Motivation

What Makes a Successful Company Culture?

When conducting a 2017 study on successful company cultures, Entrepreneur and Culture IQ rated companies on these 10 categories: communication, support, collaboration, agility, wellness, mission and value alignment, work environment, performance focus, and responsibility.

These values strengthen your employees and how they see the company. You may notice that they focus on more than the company’s profitability or how hard the employees work. Naturally, these are important for your bottom line. But the bottom line in your company culture is just that: at the bottom.

Building a Strong Company Culture

How can you apply these pillars to your own company?

Focus on making your employees feel supported and encouraged, with good communication between all parties to foster trust and cooperation. Remember that younger generations especially like to feel trusted, challenged, and mentored. They might not want to stay and invest in your company if they feel easily dismissed or that there is a lack of trust on either side.

Build a good work environment for your employees as well–one that is safe, comfortable, and conducive to work. And remember to add in fun! Employees like something to look forward to or celebrate, like holidays or team lunches. These shatter the risk of monotony that can wear down anyone.

As you work on this, understand that a healthy work environment is more than just physical; every employee should feel at ease coming to an atmosphere of communication, partnership, and trust rather than drudgery or hostility. No one should dread coming to work!

Remember that money and other perks alone aren’t sufficient motivators. If you tie employee performance or company value solely to money, you can create an undesirable company culture and risk high turnover among employees who want more than simply higher pay.

A Culture of Values

As you build your company culture, find ways to incorporate specific values into your work environment. Zappos, for example, has 10 core values that build an extremely healthy culture. And not all of them are bland, boring cop-outs; these are well-thought-out values that a new hire could be proud to incorporate.

Does your company have values (such as company goals or standards) that apply to everyone, from the CEO or franchisor to a brand-new hire? Hold everyone to the same standards of a company goal and values. This will help every employee feel important, especially if you can show how their work–even if it’s small or menial–contributes to the overall success of your business. Millennials especially can be disheartened by “meaningless” work that seems to have no direct relation to the health of the company.

Hire Smart

Don’t just hire anyone who could do the job. When selecting a new hire, decide how they will fit into your company culture. Do they already have a head start on the values you’re using to drive your business? Will they improve your business and not just fill a role? Also, how will they work with your current team? These are attributes Twitter uses to hire their team members.

 

Your business is more than numbers or an arrow on a graph showing your profits. Work now to instill a healthy company culture throughout, from your corporate headquarters to the newest, smallest franchise. Your business will thank you later, with less turnover and a more attractive environment for new employees.

Motivating with More than Money

A lot of businesses motivate their employees with financial incentives. But are they as effective as they seem? The Harvard Business Review conducted a study on incentive pay and its correlation to employee satisfaction. It showed that, surprisingly, employees aren’t always motivated by money. At least, not long-term.

Employees can feel less commitment to the company and to its goals if their only incentive is money. This is in part because pay is not even throughout a company, and depends largely on status and position.

Tying benefits to the company’s profitability can backfire especially. This is because, though employees contribute to the company’s success, they can’t control all factors, especially if your business is struggling. Again, using profit-based compensation is uneven through a company and doesn’t always correspond to the amount of work being done.

You’ll need instead to create a strong company culture with constructive feedback and respect between you and employees. Here are our tips for motivating your employees with more than money.

Giving Direction

Your employees will want to understand how their day-to-day activities contribute to the company’s goals. No one likes to feel replaceable or unimportant. So show them how even their small tasks help the company run efficiently.

However, if you can’t find a reason to do these small tasks or a reason why an employee contributes to your company’s success, you might consider asking yourself if you need that position or task filled.

Use Verbal Recognition

When you talk to your employees, is it only to make small talk or to reprimand? Or do you offer praise as well? Verbal praise is important for motivating employees. This is especially true with millennials, who want plenty of feedback.

Offer specific praise and compliments when you do. Name what it is they did well, and how this helps the company specifically. This goes back to helping your employees understand how their day-to-day work drives the company’s goals.

Public recognition can also do a lot to motivate your employees. Bring up their accomplishments at meetings, whether through an announcement or with a certificate of some kind.

Hold Friendly Competitions

One great way to encourage your employees to get excited about a project or a new goal is to combine it with competition. Try to encourage your company to meet a goal or come up with a new product or process that betters your business. You can divide your employees up into teams or let them fly solo–whichever you feel will foster more enthusiasm. Of course, competition should come with a prize! Make sure it’s going to be worth the effort without draining away your newly-found success.

Motivate With Consequences

Some employees will tick differently than others. Different personalities motivate hard work with avoiding punishment, rather than chasing a reward. Make sure that you outline consequences for specific actions–or the lack thereof.

This is not to say you should use consequences alone. Carrots work best in tandem with a stick, but if you use a stick by itself, you may chase away employees just as fast as if you didn’t use any incentives.

 

How have you motivated your employees? What’s worked for you and your business? We’d love to hear your motivation tips.