Company culture can sound like a catchall, a phrase to encapsulate many different aspects of office life.
However, company culture is very real and the quality of that culture can make or break a company. From how employees interact on and off the clock, to how you set expectations, to how you recognize your employees for their hard work, your company culture is structured by all aspects of the work experience.
Having a strong office culture isn’t easy and doesn’t come without effort. However, there are real, actionable ways you can improve your office culture.
Once you start, you’ll see results in positivity around the workplace, your team’s quality of work, and, eventually, your bottom line.
Read on to learn eighteen ways you can improve the company culture at your office, business, or organization.
But first! If you are looking for tools to improve company culture, check out some top-rated platforms for teams:
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Why Is It Important To Improve Company Culture At Your Organization?
Here’s why it’s so important to improve your organization’s company culture:
⭐️ Better company culture leads to happier employees. This means less turnover and a more positive atmosphere in the office.
⭐️ Improving company culture directly improves team communication and collaboration.
⭐️ A positive work culture leads to a more productive, effective company, boosting your results.
⭐️ A strong work culture will improve your onboarding, helping transform new hires into effective employees from day one.
⭐️ A strong work culture can impact your public perception, leading to a more pronounced, memorable brand.
Symptoms Of Unhealthy Company Culture
Not sure if you’re due for a culture upgrade? Here are a few signs that your company is suffering from unhealthy company culture.
😰 High turnover
- If employees are quick to exit your company, there’s a good chance you’ve got an unhealthy work culture. Creating a company culture that people want to remain a part of is crucial for your organization’s long-term success.
😴 No enthusiasm
- In offices with an unhealthy culture, there’s no enthusiasm for the work or team. The work might get done, but the X-factor that comes with real passion will always be missing.
🙉 Poor communication
- Companies with unhealthy cultures will be plagued with poor communication. This leads to dysfunction, gossip, a lack of professionalism, and a whole lot of wasted time.
18 Ways To Improve Company Culture At Your Business
Here are fantastic ways you can start improving your business’ company culture today.
1) Create An Employee Milestone Program
Whether they’re coming up on a work anniversary, a marriage anniversary, or just have a birthday around the corner, an employee milestone program is a smart way to make your team members feel valued.
Recognizing employee milestones, whether with a party, a gift, an announcement, or a personal thank you, is a crucial way to create a sense of community and respect within the office. Also celebrating personal milestones will make your team feel closer, breaking down some of the barriers of the workplace.
How this improves company culture: By celebrating your employees’ personal accomplishments both inside and outside the office, you’ll generate an office culture focused on respect, long-term goals, and appreciation.
Try this! Celebrate any employee milestone with a great gift from Caroo!
2) Celebrate Wins
Not every day is going to be special. Most days in the office are just adding pieces to the puzzle or putting out fires. That’s why, when you do get a win, you need to take the time to celebrate it. Reward your employees. Show your appreciation through a company-wide email. Throw a party. Whatever it is, make it clear that your team has succeeded and should be proud of that fact.
How this improves company culture: Celebrating wins shows your team that you’re paying attention and value their contribution. By making your team feel integral to the company’s success, they’ll feel more involved and committed to the company’s mission.
Try this! After a big office success, a special reward from Awardco will drive home how much this win meant to you and the team.
3) Build Recognition Into Your Daily Workflow
While not every day is going to be a big win, that doesn’t mean your team isn’t consistently working hard. Those little daily tasks are what build up to your large successes, and should still be celebrated. That’s why working recognition into your daily workflow is so important.
Take the time to call out hard work, special help, and above-and-beyond behavior. Even better, make recognition part of the whole office’s vocabulary, so the compliments and thanks aren’t just coming from HR and the executive team—they’re coming from all team members.
How this improves company culture: Prioritizing recognition will only encourage better work and better relationships between coworkers. An office of gratitude is an office of success.
Try this! If you want help with your office recognition, there are plenty of incredible employee recognition software platforms you can use to bring your team closer together.
4) Let Employees Choose Their Own Reward
Offering employees the chance to choose their own reward helps create a sense of engagement in the company culture. This can be done by providing gift cards, care packages, or other unique activities that the employee may enjoy.
How this improves company culture: Allowing employees to select rewards based on their preferences makes them feel appreciated and develops stronger relationships between the employer and employee, as well as fosters an environment of trust and mutual respect. This in turn can help to motivate employees and promote a positive work environment.
Try this! Help employees select their rewards by offering different options and allowing them to choose the one that will be most beneficial for them. Try out Recipient Choice here!
5) Send Thoughtful Messages
Sending considerate messages to employees is a useful method to express appreciation and promote team unity. Messages can come in the form of emails, text messages, cards, or even handwritten notes. They should be specific to each employee and include positive comments about their work and contributions to the company.
How this improves company culture: Thoughtful messages help employees feel recognized for their work and valued as a part of the team. This encourages open communication, builds trust, and strengthens relationships among team members.
Try this! Send personalized thank you cards to each employee at least once per quarter and take the time to truly acknowledge their hard work.
6) Learn How Your Employees Like to Be Recognized
It is important to understand how your employees prefer to be recognized. This can vary from person to person and could range from public recognition in the form of awards or special events to more private rewards like one-on-one time with the boss.
