How to Build a Positive Company Culture

Time to Read: 4.7 minutes

Published: January 25, 2023

Whether it’s the typical 9-5, 36.5 hours a week permanent work, or part-time shift work (day or night), contract or temp work, your employees spend most of their waking time at the workplace and interacting with each other. That means company culture colors their working experience and a significant portion of their lives. Enterprises who know how to build a company culture that is positive, collaborative and inclusive can see a 50% decrease in voluntary turnover, 100% more job applications, and lower recruitment costs.

HR leaders who understand what makes a positive company culture will be in a better position to hire at volume and create long-lasting talent pipelines to support all their resourcing needs. For example, companies who have excellent Glassdoor ratings or win Employer Prizes see higher applications and a higher offer acceptance rate.

What is a Good Company Culture?

In general, a company culture can be considered the shared values and motivations that drive a workforce to work together. It can be driven by positive or negative influences.

Positive influences on company culture include open communication, mental health support, work-life balance practices, good equity, diversity and inclusion policies and practices, and much more. These positive influences combine to create a working environment that encourages employees to do their best, experiment, collaborate, teach and learn on the job.

However, there are lots of different types of company cultures, just as there are lots of different workplaces. Some workplace cultures will need more structure to accommodate high-turnover workforces (like hospitality, tourism, retail’s seasonal fluctuations), and some workplace cultures can be long-term evolutions that every employee can contribute to during their tenure.

What are the Different Types of Company Culture?

HBR.org defines seven different types of company culture:

Caring

Typified by organizations who prioritize communication, compassion and collaboration. Work environments are designed to be encouraging, supportive and welcoming.

Purposeful

Usually characterized by strong moral values, teams and departments are working together towards a common goal. Often ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) commitments or the desire to do lasting good motivate this kind of culture. These can often be NGOs, or NFPs.

Learning-Oriented

Exploration, experimentation and innovation are highly valued and encouraged. They are open minded and work together to generate new ideas. Technology giants typify the main aspects of the learning-oriented culture.

Results-Driven

Organizations who set competitive goals and targets and work together to achieve them. Winning and achieving goals is prized and leaders encourage friendly competition.

Authoritative

A workforce is guided by strong hierarchies and prioritizes decisiveness and bold decisions.

Safe

Cultures who are safety-focused tend to prioritize planning, research and caution. Employees are encouraged to anticipate change and offer balanced rationale to mitigate any change.

Order-Focused

Work environments center around structure and processes. Employees are united by cooperation and company traditions.
Even if you can recognize aspects of the above types of company culture in your own, it’s important to remember that your company culture will still be unique to your values, mission, leadership style and your workforce.

How to Improve Your Company Culture:

Building a positive company culture isn’t instantaneous. It’s a long process and one that can be full of false starts and course corrections. These four steps will help you build a company culture that works for you and your employees:

Know Your Values and Articulate Them

Knowing who you are as a company, what you do and, importantly, why you do it is crucial when building your company culture. Take steps to uncover your company’s true purpose and values to fully understand what underpins your company culture.

Just knowing your values is only half the story. Your employees need to know them too! 70% of employees say their sense of personal purpose is defined by their work. People want to believe what they do is meaningful and that they are working toward a common goal. Once you know your values, articulate them as part of your wider employer brand. Build them into both your internal and external communications at every opportunity.

Embrace Authenticity and Establish Trust

That said, unless you authentically embrace your company purpose and values, they cannot provide a solid foundation for your company culture. Employees at every level of the organization must be accountable and committed to those values. Buy-in from your leadership team and a genuine desire to communicate and live your values will establish the integrity of your company culture.

Encourage Meaningful Communication

Data can be hugely important in assessing the health of your company culture; retention rates, productivity levels, absence rates and other metrics can help you identify and address problems in your culture. However quantitative data can only take you so far.

Providing opportunities for meaningful two-way communication and feedback, such as one on one evaluations, employee resource groups, workshops and even exit interviews, can help you take the pulse of your company culture.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Great HR leadership isn’t perfect leadership! Being open to the idea of making mistakes, accepting mistakes and above all learning from those mistakes and implementing changes reinforces your values and strengthens your company culture.

Once you have opened up reliable, regular spaces for feedback it is critical that you acknowledge and learn from issues and mistakes that arise from the process. Showing that you are open to criticism ensures your employees feel safe raising concerns, taking risks and reporting problems and trying out creative solutions to problems.

Get advice and support on how to build a company culture that drives collaboration and inclusivity from Pierpoint. We can also support your wider talent acquisition and retention strategies through the development of resilient, long-lasting talent pipelines. Talk to an expert today.

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Jen Mulholland

Jen is an experienced content marketer specializing in recruitment. Driven by a genuine passion for writing, she provides insightful, accurate and engaging content for the recruitment community across a wide range of topics and industries. Her strengths lie in producing SEO-optimized blogs, landing pages, website copy, newsletters, thought leadership and social media designed for a wide array of brands, expertly capturing brand tone, vision and mission.

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2023-01-25T09:10:45-05:00
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