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    Written by Theo Kingshott

    How to Create a Great Company Culture in Your Office

    Plenty of experts have agreed over the years that having a great company culture is a vital element of a firm’s success. But what can you do to make your company culture great in your own office space? Below, we’ve put together some advice on company culture and given a few tips on what you can do to transform your workplace from the inside out.

    What is Company Culture?

    Company culture, which we’ve also called organisational culture in the past, is a shared collection of values, practices, ideas, and expectations that your business follows and that help to make your company what it is. Each should regularly be demonstrated by members of your team in order to improve performance.

    Having this system in place and developing a good company culture could even lead to a rise in your reputation, among customers and clients as well as those who work in your industry.

    Company Culture Examples

    There are a few places you can look to if you want to see examples of great company culture at work, before you put your own firm to the test and start to make changes. These examples will come from a variety of industries and business types, but we’ve listed just a few of the most famous names on the internet so you can see how a successful company right at the top of the brand hierarchy may create a culture that works for everyone employed there:

    Shopify

    This well-known online shopping platform has boosted productivity by creating a software program known as “UNICORN”. It allows their team members to offer recognition to other team members, acting as a kind of virtual “high-five”. As their employees receive recognition they feel appreciated and encouraged.

    Twitter

    Twitter didn’t become one of the world’s most successful and popular social media platforms by itself. The company behind the bluebird had to work its way up, and part of that involved treating its employees well. This continues even into the present day, as their workers reap the benefits of health and fitness classes, rooftop meetings, and continued education through Twitter University. They’re also open with their employees and encourage feedback at all levels of management in designated meetings.

    Google

    The world’s number one search engine has a strong company culture in place, and caring for their employees is high in their list of priorities. From offering free meals and gyms to parks and dog-friendly work environments, they listen to what their employees would like and they make sure it becomes a reality. Their offices are even equipped with fun, quirky design features, such as slides instead of staircases.

    But it isn’t all fun and games in the Google offices ‒ company perks that might sound more familiar also include employee social gatherings, open presentations from high-ranking executives, and financial bonuses.

    Netflix

    This streaming service giant might have started as a small mail-order DVD rental service, but its popularity and use has skyrocketed with the help of a commonsense approach to treating its employees. The company doesn’t operate on a set of extensive rules and processes, but focuses instead on increasing employee responsibility and freedom. For example, the company would put emphasis in what an employee has done in the hours they’ve worked, rather than the number of hours they’ve spent working.

    Some of these may seem like large steps if your company is only just starting out, but there are other things you can do to build up a great company culture that will see your business reach new heights of success.

    What Company and Organisational Culture is Not

    There are different types of company culture, and it’s important not to confuse any of these types with your company goals or mission statement. These can help you to define your corporate culture, but a great culture can only truly be developed if the work put into it is authentic.

    You should also be sure that you’re not only focusing on adding more perks and benefits to the job while everything else stays the same. A more social atmosphere, nice financial bonuses, and presentations from bosses are all impressive elements to add, but sometimes the real work is seen in how bosses respond to customer demands, or how management handles corrections when an employee makes a mistake.

    Any type of culture your company chooses to practice will rely on its workers, and it’s only natural that you’ll be looking for new employees that are a “culture fit” for your firm. However, it’s also important not to use this as a system for measuring all your candidates ‒ hiring new talent who can bring a new perspective to the table can also be vital to the health of your business!

    Why is Having a Great Company Culture Important?

    The nature of your company culture has an impact on every part of your business, and the better it is the more likely your firm is to be successful. Types of corporate cultures may vary, depending on the business itself, but finding one which works for everyone is more likely to leave your employees feeling comfortable, supported, and valued in their roles. In turn, an employee who feels these things is also more likely to feel respected and is more likely to speak up if they are experiencing any problems.

    Great company culture has also repeatedly been shown to attract new talent, as well as to retain current employees. When surveyed, it was revealed that over three-quarters of job-seekers want to know what a company’s culture is like when considering a position at a new firm. It’s also been discovered that over half of a workforce would be willing to change jobs to something which paid less if they found the company offered a better culture.

    Added Benefits of Having a Great Company Culture

    There are also a number of other benefits you’ll find by adding to and building up a great company culture:

    • Increased satisfaction in your employees leads to an increase in productivity and quality of services provided
    • The increase in productivity and quality of the work provided should increase customer and client satisfaction
    • Increased customer and client satisfaction is likely to ensure their return for more of your services, and may even lead to more business via word of mouth
    • A well-defined mission, set of corporate values, and vision from your firm should support your employees’ abilities to make better decisions that align with what you have in mind for your company’s goals
    • Your employees are more likely to find a healthy work-life balance, especially through company culture-related perks such as the ability to work from home or taking flexible hours
    • It will improve your company reputation as a whole

    What You Can do to Change Your Company Culture

    You may not yet have the money or resources available to give your employees the workplace that Google sets up for its own workforce, but there are a few steps and measures you can take to start building up and changing your company culture for the better:

    Recognise contributions from all team members

    It’s been found that up to 76% of employees don’t feel especially recognised by their employers, but doing this can have a massive impact, not only on the mental health of your workers but on the company as a whole. By regularly recognising your employees’ work and work culture-related accomplishments, both socially and financially, they will see how their work contributes to the running of your firm and start to feel their importance on your team.

