Company culture plays an increasingly important part in business success. After all, the modern employee is looking for more than just a lucrative compensation package. So, in order to attract top talent, you need to adopt the kind of culture that makes you an attractive employer.
Furthermore, company culture can also impact employee engagement. That’s why taking stock of your company culture and ensuring that it’s no longer on autopilot is a task to set yourself as soon as possible.
What’s Wrong with Autopilot?
Automation is not necessarily a bad practice. In fact, there are numerous processes, like data entry or email follow-ups, that would certainly benefit from it. However, company culture isn’t an aspect of your business that falls into that category.
Autopilot mode should only be considered when it helps your business grow and when it takes the mundane or the repetitive off your hands. For example, if you are running an Amazon FBA business, there are tasks you should certainly consider automating. Various aspects of marketing and customer service can also be taken off your daily list.
When it comes to improving your company culture, here’s what you should consider instead:
Invest in Your HR Department from the Start
You might think that your team is too small for you to set up an HR department, but that is practically never the case. Even if you’re a part of a two-person team, talking about the way you work, your relationship, and how you want to feel at work can significantly improve your performance.
As your company starts to grow, there will come a time when it’s crucial to set up an HR department. If you have laid some groundwork previously, you will have a much easier time determining what your values and vision are, and you will already have done a fine job of attracting just the right kind of people.
Provide a Purpose
Going to work every day and working on the same kinds of things is bound to become boring and tedious at some point, no matter how much a person loves their job. However, when they feel they have a specific purpose or that they are working towards a specific goal, they will feel more motivated, even when things get tough.
When defining your purpose, don’t forget about the human factor. Offer your employees something they genuinely care about. Make coming to the office about more than just a paycheck, and stimulate your staff to invest themselves in your common goal.
Ideally, you want your employees to be a part of creating this purpose. Even if you have left it too late and if you already have numerous employees, ask them where they would like the company to go. Ask them what they would like to do and achieve.
The more they are invested in the goal, the more they will invest themselves. Asking for their input is the first step to achieving that.
Communicate, Don’t Micromanage
Companies that foster an inclusive, positive, and uplifting company culture know how to communicate well. And it’s not just about the tools they use for the job.
In order for your employees to feel heard and appreciated, you need to let them be themselves and voice all types of concerns and thoughts (in a respectful manner). No matter how minute a suggestion may seem to you, always listen to what your staff has to say.
Encourage them to listen to each other as well, and make sure everyone knows everyone’s name. At the very least, they need to be able to check a company document that will tell them who is responsible for what and whom to turn to with an issue.
Make sure you also refrain from micromanaging and provide plenty of autonomy. This will demonstrate that you trust your people to do their best at all times and that they have the freedom to make the kinds of decisions they feel are the most appropriate in any given situation. They will appreciate you for it.
Now that you know how you can do it, consider taking your company culture off autopilot and start investing in it little by little. You may be surprised just how quickly you see some positive results.
Author: Sarah Kaminski – freelance writer and social media marketer