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6 Ways to Improve Your Company Culture

6 Ways to Improve Your Company Culture

The phrase “company culture” is often seen as a buzzword, something without much meaning. However, having a strong company culture helps you attract top talent, improves productivity and engagement, and develops relationships both internally and externally. 

Strong company culture is, at its heart, about being a great place to work. However, a lot of business owners are at a loss as to how to improve their company culture. Here are six of the most important things you can do: 

Peer Recognition 

Encourage employees to recognize and reward the behaviors you want to see. This develops an environment in which people help and support each other. Examples might include having departments (or the entire office if you are small) vote on a monthly award, having people nominate colleagues that are then voted on by a committee, etc. This helps to keep your best employees engaged and productive. 


Having a transparent company culture is vital to high levels of engagement. In essence, transparency demonstrates trust. If all of your management decisions are made behind closed doors, then employees will start to wonder what is happening behind those doors and what might happen next. Using outdated communication tools can work against transparency, especially if you have remote employees. 

Transparent company culture means transparency is the default; instead of looking for reasons to share information, look for reasons not to. Above all, make sure to share success, and to share challenges so your employees can give their ideas. 

Frequent Feedback 

The traditional way to provide feedback is top-down, once a year. This results in problems festering for months, and then employees being surprised when they find out they have been doing it wrong.  

Additionally, when feedback only goes top-down, managers, especially top managers, never learn what they might be doing or not doing that is helping the people below them. Instead, feedback should be provided regularly. Both praise and criticism should be delivered when the incident happens. Many companies find regular engagement surveys helpful. At the same time, don't let regular feedback cross the line into micromanagement. 

Coworker Relationships 

When people have friends at work, they are more engaged. A good relationship with one's coworkers reduces stress, makes work something to look forward to, and improves communication and productivity. 

Dedicated team-building activities often elicit a grumble, but if you choose the right ones, they can be much more fun. Solicit ideas for team-building activities from everyone in the company, not just top management. 

Create spaces that encourage and generate "collisions," where people come together naturally. If your employees are tending to scurry back to your desks when they see you, then you are not doing enough to encourage team building (and may have been inadvertently sending a message that it's a waste of time). 

Good coworker relationships are central to great company culture. 

Lead By Example 

You know what a great company culture looks like. Exemplify it.  

If you want your employees to build good relationships with each other, then take steps to build relationships with them. Celebrate your own wins, and make sure to accept feedback with grace. 

You need to not just communicate the behaviors you want to see but also model them. Employees are more willing to do things they see you doing, and more willing to believe something will work if you participate. 

Offer Competitive Benefits 

Providing quality, competitive benefits is one of the more tangible things that can help your office be perceived as a great place to work. By offering good benefits, you reduce employee turnover and attract top talent. 

Low turnover supports a company culture by ensuring that the best people stick around. When people stick around, coworker relationships become stronger. 

How to Access Competitive Benefits 

One challenge with this is that small- and medium-sized companies are at a major disadvantage when it comes to getting a good deal on a benefits package. With only a small number of employees, companies are often charged considerably more per head. With rising costs in healthcare, in particular, this often leaves small businesses unable to afford competitive benefits. 

One solution is to partner with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). Through the mechanism of co-employment, PEOs are able to bring together the employees of a number of businesses under one master plan and thus gain better benefits for much more affordable rates. 

Most of these improvements can be done in-house by any small business. For example, providing a peer recognition program is easy and affordable, and ongoing feedback mechanisms can be made the default, especially if you do them from the start. To offer competitive benefits, however, partnering with a PEO is the best option. Partnering with a PEO can also free up your in-house HR staff to work on programs that improve coworker relationships and otherwise strengthen company culture 

What is a PEO?