How this improves company culture: Taking the time to learn how each employee likes to be appreciated can help foster stronger relationships between management and employees. It also shows that you are paying attention to their individual needs.
Try this! Ask each employee what they consider to be meaningful recognition and use this information when looking for ways to reward and recognize their efforts. You can even send out a short survey to learn more about their approach to recognition and rewards.
Discover your Recognition Type
7) Ask For Employee Feedback And Suggestions
An office that is willing to grow and change based on the needs of your employees and team members is an office destined for success. Whether you hold weekly check-ins, host office hours for employee feedback or allow for anonymous suggestions and feedback, an environment where team members are willing to share their thoughts is important to healthy office culture. It’s even better if you’re willing to internalize and use this feedback to improve the workplace.
How this improves company culture: Giving your team the chance to openly and comfortably share their opinion and give suggestions is a huge step toward creating a positive work environment.
Try this! To maximize employee feedback, use an employee engagement tool, which features “digital selection boxes” and other useful feedback capabilities.
8) Plan Regular Team-Building Opportunities
You spend eight hours a day, five days a week together, whether in the office or on Zoom calls. You might as well get along. That’s why team building activities are so important. Whether you’re all meeting up after work for a special activity or taking an hour on Zoom to destress and bond, team-building will create a more cohesive, connected office.
How this improves company culture: Team members who trust and value each other will perform better together. This cuts down on the drama and increases the productivity and quality of work.
Try this! There are great team-building vendors that can set up monthly team-building events to keep things interesting. Check out these great options:
- 🏃🏽♀️ Scavenger Hunts
- 📺 Virtual Game Show
- 🕵️♂️ Murder Mystery Party
- 🔐 Online Escape Room
- 🎗 Charity Events that Support a Good Cause
9) Foster Opportunities For Departments To Collaborate
Harold in Product Development and Sarah in Marketing might be the ultimate work duo. Yu in HR could come up with the next big idea if only he could work with Rachel in Sales. There’s only one way to find out—by encouraging collaboration across different departments.
Not only will this keep the ideas fresh by allowing new people to work together, but it will give your employees a better sense of the office as a whole. This will create a sense of unity that wouldn’t happen if everyone only interacted with their specific team. Plus, with Zoom and other online collaboration tools, bringing different departments together is easier than ever.
How this improves company culture: Collaboration between departments creates new opportunities and gives your employees crucial context for their own work, making them feel more connected to the company as a whole.
Try this! monday.com is a collaboration tool that makes cross-department cooperation a breeze.
10) Invest In Diversity And Inclusion
We are all the product of our environment and experiences. An office of 50 identical people wouldn’t create an engaging product—it’s only by bringing together a diversity of people that you can create a truly special company. Hiring across the world, with an emphasis on gender and racial inclusivity, will create a deeper, more varied team, which will only lead to richer ideas and a more successful company.
Plus, making inclusivity a large part of your company’s mission can show the world that your brand cares about improving the world we live in.
How this improves company culture: Focusing on diversity and inclusion will create a more knowledgeable, well-rounded office, improving both the work and the company culture.
Try this! Make a point to support diversity and inclusion-driven brands and make charitable donations to diversity and inclusion charities.
Pro-Tip: You can send delicious snacks and quality products to all of your employees (in-person and remote) using Caroo’s Amplify Box. Discover today’s most exciting products from emerging women-founded, Black-founded, and people-of-color-founded brands!
11) Provide A Professional Development Budget
There are always ways to improve. One way to help your company culture is to encourage your employees to grow and learn by implementing a professional development budget.
Whether you’re hosting a company-wide corporate training program, incentivizing attendance at relevant industry conferences, or growing your managers and C-suite with leadership training, a professional development budget will make your employees become stronger team members.
How this improves company culture: A company full of well-trained, committed coworkers will push your company culture to the next level. With everyone better able to communicate, collaborate and grow, your company culture will grow alongside them.
Try this! Enroll in a corporate training program that sculpts either your soft skills or hard skills to see fast, actionable results.
12) Strengthen Your HR Policies And Programs
The importance of HR is right in the name. Human Resources. Your company is only as strong as the people that fill your hallways and Zoom calls. That means having HR policies and programs that match your employee’s needs is absolutely crucial.
Whether that means better access to mental health services, a more refined work from home policy, or a more robust onboarding process, your company will quickly see the benefits of a strengthened HR policy.
How this improves company culture: HR is how your employees meet your company and how their benefits are administered. Strong HR policies and programs will improve company culture by starting your employee’s tenure at the company on the right foot and allowing everyone on the team to feel supported, no matter the situation.
Try this! Use the software Bambee to optimize your company’s HR and identify opportunities to improve.
13) Encourage Employees To Work Smarter, Not Harder (Or Longer)
Nobody wants to live in the office (even if there are some great SnackNation snacks in the break room). You don’t want your team pulling all-nighters to get the work done, only to wander through the office like zombies the next day. Your team doesn’t want to trudge through a barrage of daily emails just to eke out a little time to do their actual job.
