There are many differences that exist between a small company and a large company. However, there are more similarities than you might immediately think. While the number of employees and the numbers that follow the dollar sign might differ, the key foundations remain the same regardless of the size of a company. And this is especially true when it comes to fostering positive company culture.
There is a tendency for companies to slowly move away from the things that made their company culture so great as they grow. When you’re running a smaller company, some of these things seem a little easier to manage. But as the responsibility continues to grow of each team member, it’s easy to think that the things you used to do for culture can no longer be done.
But I challenge you to not buy into that lie.
The principles for developing a positive company culture remain the same at any size. Here are some of the main ones you can focus on if you want to shift the feel of your company environment.
1. Celebrate successes together
One of the best ways to bring a team together is to get them working together and celebrating together when they succeed. You can’t do this if your team is working in silos. This is why it’s crucial that you set and share company goals with your entire organization.
Then, make sure each employee—regardless of where they are on the ladder—understands how their goals and the work they do each day contributes to the greater success of the company. When employees understand the value (and that you know the value) of their work, it helps to shift perspectives.
When everyone is on the same page and understands that every team member plays an important role, it creates a more positive culture that promotes growth.
2. Teach employees to embrace and learn from failure
Many people don’t think the words “positive” and “failure” should be talked about in the same article. However, I can assure you if you have an entire team that is afraid to fail, you don’t have a positive workplace culture.
Failure is not something to fear. If everyone is afraid to make a mistake, they aren’t taking the chances and calculated risks that help them to grow individually. When you have a team that consists of individuals that are willing to try new things, take well-thought-out chances, and grow, your entire organization will benefit.
In addition to teaching them to embrace failure, teach them how to realign or pivot when things don’t go as planned. This is a key concept built into our SPEARity business app to help businesses continue moving the needle forward toward their goals.
3. Ask for feedback – from everyone
There is a big difference between the culture of a company that values the opinions and experience of everyone on the team and a company that only values the feedback of senior-level management. If you want to foster a positive company culture, each employee needs to matter.
Yes, there are obvious times when you can’t collect the feedback of everyone on every topic. But if you have people in your organization that are never asked for their thoughts, opinions, or feedback, you’re missing out.
4. Be inclusive of everyone
When we talk about “inclusion” most people instantly think of race and gender. And while that’s an important part of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, it’s not the only part. It also includes people of different generations and those with different abilities.
As you work on building your team, make sure you are bringing many different voices to the table. This will help you create an environment where your team feels comfortable and able to thrive.
5. Value mental health and wellness
Ignoring workplace mental health is a costly mistake to your employees and your company. Mental health challenges, including things like burnout and exhaustion, cost companies every year in lost productivity.
We have spent the past year and a half living through challenge after challenge. Many employees have experienced trauma throughout this time. People are struggling and you want to be an organization that cares.
While the exact numbers vary, studies show that the majority of employees think employers need to improve in this area. Ask your employees for feedback to see what you could do to improve. Look for practical ways to support your employees with their mental health and emotional wellness.
6. Provide employees with additional training and opportunities
It speaks volumes when you invest in your employees, especially when it’s an area outside of their current job responsibilities. Talk to your employees about where they want to go in the future, even if it’s not within your company. Look for ways to support them in their growth. This will help you have happier employees and happier employees tend to be more productive employees.
7. Follow through
Employees know when leaders are “full of it”. Don’t make big promises, or any promises, if you’re not going to keep them. They will be meaningless. If you want to foster trust with your employees and have a positive company culture, you need to be a person of integrity and stick to what you say. Empty promises lead to unhappy employees and high turnover rates.
Take your first step
If you’re ready to change the culture in your workplace and could use assistance, our SPEARity coaches are ready to help. They can provide valuable training at all levels of your organization and help you implement the SPEARity app to take it to the next level. Contact us to explore what options are right for your team today.