and how to fix it if you are.
Company culture examples
There are some great businesses out there that put culture first. Before you get too deep into the signs of your culture, here are some company culture examples from businesses that are doing it right:
- Zappos. Going beyond great benefits is key at this top culture champion. They ensure each candidate fits their values through a heavily-weighted test, and they have a budget set aside for culture promotion and team building.
- Southwest Airlines. Employees are given autonomy to go the extra mile in pleasing the customer which means they don’t have to defer to a manager and they are trusted to do what’s best for the company.
- Twitter. Employees of Twitter often rave about their culture which includes free meals, yoga classes, unlimited vacation, and a team of co-workers who put their intelligence together to work toward a common goal.
5 signs of a good company culture
Now that you’ve read over the company culture examples, you have an idea of what counts as “good.” Employees want to be challenged, rewarded, promoted, and have a joint objective with the autonomy and trust they need to achieve it. Here are five signs you’ve got a good company culture:
1. High-quality referrals and top talent lining up
Employees go where they are appreciated, so if you have many talented individuals vying for a job, it’s a good sign. And, if your employees are regularly referring quality applicants, it means they understand the benefits and want to bring in others to champion your brand.
2. Low employee turnover
In most circumstances, employees stick around when they love their jobs and their jobs love them back.
3. Low gossip levels, high innovation levels
When employees talk about new ideas instead of deriding each other, you know you’re doing well. Even better when they are trusted to see those innovative ideas through and encouraged to discuss them with upper levels of management.
4. Happy attitudes
If your employees are cheerfully greeting each other and you each day, smiling, and enjoying themselves while they are at work, chances are good you’ve got a positive culture.
5. A budget for training
Investing in your employees through continued training and educational opportunities means more confident workers who can better provide for your customers.
5 signs of a bad company culture
There are some unmistakable signs of a toxic work environment which need immediate consideration and correction, and then there are these five signs you may have a negative company culture:
1. High turnover rates
If you’re having trouble keeping talented people, it’s time to take a look at why they leave and ways to course correct.
2. Little or no innovation coming from all levels of employee
If new ideas are not coming your way, you need to figure out why. Are there managers suppressing innovation or claiming worker ideas as their own? Are employees scared to talk to you? Is new thinking disregarded because you think you’ve figured out the best way? Asking these questions is paramount for growth and creating a positive company culture.
3. No flexibility for workers
Consider what you do when an employee needs two hours off during the day for a doctor’s appointment. Are they required to take a full day? Or can they come and go? If there is inclement weather, can they work from home? How is paid time off structured—do they even get it? Employees need to know their employers support them in their lives outside of work, not just within the walls.
4. Thinking your perks equal culture
Benefits, such as an insurance package, or perks, such as free lunches, do not equal culture alone. You must understand how the relationships work within the office at all levels, and how they combine with the great things you offer to make up the feel of your environment.
5. Lack of recognition for achievements
What do you do when an employee performs incredibly? If the answer is nothing, you’ve got one of the signs of a negative culture. Employees need recognition for their successes, and a scheme that is in place to award or applaud these individuals will go beyond improving the culture. It will enhance job satisfaction, too.
Fixing a bad culture
If you suspect you may have a bad culture, and you want to fix it (and you do! Culture affects engagement, and engaged workers perform 202% better than others), use these tips to start to refine your environment.
Perform exit interviews.If you suffer from employees leaving, one of the greatest tools you can use is the exit interview. Find out why they left, what they think could change, and if they have any pieces of advice. You’ll have to be humble. You’ll have to grit your teeth and bear what they have to say. But listening to the people who quit is one of the best ways to start to define where your culture has gone wrong.
Determine your values and be the first to implement them. Take a deep, thorough look at your company. What is it about? What do you want it to be about? What are you offering customers? Then write it down. Post it to your people. And start practicing the values yourself. Make sure they are implemented from the top because if your employees don’t see you doing it, they won’t follow suit.
Talk to employees using your values. Your people are a good gauge of where the culture is at, so taking a humble approach with them is important too. See what they need to be successful, and begin using your values to help them. For example, if they are constantly worried about being fired, and one of your values is openness, start sharing status reports with them about their performance, areas in which they can improve, and areas they are already superstars.
Get your tech in line. You may find that some of the processes that bog down employees or onboarding are partially at fault for a negative culture. How can you focus on employee engagement when you’re still manually doing everything? Performance management tools, automated onboarding, and other tech that frees you to focus on your workers should be a focus of your goals to improve culture.
For more help regarding Company Culture, Employee Engagement and Relations, Performance Management, Leadership and Executive Coaching and Development, and all things “HR,” The Pendolino Group is here to support you and your team. Contact us today!