Employees participating in meeting
From defining your company's goals to maintaining open lines of communication, there are many ways business owners can foster a positive company culture. — Getty Images

As a business owner, it’s your job to offer your workers a stimulating and supportive environment for your employees so they can feel inspired and encouraged each day. Here’s everything you need to know about creating the perfect company culture for your team.

[Read: Motivating Your Employees Means Understanding What Drives Them: Here's How to Figure It Out]

What is company culture?

Company culture involves the way employees interact and work with one another, including their missions, values, ethics and collective behaviors. Think of it as your company’s personality.

There are many types of company cultures (e.g., collaborative versus independent), and the best one for you depends on the type of work environment you hope to create. While there are certainly some negative cultures, like hostile environments that breed stress and burnout, there’s really no “right” or “wrong.”

Why is it important?

Your company’s culture will directly impact your employees’ attitudes and productivity. If you cultivate a hostile work environment, your workers will be more prone to stress and anxiety, affecting their performance and your turnover rate.

On the other hand, if you make a conscious effort to create a supportive and engaging culture for your team, they’ll feel more motivated and confident in their work. This will breed collaboration, creativity and efficiency.

[Read: Employee Retention: How to Keep Your Best Employees Happy]

It’s your job to offer your workers a stimulating and supportive environment.

How to create a positive culture

There are many ways to help strengthen your company culture. Here are a few that work best:

Define your company’s values and goals

Your company’s values and goals are the backbone of your culture. Once you clearly define them, you’ll have a better idea of what your company is, and how your employees can both compliment and benefit from it.

Hire for your culture

Your company culture starts with your hiring decisions. Some applicants will not be a good fit for your company, and that’s not always a negative reflection on them or your business. For instance, if your company emphasizes teamwork and an applicant prefers to work independently, you might choose someone who works better in group settings. Make sure you hire employees whose values and goals match your company’s.

Maintain open communication

Great communication is essential to ensuring all employees at every level are on the same page. Host town halls, schedule frequent team meetings as well as one-on-ones and always be available for employees’ questions and concerns. Additionally, be as transparent of a leader as possible. This will build your workers’ trust in and respect for you.

Focus on engagement

Employees like to feel like they have a purpose in their career; as a manager, it’s your job to give them one. Engage your employees by assigning them work they’re passionate about and guiding them through any task they might be unfamiliar with. Also, eliminate any distractions that might hinder their performance, so they can reach their full potential.

Encourage work-life balance

In today’s always-on work culture, it’s easy for employees to feel overwhelmed. By creating a flexible environment for them, where they don’t have to worry about showing up a few minutes late, leaving early for a child’s soccer game or occasionally working from home (if applicable), they’ll be more energized and motivated. This will lessen their overall stress, so they can both physically and mentally show up to work.

Express your gratitude

If you reward your employees for their hard work, they’ll reward you with their hard work, creating a cycle of respect and appreciation. This can be as simple as saying “thank you” or acknowledging their achievements during a company-wide meeting.

With these tips, you can achieve a positive company culture that complements your business perfectly.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published January 16, 2020