As the Great Resignation hit full swing in 2021, one thing quickly became quite clear: today’s employees simply won’t stand for a toxic work culture. By leaving their positions en masse, the workforce collectively stated they will no longer cruise toward total burnout by holding stressful, unrewarding jobs.
Instead, the vast majority of employees are seeking employment with organizations that champion the same values as their own, and that appropriately support career growth and offer incentives to make work worth their while. They’re also eyeing companies with flexible work formats, preferably supported by high-tech virtual venues.
With this in mind, can you confidently say your company is up to snuff? If not, then it’s definitely time to begin creating a positive work culture designed to attract and retain top talent. Here’s how to get started.
What is Workplace Culture?
Workplace culture is your company’s personality, atmosphere, and driving force. Your mission, vision, and values set the vibe, but work culture goes beyond this. Over time, the attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs at every level of your workforce effectively establish the overall work environment. A work culture can be healthy or toxic, depending on how you run your business.
In a healthy workplace culture, employees own their projects and managers celebrate their efforts. They enjoy flexible work formats and easily collaborate with their peers using a virtual event platform. In a toxic workplace culture, micromanagement is the norm, employees are motivated by a fear of repercussions, and a strict onsite work format is enforced.
Positive Work Culture Benefits
When you put in the effort to create a great workplace culture, your company will gain many benefits, such as:
A boost in productivity, efficiency, and work quality at every level of employment
Better employee engagement, resulting in a more passionate, connected workforce
Higher employee retention rates, which create a more cohesive work environment
Increasing your employee retention rates can save you money, too. When you have to replace an employee, it costs your company one half to two times their annual salary. Contributing to these costs: the loss of productivity in the unfilled role, the hit to your existing employees’ morale, recruitment, onboarding, and any necessary training for the new employee.
So, it makes sense to cultivate a positive company culture, and your efforts will pay dividends as you reduce costs while boosting revenues. Plus, your company will earn a reputation as a fantastic place to work, driving top talent your way without any extra effort on your part.
How to Create an Excellent Workplace Culture
Want to enjoy all the benefits of creating a positive work culture? Just follow these steps.
Identify your Company’s Mission, Vision, and Values
Your organization’s mission, vision, and values should inspire employees to work together to achieve your company goals and establish a foundation for your workplace culture. Write your mission statement first. In one brief sentence, answer why your company exists. What is its primary purpose? Then, define your vision by outlining what your company hopes to achieve. Although you undoubtedly have big plans for the future, try to describe your goals in just one sentence. Finally, define your values by outlining the beliefs, ethics, and principles that will guide your everyday operations. This is where you can list all the ways you’ll serve as a great source of support for your employees and aid in their career success. Don’t forget to also highlight your desired approach toward your customers and the community.
Share your Expectations and Promote Accountability
A positive work culture starts with setting clear expectations for all employees and establishing true accountability for performance and behaviors. A lack of accountability can erode trust at every level and eventually create a hostile workplace.
Make sure every employee has agency in their role at the company. Share their target performance metrics and explain how their metrics align with team goals and organizational goals. Beyond this, the employees should also understand how meeting their objectives will contribute to their career success. Next, empower each employee to make decisions that enable them to perform as expected in their role, and guarantee they have all the necessary tools and resources to ensure success.
As far as behavioral expectations go, communicate your company’s behavioral expectations and then hold employees accountable for their day-to-day behavior. Examples of behavioral expectations include professionalism, respect, honesty, and integrity to name a few.
Create the Right Compensation Package for Every Role
Employees want to feel like a valuable part of the team, and this begins with a competitive compensation package. For starters, your employees should have salaries at or above the market level. Remember, the ability to land a higher-paying position is the top reason employees leave their jobs.
But pay is not the only way to communicate how much you value each employee. Fringe benefits often matter just as much as the base pay rate. Every benefit you offer adds to the total compensation package, sweetening the deal. In the modern job market, these benefits are considered high value-adds in a full-time employee’s compensation package:
Health, dental, and vision insurance
401k plan with a matched contribution
Tuition and textbook assistance
Group term life insurance
Employee stock options for publicly traded companies
You can also go above and beyond by offering gym memberships, food delivery services, and access to wellness programs.
