As businesses think more and more about how they can improve employee engagement and compete for top talent, they’re taking a closer look at their company culture. The environment employees work in can have an immense impact on productivity and retention rates and attract – or repel – job candidates from joining your organization.

Here are some tips for businesses to create and maintain a positive company culture:

Look to your core values

Your company’s mission statement and core values should guide the development of your company culture. Aim to have all aspects of your business reflect these guiding principles, from workflows to company events to performance reviews. Meet with HR professionals and department managers to brainstorm ways by which company practices can more fully represent your organization’s goals and values.

You want to start with a well-defined purpose, Entrepreneur magazine advised. A strong purpose and a corresponding corporate culture that supports it can help your business stand out from the competition and rally employees together under a common cause.

Promote compassion and transparency

Your company may have its own set of guiding values, but compassion and transparency should be defining qualities of any corporate culture. These traits promote a “we’re in it together” mentality to assure employees that the company and their co-workers will support them and have their best interests at heart. Conversely, leadership or business practices that lack empathy and keep employees in the dark create a negative culture of distrust and fear.

Support your employees’ well-being

One key characteristic of a positive company culture is support of employees’ well-being. This can be promoted by encouraging employees to have a healthy work-life balance and assessing workloads to ensure that deadlines and expectations are fair and realistic. Employers can also strengthen this aspect of their culture by offering healthy snacks in the office kitchen, ample PTO time and discounts on gym memberships.

Involve employees in the process

Instead of taking a top-down approach to creating a positive culture, adopt a strategy that closely involves employees – to gather their feedback on the type of environment they would like to work in. Employees can then share their ideas through polls, surveys, seminars and workshops, and, ideally, will feel valued that the company is taking their thoughts, concerns and suggestions into account.

Keep culture on everyone’s minds

As Michael Kurland, CEO and founder of Branded Group, warned in an article for Forbes, you don’t want to come up with exciting ideas for developing your culture and then leave them at just that – ideas. Instead, create a plan to put these defining elements of your company culture into action. This can include assembling internal teams or ambassadors who will promote core messages, hosting fun social events and effectively communicating the central qualities of your work culture.

It takes cultivating your culture on a daily basis to turn it into something that not only lasts, but also improves employee engagement, productivity and retention. The tips above can help you create and maintain a positive work culture at your company.

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