    Let your employees have a voice

    Encouraging your employees to speak up and offer honest feedback is essential, as this builds trust and allows for change which, in turn, lets workers feel more fulfilled in the workplace.

    Forge connections in your team

    Allowing employees to bond and encouraging collaboration are effective ways of making them feel like part of a team and promoting communication. Managing team building activities (even remotely, such as by hosting Zoom quizzes) and looking for shared personal interests between members of your team help to do this, and can promote new understanding and empathy between colleagues.

    Make management and leaders cultural advocates

    By ensuring your management team is prioritising company culture in everything that they do, openly discussing culture and values, and incorporating feedback from employees, you will be ensuring they are exemplifying the culture you want to see in your workplace and in your team members.

    Live and work by your company values

    Intricately weaving your company’s values into every part of your business will keep them at the core. This includes making sure they’re present in your support terms as well, from your HR policies and benefits programmes to out-of-office initiatives, such as volunteering. These should then be recognised by your employees, customers and clients, and other partner businesses.

    Personalise the experience for your employees

    Find out and focus on the ways you can help each member of your team connect with your company culture, treating them with the same care you’d show your customers or clients. By finding out more about what they value and learning what their ideal corporate culture looks like, you can adapt your practices to suit what they’d like.

    Have a focus on learning and development

    The most successful companies are the ones that have a team that’s consistently learning, and that invest heavily in staff development. By introducing training initiatives, coaching, and providing your employees with a range of new responsibilities, you’ll be showing your team that you’re prepared to help them succeed.

    Advice Around Changing or Building on Culture

    It’s important to carefully manage any change or building work is done around a company’s existing culture, because if it fails there can be a number of repercussions. These include impacts on the company market position, engagement, and retention of employees.

    There are a number of problems that will have to be avoided or resolved before change can occur successfully. Some practical solutions which may help you to successfully build on or adapt your company culture include:

    Avoiding fuss around the change

    Announcing your intentions may cause your employees to worry unnecessarily. If you start the process off by making small changes and taking time out to talk to your team in small groups about the need for change, along with any challenges you may face or possibilities for the future, you are more likely to put them at ease.

    Convey the need for change to the whole organisation

    Instead of only telling management and high-level employees, you should ensure that all your team members are aware of the need for change. You should also use stories and anecdotes that allow employees of every level to connect with the need for and purpose behind the changes you’re making. By doing this, you’ll be helping them to understand the benefits, so they focus on these rather than on the challenges that may come up as a result.

    Use your current resources to your advantage

    Ensure that the leaders of your networks and resource groups are involved in the implementation of the new company culture.

    There are also a number of “dos” and “don’ts” which we highly recommend management teams and other leaders follow in the workplace:

    Do:

    • Come with a clear vision, direction, and purpose in mind for your company
    • Promote this new, clear vision to your workforce
    • Notify key stakeholders of the decision and the direction you now have
    • Encourage employees to be attentive to the needs and wants of the stakeholders
    • Define the role of your managers as enabling their team and drawing on the capabilities of staff members
    • Work with your existing managers and employees who share your vision to create shared values throughout your firm

    Don’t:

    • Suddenly bring in new managers

    Does Your Company Need a New Address?

    If you own your own business and you know it’s growing in size, you may soon find yourself in need of a larger property to comfortably accommodate all your workers and the equipment you’ll need to carry out your daily tasks. When this happens, why not consider getting in touch with us? We’ll be ready and waiting to help, and we can provide you with a stylish new space in the heart of London.

    Each building is unique in aesthetic and personality as well, so we are more than confident that we can help you find a space that perfectly reflects your company culture. We’ll even be able to offer you a flexible tenancy, so if you ever need more room for your firm, or have to downsize for any reason at all, we can arrange this for you as well.

    Contact us today and we’ll do everything we can to set your business up in the spot that’s perfect for your company culture.

     

    *Reminder: At Halkin, we’re ready and fully prepared to provide clients with virtual office spaces in the time of the pandemic, offering a working solution on their ideal platform so their businesses can continue to run as they need. To find out more about what we’re doing to handle COVID-19, please get in touch with our team.