We read constantly about the importance of having a great company culture, but how exactly are we supposed to accomplish this? I think one very important factor in improving the culture of an organization is by spreading a feeling of ownership among its employees.
You’re passionate about your business because you’re centered on ensuring the business’ success. You have an investment in the future of your company. Once an organization grows past a certain point, the majority of employees probably won’t have that sense of a proprietary attitude. A great way to boost a positive culture in a company is to give employees a sense of ownership so that they also have a vested interest in the successful future of the organization.
Give some control back to the employees: Let your employees shine. Give them responsibility and let them stand up. Don’t micromanage every little move. If you take a step back and let your employees manage certain projects or decisions, they will become invested in the success of their project. This creates a sense of ownership. When they have a horse in the race, the outcome will be important to them too.
Treat your employees the way that you’d want to be treated: No one is going to boost morale by treating anyone like dirt. Give the respect that you expect to get and consider what you’d want as an employee yourself. If you’re skimping on benefits, never offering raises or bonuses, etc. your employees might not care about the long term of the company because they don’t see themselves long term in the type of environment you’ve created. What kind of environment would you thrive in as an employee? What kind of environment would cause the opposite reaction?
Weed out the bad apples so they don’t affect your strong employees: Not every hire is a great hire. Sometimes improving the culture of a company ultimately leads to the termination of one or two who are bringing everyone else down. You don’t want one person to bring down everyone else (whether this is through a bad attitude, underachieving, poor performance, etc). Make your strong employees a priority.
Each of these points is an example of how to make your employees feel like they are an important and connected piece of your organization. This works leaps and bounds towards creating a sense of ownership among employees, which translates to a boost in a successful company culture.
What approaches have you used to improving your organization’s culture? What has worked? What has failed?