How to Maintain Company Culture (And Why It Matters)
Our latest blog series has focused on the importance of building a strong organizational culture and how to achieve your company goals. But once you’ve established the culture you want and rolled it out to employees, what are the next steps? How can you keep the momentum going?
This guide will outline how to maintain your company culture and why it matters after the policies and processes have been put into place.
Why Maintaining Your Culture Matters
When you invest time and resources into establishing a desired culture, it’s worth keeping up with the efforts. Otherwise, employees may see any organizational changes as temporary or fleeting, rather than things that define the company and what it stands for in its business efforts.
Follow-through is a significant component of the importance of maintaining your organizational culture, but it’s not the only reason to do so. When you have a strong culture in your workplace, you can enjoy benefits like:
- Better employee retention
- Improved innovation and creativity
- Higher engagement rates
- Adaptability in your workforce
- Easier hiring
How to Nurture and Sustain Organizational Culture
As you work toward maintaining a positive culture, the following steps can help you keep the momentum flowing within your organization.
Continually assess the current culture
Organizational culture isn’t a “set it and forget it” situation – it requires ongoing assessment for success and areas of improvement. Consider ways to request continuous feedback from those adopting the processes and policies on a regular basis, such as pulse surveys or anonymous assessments. You can use the information gleaned from these sources to identify areas of improvement.
Lead by example
Leading by example is a must when it comes to maintaining a consistent culture throughout departments and levels. Your company leaders play a significant role in the overall atmosphere of the workplace. If they strive to nurture a positive and supportive culture when interacting with employees, the trickle-down effect can be visible throughout.
Other ways to lead by example include encouraging teamwork and collaboration and demonstrating a clear commitment to the values. Leaders should also foster open communication and transparency to support employees and encourage them to share their opinions.
Look for cultural fits when hiring
When seeking to fill open positions, it’s important to look for how each candidate would align with the culture. As you develop your company’s hiring practices, integrate cultural fit into that process. And when employees have joined the team, ensure the onboarding process provides an immersive experience, preparing new hires for their roles while emphasizing the importance of the culture.
As you continue to build and strengthen your company culture, look for ways to connect employees in ways that will benefit them personally and professionally. If you have staff members who serve as brand or culture ambassadors, pair them with new hires to provide insights into what they love about the organization and their unique roles.
Mentorship programs can also benefit all involved, increasing growth and development opportunities while fostering connections at work. The popular Gallup workplace survey includes a question about having a best friend at work, and for good reason. Those who feel close to someone in the workplace have access to emotional and social support. According to the survey, companies with high levels of positive responses to this question have better business outcomes, including improved productivity, higher retention rates, and better engagement.
Invest in continuous development
Investing in continuous development is one of the best ways to maintain your culture, as it demonstrates the value of each employee and their ability to progress in their career. By offering professional growth and learning opportunities, you can also encourage team members to increase their skills and perform better in their roles.
Look for other ways to develop and support employees, such as by holding regular evaluations offering ongoing feedback. Recognize and reward those who live the culture and support the mission and vision of the organization.
Prioritize work-life balance and well-being
The cornerstone of a positive and supportive culture is proper work-life balance. Make sure your organization prioritizes balance and mental health support, as well as provides flexibility in the work environment to ensure employees can take time away from work. If possible, consider offering a hybrid schedule to cut down on commuting and give staff members a bit more time at home.
Another aspect of prioritizing employee well-being involves offering access to wellness and stress management initiatives. Throughout the various stages of life, people go through different situations, both personally and professionally. These challenges are often easier to navigate when individuals have access to the resources they need to manage stress and work through problems.
Adapt to change without losing culture
Change is inevitable, but how your company adapts to organizational growth or other shifts will determine whether the culture remains intact. Look for opportunities to assess changes in the workplace and how those impact the culture and mission of the organization overall.
Address challenges and conflicts head-on
Of course, not every employee will embody and support the desired culture every day. It’s vital to address challenges with individuals head-on, nipping toxic behaviors as soon as possible. Encourage constructive dialogue between team members who may struggle or actively go against the policies of the workplace. Identify ways to resolve concerns and work through difficulties as they arise. You can also learn from the challenges you face among team members to build a stronger, more supportive culture.
As you continue to put effort into maintaining a positive atmosphere in your workplace, you can reap the benefits that come with a strong culture. Remember that cultivating the overall aims and goals of your business won’t happen overnight. You can nurture a supportive culture that encourages employees to communicate and innovate while feeling empowered and included.
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