Friday, February 3, 2012

Part 2: Improving the Culture Within Your Company

Earlier this week we explained the reasons why your company’s culture influences your brand. A balanced company culture will have a very beneficial effect on your daily operations and the way the average person views your company. Measuring the cultural health of your company is one thing, but where do you go from there. Below we’ll look into some ideas to improve or give your company a cultural makeover.

The first step is to ask yourself a few questions to get a sense of the “feel” you'd like your organization to have:

  • What attributes do you want your company’s environment to embody? Originality, respectfulness, acceptance, fun, etc.
  • What are the major values or focus of your company? How can you make that prominent in the culture?
  • How is information currently distributed in the company and how does this affect the culture?
  • How are employees currently recognized? 
  • Does the company give everyone a “voice?” Are employees asked to share their ideas and views?

These can result in more questions. To discover answers try brainstorming with your colleagues. Here are some suggestions to get the process started:

Suggestion/Thought box – Providing people with a way to share their thoughts, anonymously or not, makes the culture of a company feel more open. You may learn some significant things that need tweaking and may wish to bring them up in companywide meetings.

Empower employees – Give people control over their jobs by treating them like peers as opposed to peons. You can accomplish this by being more transparent; don’t just communicate when you have successes, tell them when things aren’t going flawlessly. It will develop a team full of mutual support.

Flexible hours – Providing people with some flexibility to get their work done exhibits trust. Trusting them to regulate themselves will lead them to respect you more.

Dress code – Gone are the days of the suit and tie on a daily basis (at least for most fields), so let personnel express themselves with their clothing. This can make them feel free and accepted. Another thought is to have themed clothing days. Examples of this are: wig day, silly t-shirt day, hat day, etc. Let employees make recommendations for themes. A little silly goes a long way.

Celebrate – You're all part of the same business and hopefully share the same goals. Observe this by having a monthly movie day, a team event after work, or a lunch time game day - something fun that gets the group doing something collectively.


Below is a list of things that real companies have done to incorporate some fun to their culture:

  • Spontaneous Nerf gun wars
  • Painting inspirational quotes on the walls
  • Hitting a loud gong when there is a success to let the whole company know
  • Foosball tournaments
  • Lunchtime Yoga
  • Lunchtime Crafting Club
  • Monday Mad Libs, whoever wishes to contribute, does, and then the completed Mad Lib is emailed to the company

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