Three Ways YOU Can Influence Your Company’s Culture
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Alice Walker
In relation to your entire company, it may feel like you do not make a significant impact on company culture. But there is power in every single voice and practical ways YOU can influence your company’s culture for the better. Here are three ways to evaluate your company’s culture and how to suggest practical changes.
First, Define a Vision for Your Company’s Culture
Company culture is commonly defined as a shared set of workplace beliefs, attitudes, values, standards, and practices that determine how a company’s employees and management interact.
From your perspective, what is your current company culture? Answer these guiding questions:
- What are the shared beliefs, attitudes and values of my company?
- What practices are currently set up for how employees and management interact? For example, is my company collaborative? Creative? Inclusive?
- Do our managers treat employees fairly and equally? Do managers give employees autonomy or do they tend to micromanage? Are employees too autonomous?
- Do employees want to come in to work? Do they feel engaged and part of the team? Does the company retain good talent?
Once you take an inventory of your current company culture, think about defining an ideal. Indeed’s Career Guide gives three common attributes of a positive company culture that can be considered:
- Performance: the quality of work produced rather than the hours put in. This includes celebrating the work employees do and recognizing one another’s achievements.
- Autonomy: a belief in an employee’s independence and ability to work on their own. This can be empowering when employees take pride in their own work.
- Passion: the intrinsic motivation employees feel for their work. Are employees connected to the purpose of their work?
Second, Communicate Practical Culture Changes
Once you (or a team of people) clearly see where the current culture is and where it needs to go, the next step is to discuss practical ways to make changes. For this step, you want to include as many people as you can. Brainstorm practical ideas that can affect people working from home, on hybrid schedules, and working in the office. For example, the company could add a fitness room or allow employees to bring pets to work one day a month. These are nice perks but only affect those working in the office. Perks like these can be valuable, but also consider things like making changes in communications. “Employees report feeling like they work in a positive company culture and are more engaged in their work when the leadership team communicates frequently, clearly, and openly about the company’s values, status, trajectory, and performance management,” says Zenefits. “They feel especially valued when they see employee feedback is taken seriously.”
Practical communication change examples include establishing a weekly newsletter that contains updates on goals or progress. Or, better communicating with employees by gathering feedback after projects.
On the team building front, a culture change could be something like establishing a team building event every quarter which all employees attend. Or volunteering in the community as a company.
When presenting change suggestions, you should be positive and focus on the ROI of a great culture. According to a Gallup study, engaged employees outperform their competition. Leadership is always a huge part of any culture change.
Third, Be a Personal Example of Positive Culture
It’s great to work towards broad company culture goals, but even little changes in each person’s attitude can go a long way. You can set yourself apart as an example by doing things like avoiding gossip, speaking positively about the company, and caring about the well-being of other employees. Get to know people personally and celebrate others’ successes. Apply positive psychology principles to make changes like these and you will simultaneously increase your own happiness.
Company culture and toxic work environments are among the top reasons employees leave their jobs. Many companies do not place enough value on the importance of company culture, but each individual can have a huge impact.
-Written exclusively for Artemis Consultants by Business Content Writer Mellody Melville