Cover the Cost of Continuing Education Opportunities
When you truly value your employees, you’re not afraid to help them further their careers. Offering tuition and textbook assistance is a great start, of course, but you can also encourage your employees to attend webinars, seminars, and industry conferences and to pursue professional certifications. Be sure to cover travel-related expenses as well as the cost of the program and provide paid days off so employees can participate without making sacrifices. Your workplace culture will flourish and you’ll likely increase their loyalty.
Offer Regular Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training
To create an openly collaborative environment, your employees should regularly attend diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training. With a quick search online, you can usually find DEI training companies offering onsite seminars, virtual courses, or hybrid events.
By providing DEI training, all your employees will learn how to identify and challenge their own unconscious biases, and their ability to create a more equitable, inclusive work environment will significantly improve. Peer-to-peer and peer-to-manager relationships will strengthen and you may even see a boost in the quality of your customer service.
Make sure your executives attend the training as well. They can use the lessons to find opportunities to address inclusion- and diversity-related problems within your company infrastructure, such as failing to recognize all holidays equally.
Plan to revisit the DEI training once a year at the very least. You and your employees can significantly benefit from attending the lessons regularly. Annual training also ensures new employees are up-to-speed.
Give your Employees the Ability to Work Remotely
When creating a healthy work culture, you need to allow employees to work remotely when possible. Often, productivity increases when employees have the opportunity to work where they prefer. The arrangement helps reduce burnout, too, which usually comes from long commutes and even longer hours in the office. Also, employees can save up to $4,000 per year on work expenses such as gas, public transportation, and vehicle maintenance, further bolstering your competitive compensation package.
In today’s high-tech world, virtual event solutions make it easy to recreate an office environment online. Consider building a virtual workspace that mirrors your office space, where employees can meet and collaborate online, attend training, and even visit in virtual breakrooms.
Engage and Entertain Employees
Ideally, your employees are putting their all into their work. So, why not give back? One way to significantly impact morale is to schedule engagement opportunities and entertainment. For example, you could offer:
Team lunch outings to popular restaurants in the region
Onsite team-building exercises that promote trust, loyalty, and friendship
Work retreats firmly centered around rest and rejuvenation
Company-wide picnics, complete with great food and fun activities for all ages
If most of your team is working remotely, you will have to think outside the box. Fortunately, this can be easy with a virtual event platform on your side. The right virtual event technology will feature sophisticated event tech integrations, which let you create exciting virtual events, such as virtual concerts and comedy shows, for your employees to enjoy.
Don’t leave your employees’ family and friends out of the equation either. Regularly allow your employees to bring a +1 (or more!) to these events to create more connections with your company.
Encourage Employees to Take Time Off from Work
Nowadays, it is common for companies to attract employees with promises of unlimited PTO. Usually, this would be a good thing, but some firms make it impossible to actually take advantage of this benefit. Ultra-full schedules, tight deadlines, and minimal cross-training can impede an employee’s ability to take time off. In the end, this creates a toxic work environment. You have to not only offer adequate time off but also encourage your employees to use it.
Remain Highly Receptive to Employee Feedback
The last thing you want to do when creating or improving your company culture is land in an echo chamber. It is best to solicit feedback beyond your executive team. Otherwise, you’ll miss opportunities to address problems and improve the workplace.
Although it’s best to have an open-door policy with your employees, you often need to go beyond this approach to get candid feedback. Similarly, a drop box for questions, comments, and concerns can prove helpful, but it’s not usually adequate. Instead, consider using virtual event products to build an anonymous chat space, where everyone can easily share their concerns with you directly.
Start Building a Positive Work Culture Today
If you want to build a positive work culture, now is the time to get started, and 6Connex is here to help. Whether you’re bringing remote teams together or creating fun virtual events to build morale, our virtual event platform is used by some of the world’s most well-recognized employers. To get started, request a virtual event platform demo, and we’ll walk you through all the ways our digital venue can work for you.