You can increase productivity at work while upgrading your company culture by helping employees work smarter, not harder. Whether that comes from using organizational software, trusting your team with less micromanaging, or establishing ‘quiet hours’ to promote working time, there are plenty of ways to help your team do the same work in fewer hours and with less stress.
How this improves company culture: A team that works smarter, not harder will feel more fulfilled by their accomplishments and will have more time to focus on what matters to them. This will give your company culture a friendlier, more comfortable feel—without sacrificing the quality of work.
Try this! Implement quiet hours where no emails or phone calls are allowed, giving your team a chance to work uninterrupted or enjoy a deserved mental health break.
14) Create Department Awards
And the winner is… your company’s culture! Department awards are a simple, fulfilling way to recognize your team members and generate a culture of appreciation. Employee awards will push employees to work toward a goal while also showing them the value of taking a moment to acknowledge their accomplishments. Plus, by tying real rewards and incentives to these awards (like a gift card, a special trip, or some one-of-a-kind company swag), employees will be more motivated to succeed.
How this improves company culture: Department awards increase your office engagement while promoting recognition and gifting your team members with the unmatchable sensation of a job well done.
Try this! Not every award needs to be serious. Cute, playful awards like “Cutest Pet” or “Best Office Plant’ are an easy, fun way to get people engaged.
15) Send Employees On A New Experience
Even the most creative employee can hit a wall. Even your most dedicated worker can feel burned out. Even the most ingrained aspect of your business can get upgraded by looking at it with a fresh perspective. Due to these reasons (and many more), sending employees on a new experience is a fantastic way to help your company culture and employee engagement. New experiences—whether it’s a Zoom presentation, an office trip, or an unexpected team building—will give your team a new perspective. It will also give them a shared experience to bond over.
How this improves company culture: New perspectives and shared experiences will create a more thoughtful, outspoken team. Plus, who knows what new knowledge or skill they’ll bring back to the office!
Try this! Use an employee experience platform like Blueboard to find a catalog of unique trips or engagement opportunities for your team to try and enjoy.
16) Promote Healthy Living And Good Habits
Mental and physical wellness are easy to ignore in the modern office. What does your employee’s workout regiment have to do with your bottom line? How do your coworker’s breathing exercises affect your brand? However, promoting healthy living and good habits will have a serious impact on your company’s culture. Whether you pay for gym memberships, offer free therapy, promote mental health breaks or practice other wellness ideas, a healthy workforce directly leads to healthy office culture.
How this improves company culture: Healthier, happier employees will enter every day with a better mindset and will be more willing to communicate. Plus, helping eliminate stress through mindfulness will create an aura of positivity in your office.
Try this! Create wellness activities for the office, like morning yoga, that employees can voluntarily participate in.
17) Build Weekly Fun Into Your Schedule
Sure, there’s the office Christmas party and a big team-building activity every couple of months. But having a few great events on the horizon isn’t enough to dramatically and permanently improve your office culture. For a real effect, you need to build consistent fun and team building into the schedule. Whether that means a trivia night outside the office, a Zoom game every Wednesday lunch, or other regular organized activities, having a simple, short burst of fun built into the week will create a culture of connection and enjoyment.
How this improves company culture: Having regular fun in the schedule will allow employees to maintain the rapport, camaraderie, and friendly atmosphere created by larger-scale team buildings and celebrations.
Try this! Tie an icebreaker, game, or friendly contest into your weekly Friday meeting to make this a consistent, enjoyable part of the workweek.
18) Set Regular Goals
Every business has big plans. A five-year goal, a year-end goal, and a quarterly goal. However, these lofty hopes can often leave workers adrift in the day-to-day. Having achievable goals on the calendar will help keep your team motivated. This extends to personal goals—challenging employees to improve in a certain way or to meet a predetermined threshold will generate a more dedicated, driven team.
How this improves company culture: Creating these smaller goal periods will help keep your team on track for your big goals, while also developing an office culture centered around success, efficiency, and celebrating successes.
Try this! Schedule monthly touchpoints to evaluate progress, discuss ways to improve, and keep your team focused on the goal at hand.
People Also Ask These Questions About How To Improve Company Culture
Read on to learn the answers to frequently asked questions about improving company culture.
Q: What are the benefits of improving company culture?
- A: Some of the benefits of improving company culture include happier employees, higher productivity, and less turnover. These benefits will all make your company a better place to work and a more profitable, successful business.
Q: What are some tips to build a positive company culture?
- A: We’ve listed fifteen tips to build a positive company culture above. Get started and improve your company culture by celebrating wins, planning team-building activities, promoting healthy habits, and more.
Q: What makes a good workplace culture?
- A: There is no one-size-fits-all good workplace culture. A good workplace culture depends on your team and the company’s needs. However, the tips in the above guide are a good place to start when trying to find what makes a good workplace culture.
Q: Are there free strategies to improve the company culture at my business?
- A: The SnackNation blog is full of free strategies to help you improve the company culture at your business. Whether you’re looking for team-building activities, tips on how to run a hybrid office, or almost any office issue you can think of, the SnackNation blog has free strategies to help you improve your office culture. This guide is also a pretty good place to start!