In order for a company to function like a well-oiled machine, all the constituent parts must act as one—from CEOs to interns, harmony is key. For many employers, a healthy company culture is the most important aspect of running a business. Culture is the spirit and identity of your business, the oil in your well-oiled machine. It can help differentiate you from similar companies, and sometimes even attract business and new opportunities. Unhealthy company cultures can lead to fragmentation, low morale, and high turnover.
Many of Seattle’s budding businesses take great pride in creating fun and unique work environments that encourage positive team interactions. But it isn’t the number of beers on tap or the fancy fitness facilities that create culture—it’s the people. In company outings, in mentorships and off-sites, in team happy hours and morning stand-ups, the people in a workplace create a system of support and unity. At Killer Infographics, we developed a set of values that guides the way we do business and helps define our culture.
Establishing a set of values is a long company-wide process, but having a shared understanding of team goals and principles is a great place to start. Our advice? Start with the basics—here are three tips to help build or improve and maintain a healthy company culture:
Keep it fun
This tip may go without saying, but allowing time for fun in the office helps relieve anxiety and boost morale. From team-building activities to pro pet policies, there are a number of ways to make work fun. The important thing to remember is to choose what’s right for your company.
Teamwork is key
While the individual skills and talents of your your employees can take your business far, teamwork will take it to the next level. Teamwork encourages productivity, and more importantly helps strengthen relationships between coworkers. Developing a system of accountability is a great way to get everyone on the same page, provide help, and encourage individuals to help others.
Building and Maintaining Trust
One of the most important aspects of any company culture is trust. Just like in personal relationships, standing by your words and actions is paramount. Establishing a culture of trust is simple, but it can be difficult to repair if broken. If a breach of trust does occur, be transparent, take immediate steps to create an open dialogue, and work as a team to correct the problem.