All companies possess a unique workplace culture. Some companies promote an informal team-based environment, while others are masters of a traditional and formal approach. Google, for example, frequently ranks as one of the best places to work in the world. Why? The tech giant prioritizes its employees by promoting a fun and relaxed work environment. This creates an enviable workplace culture enabling Google to attract and keep the brightest minds in the industry.
Culture shapes how things get done, how employees interact with one another and how people behave. It’s a combination of the values, beliefs, vision, systems, and habits that an organization and its employees share.
However, building a positive company culture takes high levels of trust, transparency and a lot of listening. Instead of allowing your organization’s culture to develop itself, take a proactive approach to create a positive culture where your employees thrive. By introducing feedback methods or tools, you can begin to collect the information that reinforces desired behaviors and beliefs, ultimately shaping a positive culture that reflects your business.
Let’s take a look at how employee feedback can help define a positive company culture.
1. Create Office Dynamic
The experience your employee has in your office environment can play a major role in defining your culture, and significantly impact an employee’s performance and productivity. Your office space should reflect the values and personality of your organization. For example, Apple values innovation, creativity, and collaboration. The new $5 billion office space, Apple Park, has been designed with culture in mind, to encourage collaboration between different departments, share ideas with co-workers and build an open working environment.
While many different factors can impact employee experience, creating a physical work environment that encompasses your organization’s personality will help define your culture. And involving your employees in these decisions will help create a workspace your employees enjoy coming to.
To do this, consider your key values. And ask your employees what would assist them in living out these values in the workplace. If you’re re-designing the office, create a survey to gather feedback on the new designs. For instance, if you value creativity, what elements of the office will help each team member thrive? Relaxation pods might be used to foster creativity, whereas standing desks or exercise balls can be used to promote health and employee well-being. Your employee’s ideas are valuable, and they will appreciate being involved in the decision-making process.
2. Identify New Policies and Procedures
Company policies and procedures establish expectations of both an employee and employer. They are there to provide guidance and direction on different workplace situations, and closely reflect the values of an organization. While many policies and procedures are non-negotiable, there is always room for improvement and addition of new policies to further define your culture. And who could be better positioned to provide feedback than your employees?
A great routine to establish is to regularly ask your employees how a policy or procedure could be improved to enhance the company culture. You might be surprised by the fresh perspective your employees have. Pet-friendly offices are a terrific example of employee lead policy, with more businesses now recognizing the potential animals have in boosting morale and productivity. Pets are proven to promote a positive mood, relieve stress and can even improve physical health. Some of the world’s most well-known companies, including Google have implemented policies that allow employees to bring their dog to work.
When implementing an innovative policy, you will want to gather feedback from each employee to ascertain whether the policy has been a success and whether any small changes need to be made. Is anyone allergic to dogs?
One of the best ways to determine the success of a new policy is through feedback surveys. If ‘Slack’ is the primary means of communication within your organization, you can easily use Polly to create quick surveys, allowing your employees to provide regular feedback and ascertain what is and isn’t working.
3. Build Transparency
Transparency within an organization can build trust and provide the foundation for excellent employee teamwork. It can enhance productivity, boost morale and show employees that you value them. In a transparent company, employees know what’s happening around them, and they feel more involved. However, transparency shouldn’t just be from top to bottom. It needs to work both ways, with employees able to voice their opinion to management, knowing it will be shared and valued.
So, how do you build a culture of transparency? A good way to do this is through a suggestion poll. Recurring polls can be easily implemented on a weekly schedule, and provide an opportunity for employees to speak up and share feedback on current projects, corporate decisions or anything else they wish to bring up.
4. Create an Environment of Continual Development
Ongoing learning helps employees continuously improve. This not only benefits workers as they develop new skills, but it creates opportunities for you to improve your bottom line. As employees find better ways to work, the company as a whole can develop systems/processes that refine the efficiency and effectiveness of your operations. It also increases employee satisfaction and lets them know you don’t think of them as just another cog in the machine.
Workplace learning culture begins with the managers. Training initiatives should be reinforced and formalized with development plans and regular feedback. If your employees aren’t benefiting from the training, there is no point in doing it. Set up regular polls to evaluate the effectiveness of the training. You may find that your employees know a particular topic very well, but struggle with another. Shift and adapt according to the feedback you receive and ensure everyone in your organization is continuously learning.
Develop a Positive Company Culture
A company’s culture can’t be formed overnight, but by harnessing employee feedback, you’ll begin to define and shape your company’s culture over the following weeks, months and years. Even the notion of encouraging employee feedback supports a positive culture, as it can show that your company values and respects the input and opinions of its employees.
Leave a comment and tell us how you use employee feedback to shape a positive company culture!