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How to Improve Workplace Culture: 10 Tips for Small Businesses

Happy colleagues celebrating success giving high fives

Quick look: A strong corporate culture is tied to improved market performance, reduced turnover, enhanced innovation, and more. In this blog, we explore 10 proven strategies to help small businesses improve their culture and how a professional employer organization (PEO) can assist time-strapped business leaders in creating a better culture by providing best-in-class HR support and industry-leading employee benefits.

Workplace culture can make or break an organization. However, increasingly dispersed staff, changing employee expectations, and heavier-than-ever HR team workloads are causing many business leaders to seek tips on improving corporate culture.

All businesses have a unique company culture. However, whether it fosters happiness, engagement, productivity, and, ultimately, success depends on how the organization approaches and builds its culture over time.

Why is workplace culture important?

A positive, welcoming company culture creates business success from the inside out and is associated with:

10 ideas to improve workplace culture

Corporate culture is continually in flux, and even if your business is content with its culture, it’s wise to regularly look for ways to improve to keep current employees happy and attract more job candidates.

Whether your organization is looking for cultural maintenance or more of a makeover, these 10 tips on improving workplace culture can help:

1. Be transparent

One thing that can easily harm a business’s culture is when the organization and its leaders aren’t open with their employees.

Whether a project or company goal is a complete success or misses the desired outcomes, being transparent with employees and explaining what happened lets them know that their company isn’t trying to hide things purposely.

This helps foster an open workplace culture that helps boost happiness and engagement.

2. Support the community and employee causes

Today, many businesses are taking an active role in their communities, which helps improve their culture. Organizations are also supporting charitable causes that are important to their employees, helping raise awareness and money.

Even small businesses can host or sponsor fundraising events that benefit a local charity or non-profit organization. Employers may also consider offering staff volunteer time off (VTO), a type of paid leave workers can use to volunteer for an approved charitable organization.

3. Seek employee feedback and take action

Employees want to (and should) play a crucial role in creating their company’s culture. Leaders can make this a reality by asking their workforce for feedback and recommendations and implementing policies or addressing topics that meet their concerns.

Doing so is a fantastic way to ensure that the corporate culture meets the wants and needs of employees, as all workplace cultures are unique. Additionally, when workers know their voices and concerns matter, they feel more vested in the business and its success.

4. Host company and team events

Team and company events have a tremendous impact on company culture and employee morale.

Events like team lunches, company picnics, holiday parties, birthday gatherings, and company milestone celebrations are all incredibly valuable for employers large and small. They also instill a sense of teamwork and help employees get to know their coworkers, which helps to build a healthy, positive workplace culture.

If your organization has a distributed workforce, paying close attention to your virtual company culture and hosting both virtual and in-person events is important.

5. Foster teamwork and employee engagement

Every organization requires employees to work together as a team to achieve certain goals and objectives.

One way to encourage teamwork is to prioritize employee engagement throughout the company. Whether it’s asking for feedback or encouraging staff to bring their ideas forward, engaged employees are vital to a successful team, business, and corporate culture.

6. Invest in employee benefits and workplace perks

Employee benefits make a tremendous impact on an organization’s culture.

Offering benefit plans that prioritize employee well-being, work-life balance, and personal growth demonstrates that the company values its workforce beyond their contributions to the bottom line. Benefits to consider providing include:

7. Prioritize employee recognition

Employee recognition is an important aspect of workplace culture. Companies that fail to show appreciation for their workers risk losing them, which can be costly and detrimental for smaller employers.

Instead, business leaders should create an employee recognition system that rewards high-performance staff. These incentives can be a gift cards, company-wide shoutouts, or various other things that show employees you value them and their work.

8. Help workers avoid burnout

Employees in businesses of all sizes face workloads, projects, and deadlines that can cause stress. However, too much stress can cause serious mental and physical health issues for employees, in addition to negatively impacting productivity.

To combat this, employers should take action to help their employees manage stress and avoid burnouts by prioritizing workers’ well-being, providing adequate breaks, encouraging them to set boundaries, and more. When business leaders show empathy, staff see that their company truly cares about their happiness which can boost morale, loyalty, and build a strong culture.

9. Get workers involved

A great way for business owners to spark employee engagement and satisfaction is to involve them in various aspects of the company.

This doesn’t mean giving staff more work but enabling them to assist with initiatives that help with business growth and workplace culture. One example is asking employees to participate in recruiting and employer branding efforts (i.e., employee spotlights on social media and company newsletters).

You can also encourage workers to participate in team-building activities that help them get to know one another.

When employees are actively involved in various company programs, it helps to improve the organization’s culture and transform it into one that is driven by employee engagement.

10. Stay true to your business’s core values

Strengthening workplace culture is a strategic venture, and its results won’t occur overnight. It takes time and effort from all levels of a business.

Given the scope involved, leaders must remember the business’s core values and missions when exploring ways to enhance its culture.

All organizations have distinct characteristics, which can be the foundation of a great company culture. By aligning a business’s values with its culture, leaders can set employees and the company up for success.

A partner with your priorities in mind

The best way for companies to nurture a positive workplace culture is to continuously monitor it and find areas for improvement and small business culture examples they’d like to replicate. However, doing so takes time and resources that some organizations may not have to spare.

That’s where a professional employer organization (PEO) can help. PEOs provide various human resources, employee benefits, and risk and compliance services, and act as a support for small businesses’ HR teams.

For example, ExtensisHR, a nationally recognized PEO, provides its clients with dedicated, SHRM-Certified HR Managers who can help craft policies designed to improve workplace culture. Additionally, ExtensisHR offers access to competitive employee benefits (at large group prices) that drive engagement and enhance your staff’s overall well-being.

Looking to take your company culture to the next level? Contact the professionals at ExtensisHR today to discover how we can help.

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