It's likely you've heard about the positive impact a healthy corporate culture can have on your company. But perhaps it seems so obvious that you haven't stopped to really think about the subtle connection between your company’s culture and its profitability.
Good company culture doesn’t just result in a workforce that enjoys hanging out with each other, but also increased talent, higher retention, increased efficiency and more innovative ideas. Ultimately success in all these areas lead to increased revenue. Culture is certainly something to have your eye on, and with so many different factors contributing it's important to understand where some of the influence comes from.
Management Style: Accountability vs. Micromanagement
As a leader, it's likely you arrived at your position after years of hard work. Your ambition and motivation can make it difficult to delegate tasks and trust team members to complete them properly. But research has shown the dangers of micromanaging, and as hard as it might be, it's best to let go. If you've gone through the process of training qualified candidates, let them do what you hired them to do and then hold them accountable later for mistakes.
A healthy culture encourages employees to be driven, motivated and self-sufficient whenever possible. Holding people accountable fosters trust, the desire to do things well, and gives you more time to focus on growing the business.
Office Environment: Privacy vs. Open Office
This is one area that isn’t so black and white. Corporate America is in debate on whether the trendy open office layout is actually better than the traditional cubicle model. Certain studies suggest productivity challenges can arise, as open layouts compromise privacy and open the doors to more distraction. However, this environment can work well if employees are encouraged to be mobile throughout the day. If the work requires a lot of collaboration, an open office design might make more sense. In other situations, a more private setting might be best. Every workplace is different, and this one might be worth doing some research under your own roof, and planning accordingly.
Dress Code: Casual vs. Business Dress
Employee dress code is a vital part of your company’s culture. Why? Because in most, if not all industries, appearance is extremely important. Companies making frequent client visits benefit from embracing a business-casual dress code, whereas other working professionals might be better off in more relaxed attire. When it comes to your bottom line, it’s easy to see why a professional appearance will work in your favor with clients, and also how a laid-back dress code can boost team morale. Use your best judgement, but beware of taking it too far. Some studies have shown what a person is wearing can impact their alertness, leading some to believe in lower productivity output with too casual of dress.
Development: Annual Review vs. Real-time Feedback
The consensus of past workforce generations was to dread traditional annual employee reviews. Today, the millennial workforce thrives, and even looks forward to, having their performance constructively criticized. Employee feedback and development should be a key aspect of your company's culture. The ability for a manager to address an employee’s weakness, while also fostering their strengths, increases that employee’s engagement at with their work and the company.
Schedule: Standard vs. Flexible Hours
Do you find your employees are constantly checking the clock, or waiting for 5pm to roll around? It may sound counter-productive, but some companies have found that allowing flexible work hours has actually increased productivity. By allowing them to get work done on time as they see fit, employees feel they are being trusted by their company. This allows for a greater work/life balance and overall higher moral, leading to a healthier workforce.
It’s important to understand that as a leader, you play a vital role in molding your company’s culture. Consider the the preferences for the types of people you employ to foster a happy and more productive environment.