Company culture and work-life balance are arguably some of the most significant components of a business. Companies that lack a distinctive work culture, however big or small, are those that focus solely on what senior management wants or expects. Over time this can create frustration, friction and conflict and result in poor staff retention, negativity and lack of productivity.
As with AVirtual and the nature of remote work, building a good company culture is essential to the business’ overall success. Maintaining coherent company culture across all parts of the business to ensure all members of staff community feel part of the bigger picture is one of our top priorities.
What is company culture?
We all know what culture means, but how do we define ‘company culture’? It’s a bit trickier.
It’s difficult because there are various ways to describe a company’s culture, and some might be more applicable to your business, industry and goals. Simply put though, it’s the values, direction, personality of the company which are reflected in everyday practices, attitudes and conduct.
Creating an atmosphere of inclusiveness through company culture is imperative, especially in the virtual assistant industry where a lot of employees are spread across many different geographic regions. Great company culture resonates when management and all employees share the values, attitudes and practices of your business.
Company culture is defined by the characteristics of the brand or company and how they convey it. If your staff cannot define your company culture, then you are doing something wrong. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some simple signs that your company culture might be failing or needs improvement.
Red Flags that your Company Culture is Failing
One sure sign that your company culture is failing, is ‘gossiping’ in the office or amongst remote employees. Even when gossiping is not malicious, it can undermine and diminish the company’s culture over time. When left unmanaged, cliques can formulate, and employees find comfort in small groups. This can lead to group negativity which can slowly erode company culture.
It’s important to facilitate a space where employees feel comfortable amongst each other in order to promote positivity and maintain a happiness amongst employees. Make sure to speak curb any gossiping early on through conducting feedback surveys and encouraging a sharing atmosphere in order to let all employees feel happy, satisfied and heard.
Bad Habits and Poor Work-Life Balance
We can all accumulate bad habits over time, especially when complacency sets in. Some bad habits in the workplace can include:
- Having and sharing a negative mentality
- Untimeliness and lack of accountability
As a business owner or manager, you should be promoting a positive company culture that inspires, motives and encourages. Keep in mind that your leadership is the best indicator of an entire organisations’, so take the time to build a better company culture for yourself and your employees. If employees’ attitudes are spiralling into negative it can reflect the poor health of the company culture.
Lack of Team Spirit
Another sure sign of poor company culture is a lack of team spirit. Bear in mind that your company culture should be characterised by positivity and encouragement.
A bit of friendly competition in the workplace can be a great way to encourage results, especially when an incentive is put in place. But if employees are focused more on the competition rather than achieving their own work goals then it can get ugly and bitter. Work-life balance must play a key role here in order to allow healthy relationships to flourish in the workplace.
Decrease in Engagement
Stripping it back to basics, if your employees starting to become disengaged this can be a sure sign that they are unhappy or that the company culture is failing to include everyone. Keys signs are not striking the right work-life balance, and a drop off in socialising with work friends.
How to Improve Company Culture
Company culture is less about what you say and more about what you do. It’s built gradually over time and unfortunately, there is no quick fix. Creating an atmosphere of acceptance, even when people make mistakes speaks volumes of the company’s attitude towards staff. Take the time to ask yourself if you can define your company culture.
Think about the following:
- How do you respond to difficult and challenging situations? – By openly accepting mistakes and moving forward we all move towards better efficiency and greater accuracy in all that we do.
- Do you utilise time to share mistakes and experiences? This is a great way to reflect and create an atmosphere of acceptance.
The most effective organisations and solid cultures are where everybody comes reasonably close to living the culture. By handling problems and issues in a constructive manner we all move towards building a better culture together. There are many benefits to improving company culture, let’s take a look at just a few examples:
Benefits of Improving Company Culture
Increased Employee Retention
It might seem obvious, but company’s who inspire and motivate their teams tend to retain staff at a greater rate than those with poor company culture. When employees are genuinely excited about their job and take pride in their work, they are less likely to search for new prospects or choose to move if headhunted.
Recruit Better Talent
A strong company culture speaks volumes when recruiting new employees. When the time comes to hire new talent you have already set the foundations for the company to sell itself. We all know that drawing in new talent is an essential way to maintain positivity.
Great company culture naturally increases productivity within your company in a variety of ways. When employees are happy, they work hard, show up consistently and take fewer days for sickness. Happy and motivated employees give one hundred percent effort and believe in the direction of the company.
Better Decision Making
With a strongly established company culture comes a well-defined vision, mission and set of understood values which makes decision making a lot easier. When a question arises, any employee, manager or supervisor can find the answer within the parameters of these values. This means that decisions will be more in line with company goals and therefore increase your chances of achieving success.
Generate more Revenue
A good work-life balance and strong company culture naturally attracts and retains employees. Not only that, but it also makes customers more inclined to work with you if your staff truly believe in the direction of the business. Customer retention over time helps to establish loyalty to your brand and build better relationships between employees and clients. Loyal customers are far more likely to refer you on to others and are more inclined to fork out more for additional products or services.
Increased Bottom Line
As most businesses must make a profit to survive, it’s important to look at the bottom lines results as well. Combining all of the benefits of good company culture will further increase sales and decrease outgoing expenses, helping you to profit more from your business over time.
Striking the right Work-Life Balance
Taking the time to focus, evaluate and instil a good company culture has so many benefits for employers, employees and customers. Building a positive culture creates an inspiring workspace, one that employees and clients alike want to be a part of. By aiming to strike and good work-life balance, employee’s productivity will soar, and your business will certainly see the benefits.