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Culture + EX

9 Proven Ways To Improve Company Culture

Lisa Ardill

Content Editor at Workvivo

23 May 2023

Company culture encompasses the values, beliefs, and standards important in a workplace – in other words, how you do what you do. A strong organizational culture is important because it keeps your employees engaged, satisfied, and productive, benefiting the customer experience and your overall bottom line.

A good company culture can sometimes be hard to pin down, but most organizations can benefit from an occasional cultural refresh. Below, we’ll give you nine proven tactics for injecting new life into your culture with greater employee buy-in. 

1. Revamp company core values

Your company’s core values are the foundation on which the rest of your culture is built. So if your values aren’t clearly defined, it will likely be difficult to nail down other aspects of company culture.

Revisit your values to see what’s working and what might need a change. Which of your current values are being exemplified in your workplace? For the ones that aren’t, why not? Values need to be easy for your team members to live out in their daily work. 

Ways to revamp company values

  • Trim your list of any extraneous values 
  • Make your values more actionable
  • Keep them simple and straightforward 
  • Survey your employees about which values they’d cut or add
  • Align your values with your company’s mission statement.

2. Show appreciation for a job well done

According to a recent study by Nectar, 83.6% of employees say that recognition affects their motivation to succeed at work. Most employees would be more productive if they were recognized more frequently. Yet, only 52.6% of employees surveyed report having employee recognition programs at their company.

Employee appreciation should be an integral part of your company’s culture because recognition helps employees feel valued. Your employees are truly your number one asset – regardless of your organization’s size or industry. But if you don’t regularly demonstrate it through words or actions, employees may not be willing to stick around. 

Example employee rewards

  • Social media shoutout
  • Leaving work early
  • Catered lunch or lunch gift cards for remote employees
  • Company swag
  • Positive feedback
  • Monthly award
  • Public recognition
  • Office outing or company-sponsored team offsite for remote employees
  • Handwritten note.

3. Dedicate time for team-building activities

If you’re struggling to truly dial in on your company culture, team-building activities could be the key. 

Exercises that focus on teamwork and camaraderie are important because they help build trust, communication, and collaboration among employees. And the stronger your team is, the stronger your company culture will be, creating a more positive work environment for all.

For best results, integrate your core values into the team-building activities you select. For example, if your organization values deep, innovative, and critical thinking, consider an activity that forces your team to think outside the box to solve a problem, like an escape room. 

Team-building activity ideas

  • Scavenger hunt (can be virtual)
  • Happy hour (can be virtual)
  • Volunteer with a charity
  • Clue murder mystery (can be virtual)
  • Escape room (can be virtual)
  • Shark Tank (can be virtual) 
  • Themed potluck dinner 
  • Team trivia (can be virtual) 
  • Jeopardy (can be virtual).

4. Offer flexible work hours

These days, more and more employers are getting flexible and creative about working hours. According to Workable, 44.9% of businesses say that staggered or flexible work schedules are a major change in their operations post-pandemic – and this is overwhelmingly what employees want.

When employees have flexibility and control in their schedule, they are more likely to be satisfied, engaged, productive, and efficient at work. Allow them to set their own hours by starting or finishing work at different times of day as long as they clock in for their contracted number of hours per week and complete their tasks.

Sample flex hour schedule

Flex hours may look a bit different depending on what your organization does, and your employees’ roles. For example, a remote employee in an administrative role may choose the following:

  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; Tuesday/Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

However, frontline employees in customer-facing roles may need to stagger time across their team to ensure sufficient coverage. For example, a retail location may coordinate hours among team members to ensure optimal time for customer service and before- and after-hours inventory management.

  • Employee A: Monday thru Friday 5:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m.
  • Employee B: Monday thru Friday 10:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m.

5. Encourage feedback

Feedback helps your employees grow in their professional role, better enabling them to do their job. Particularly, feedback from managers (especially if it’s positive) also helps employees be more actively engaged. 

To increase engagement and improve company culture, implement more feedback among team members and employees by encouraging feedback loops

Feedback loops are a form of two-way communication where employees don’t only receive feedback – they also provide it, with the company listening to their suggestions. Once you’ve considered and acted on their recommendations, ask for their feedback on the changes you’ve made, thus starting the loop again.

