Employee culture is a hot topic right now, and for a good reason. A recent Gallup poll found that by 2022, most of the global workforce will be Millennials.
These young workers have different expectations than previous generations, especially regarding their jobs. There are many benefits to creating an employee culture that your employees love.
But how do you create a positive employee culture at work? After all, it’s not something that happens – it takes intentional effort on your part as an employer.
Keep reading for tips on creating a positive working environment, so your employees enjoy coming to work every day.
1. Set clear expectations
When people don’t know what is expected, it can lead to confusion, underperformance, and disengagement. A good employee culture starts with clearly defining expectations for your employees.
Make sure to set these expectations on paper and verbally, so everyone is on the same page. If you’re starting and creating your employee handbook, here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Establish company values: You’ve likely heard this one before, but it’s worth repeating. Your company values should be clear and in line with your mission and vision.
- Outline company policies and procedures: Along with company values, you’ll want to include policies and procedures relevant to your employees.
- Define job descriptions: Make sure your employees know what their jobs entail. This includes what their day-to-day looks like as well as the overall impact of their position on the company.
- Communicate expectations for collaboration: Will employees be expected to work in silos? Or is there a more collaborative environment?
- Define what excellence looks like: What does excellence look like in your organization? This could be related to performance or customer service.
2. Allow employees to have input
Creating an employee culture that employees love starts with your employees feeling like they’re part of the decision-making process. As an employer, it’s your job to lead, but you also want your employees to feel like they have a voice.
This is going to vary based on the type of business you have. You might want to take on this responsibility if you have a small startup.
In larger organizations, various employee engagement strategies will likely be in place. Here are some ways you can facilitate employee input so your employees feel heard:
- Hold regular staff meetings: Make sure you’re holding meaningful meetings. Feedback is important. Ask for feedback and encourage them to ask questions. At the very least, ensure you’re meeting with your direct reports at least once a month.
- Create opportunities for involvement: Look for ways to get your employees more involved in the business beyond their day-to-day tasks. This could mean inviting them to participate in meetings with clients or taking on projects outside of their standard job description.
3. Celebrate wins together
No matter how large or small, celebrate your wins together. Find ways to celebrate both your company wins, as well as employee wins.
This might mean throwing a party, hosting a happy hour, or creating rituals such as gratitude group activities. This will help bolster employees’ confidence and give them the proper recognition for the work they have been doing.
4. Implement a flexible work program
The average employee clocks about 47 hours per week, but when it comes to work/life balance, this is not a number to strive for. Instead, aim for a flexible work program that allows your employees to set their hours.
A flexible work program will enable employees to choose how and when they work. This could include deciding what hours they work each day, where they work, or if they take time off.
A flexible work program could be as simple as offering remote work or flextime. It could also be more complex, like a job-share or work-split program, where two employees share one job.
5. Focus on inclusion and accessibility for everyone
It’s essential to make your employee culture one that includes everyone. Employees come from all different backgrounds, have unique skill sets, and have unique circumstances that could affect their ability to do their job.
Make sure you’re creating an employee culture that is accessible to everyone, including:
- Employees who identify as LGBTQIA: Are you creating a work environment that welcomes employees who identify as LGBTQIA? Are you familiar with the best practices for creating an inclusive work environment for this group?
- Employees with disabilities: Are you aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? This law provides guidelines for creating a workplace that is accessible for employees with disabilities. Are you following those guidelines?
- Remote employees: Is your employee culture accommodating for employees who work remotely? Is it easy to communicate with managers who work in-office while managing remote employees? Does your company culture adapt for employees who work in different time zones?
Creating a positive employee culture that your employees love is no easy feat. It starts with ensuring you have the right people in your hiring process.
You also want to set clear expectations, allow your employees to have input, celebrate wins together, and create a flexible work program.
With these things in place, you’ll be well on your way to building a positive culture that your employees will love.