Company Culture Makes All the Difference by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

As a business leader, you’re no doubt looking for ways to set your organization apart from your competition. One of the best ways to do this is to treat your employees like customers and foster a company culture that makes people proud to be associated with your business.

An ethical business model is a great start to creating the company culture you want. Employees should feel good about the way the company treats customers, and should never be made to feel like they’re misleading the customer.

Employees should feel empowered to speak their minds. An employer who listens to employee ideas will not only have a wealth of ideas to improve business but will also have employees who recognize their own contribution. Recognize contributions, excellent performance, milestones and anniversaries, so that employees know that you notice the good they do.

Employees should always be treated with respect and should always treat each other with respect. An open door policy for airing grievances is important, as is ensuring employees know that harassment or other unwelcome behaviors will not be tolerated. Written human resources policies should be in place, and should be applied fairly.

Next, be sure to create a culture that respects the employee’s private life. Requiring employees to work long hours on a regular basis can reduce their quality of life. An employer who offers regular time off will be rewarded with employees who are eager to do their jobs and who treat the customer with respect. It’s also important to allow employees time off to do the things that need to be done in their personal lives. Employees who know they can miss a couple of hours to attend their child’s dance recital are loyal to the company.

Finally, make sure employees have fun. Create a lighthearted atmosphere in the workplace as much as is feasible. Go on employee outings, and be sure to include the families of employees in activities once or twice a year. Employees who know and like each other will be more productive and happier.

With these ideas in mind, you’re well on your way to creating a corporate culture that attracts and retains the type of employees you desire. Keeping good employees happy makes your business thrive, and ensures you’re a happy business owner, too.