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Dahl Consulting’s 5 Steps to Improving Company Culture

What’s worse than getting out of your warm and cozy bed at the crack of dawn? The answer is simple; getting out of your warm and cozy bed to go to a place you don’t enjoy! Even though going to a job you don’t enjoy doesn’t sound fun, a shocking 85% of the U.S. workforce does it every day![1]

Company culture is one of the main differences between an organization and its competition. To really stand out in the job market and retain great employees that fit in with your company, you must focus on your company culture. Company culture, which can be loosely described as the personality of an organization, allows employees to feel included, and promotes a sense of happiness in the workplace.[2]

A study conducted by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy states that “happy employees have been shown to be up to 20 percent more effective in the workplace than unhappy employees”.[3] This statistic makes it easy to assume that since happy employees are more effective, the company itself would be more successful. Factors such as lower turnover, higher production, and less days of work missed are all adding to the fact that happy employees will indeed save your company money.

Not only will focusing on your company culture improve your employee engagement and satisfaction levels, but it will improve your bottom line. Dahl Consulting (DAHL) would like to share five easy steps to kickstart your company’s shift towards a healthier and more inclusive company culture.

1. Share Company Goals

It is important to constantly reiterate company goals and give direction to why these goals came about. Allowing employees to fully see your company’s mission helps them to identify themselves within the company. It can help them to find their place in the bigger picture and provides purpose for what they do. DAHL, for example, not only shares our company objectives with employees but provides them with an internal list of goals as well. We strive to collaborate within our teams and work hard in a success oriented, flexible, honest, and positive work environment.

By sharing your company goals with employees, you are showing them that their individual contributions matter, and that your company wouldn’t be able to operate successfully without their effort. If you want your company culture to be focused around your goals and why you do what you do, you must share this information with your employees to ensure everyone is staying true to what the company believes.

2. Emphasize Teamwork

When it comes to company culture, even the most independent employees must be both willing to support and be supported by their coworkers. A recent article posted on entrepreneur Neil Patel’s website states that “the difference between being a team and just a bunch of individuals is that the individuals see themselves as separate from each other. Helping others is forced because you normally operate on your own projects, or your own part in a large project.” Teamwork on the other hand, promotes helping one another where necessary.

“It doesn’t matter who gets credit for what because you accomplish everything together. You’re knit together, not separated.”[4]

Being a part of a team will help employees to feel accountable for their actions and will provide confidence that they are supported if they need assistance. A team atmosphere is created to encourage each employee while still pushing them to do their best. Since all employees working for a company should be pursuing the same goals, it only makes sense that they would also be working together to achieve these goals. The success of the team is the success of the company.

3. Promote Open Communication

The key to open communication in the workplace is creating trust. Along with operating as a team, you must ensure that all employees are able to ask questions and provide feedback when they feel it is necessary. Many companies are implementing an which is actually less of a policy, and more of a cultural approach. Leadership in these companies are definitely doing something right! By removing the communication gap between employees and upper leadership, employees feel more connected and loyal to their company. DAHL’S leadership is no different. They make a huge effort to be present and available for our employees whether the need be work or personal. It is shocking how hard it is to lose interest in your job when your leader is right there beside you and asking you questions about your everyday life.

This trend towards open communication is not only helpful with job related tasks but is incredibly effective when it comes to boosting employee morale. Employees spend so much of their time at work; to remain happy, they must feel comfortable in their workplace. Building relationships is critical to having a company culture that is focused on trust and communication. Close friendships at work are even said to “boost employee satisfaction by 50%”, and open communication is only the first step in achieving this long-term goal.[5]

4. Utilize Performance Management

Along with open communication in the workplace, many companies are transforming the way they look at performance, and more specifically, the way they manage it. The typical annual review just doesn’t cut it anymore. Now, that doesn’t mean that it is eliminated completely, but many leaders and employees are now leaning towards a continuous performance management system to complement this review.

Company cultures today are becoming more and more transparent. Leaders have noticed that with the old-school annual review, many details and acknowledgments are slipping through the cracks. The goal of continuous performance management is to once again open the communication line between leadership and employees. This process allows employees to give and receive feedback as events are occurring, rather than trying to remember it six months down the line, when their annual review comes around.

Continuous performance management systems allow employees to discuss their goals, performance, or really any topic that may come up within their workplace. This system can be designed as simple as a 30-minute, one-on-one meeting, that occurs once every other week. The goal isn’t to be watching every move an employee makes, but it is meant to provide both the employee and their leader the opportunity to provide feedback in a slightly more comfortable and relaxed environment. Performance management systems will work to improve your company culture by keeping employees motivated all year round.

5. Reward Your Employees

This last step seems simple, but it can be so easily overlooked, it is important to prioritize for any company. When we say reward, most people automatically think money. Well, luckily this doesn’t have to be the case! When rewarding your employees, it is more than the action of giving a gift. It is recognizing that their contributions are substantial to your company and showing them that you are wanting to offer some sort of benefit for their hard work.

Rewards can vary substantially. A company can focus on individual recognition for personal achievements, or on team rewards. Our suggestion is to invest in company perks that can bring your employees together as the team that you are now emphasizing. It will not only make your employees feel appreciated, but it will increase their bond within the team. Rewards can be small such as snacks in the break room or can be a little bit bigger like a team happy hour at the end of the day, treated by the company of course. It doesn’t have to be materialistic either; the workforce we are currently in is constantly pushing flexibility. Allow your top performers to work from home one day a week, and if that is a little much, maybe one day a month. No matter what you decide to do to reward your employees, we promise that they will notice and be extremely grateful!

So, go! Start now, push them to want to succeed and incentivize their hard work!

Focus on building relationships both in and out of the workplace. Improving your company culture is an ongoing task for any company, and there is always room for improvement! But trust us, your employees will thank you for trying! Start with these five easy steps, and just wait and see how big of an impact they can have on your company. DAHL knows how important these things are in improving our own company culture – now, we encourage you to try!

Interested in connecting with DAHL? Click here to contact us!

[1] https://returntonow.net/2017/09/22/85-people-hate-jobs-gallup-poll-says

[2] https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-is-company-culture-2062000

[3] https://www.5dynamics.com/happy-employees-efficient-productive-stay-longer

[4] https://neilpatel.com/blog/great-company-culture

[5] https://www.snacknation.com/blog/employee-happiness