Benefits of feedback loops in the workplace

  • Higher productivity and performance
  • Less office conflict or disputes 
  • Increased employee engagement and satisfaction 
  • Better employee retention
  • Stronger relationships. 

6. Offer career advancement opportunities

LinkedIn Learning’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report shows that opportunities to learn and grow are actually the number one driver of a great work culture.

Giving your employees opportunities for professional growth is good for their development and your organization’s advancement. As you help employees identify and work toward career goals (whether that’s a promotion within your organization, earning a certification, or growing a new skill set), you’ll likely notice an uptick in their motivation and engagement at work. 

These career advancement opportunities also help with retention; 94% of employees say they’d stay with a company longer if it invested in their career. When the same people stay with your company long-term, it’s easier to build a company culture that everyone is committed to.

Work advancement opportunities

You can offer your employees opportunities for growth and professional development such as:

  • Promotions or greater responsibility accompanied by a pay increase
  • Events like Lunch & Learns that help them develop new skills 
  • Mentoring programs.

7. Celebrate team wins

Celebrating team wins is an important form of employee recognition that can help strengthen those ‘team player’ warm fuzzies. Team building, positivity, and trust are all essential building blocks of a great company culture that a good celebration can increase. Employees will also come away more motivated to work toward future successes.

You can celebrate the completion of a major project, a good customer review, meeting a quota, a breakthrough quarter, or any other win – no matter how big or small. Actively look for opportunities to hype your team up for a job well done.

Creative ways to celebrate team wins

  • Office party
  • Display recognition publicly in the office
  • Awards ceremony
  • Peer-to-peer awards
  • Company retreat
  • Employee of the month
  • Surprise time off
  • Gift card
  • Care package. 

8. Address employee health and wellness

A workplace culture that prioritizes employee health, wellbeing, and work-life balance is a healthy one – no pun intended. Addressing your employees’ wellbeing (both physical and mental/emotional health) with wellness initiatives demonstrates that you care about them as people. 

Not only can this help reduce feelings of burnout, it also makes employees feel valued, appreciated, and more willing to perform at their best. Your organization may also see benefits like reduced healthcare costs, fewer injuries and worker’s compensation claims, and less absences or sick days.

Sample health and wellness plan

Consider offering the following perks and benefits to your employees as a way to prioritize their health and wellbeing:

  • Free gym membership
  • Formally designating a certain number of ‘mental health days’ as part of your PTO offerings 
  • Encouraging breaks for physical activity during the work day
  • Providing healthy, nutritious options in on-site cafeterias or vending machines
  • Organizing meditation seminars or sessions 
  • Allowing remote work when needed (if possible for their role) for frontline employees.

9. Promote a team environment

If you want to truly cement your company culture, your employees need to operate as a team. When team members feel a sense of community and belonging, they’re happier in their work environments – and happy employees are productive employees.

Earlier, we discussed team building activities like scavenger hunts, team trivia, and escape rooms. These are great ways to encourage a team-focused work environment around the office (or across remote teams). 

But as fun as they are, virtual game nights aren’t your only options. There are other ways you can promote that feeling of teamwork, too – even if your team is spread across the country or the globe.

Ways to promote a team environment

  • Create diverse, inclusive teams with members from different backgrounds and walks of life 
  • Encourage communication that’s clear, kind, and frequent 
  • Give employees responsibility and let them make decisions 
  • Switch up teams if needed to improve dynamics and collaboration.

Improve company culture with Workvivo

There’s a lot that goes into company culture. But with a few tweaks, you can put your company’s core values into action and start building a team that’s healthy, committed, and focused on success. 

One simple way to refresh company culture is by using an employee engagement platform like Workvivo. Our platform can help you build a strong company culture and uplevel the employee experience through features like a social intranet, collaboration spaces, and employee recognition. You can even use Workvivo for company-wide check-ins or the communication required in day-to-day remote work. 


Ready to find out how Workvivo can help you kickstart a more positive company culture? Get a free demo today.