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Company Culture

10 effective ways to improve company culture

In the relentless pursuit of success in today's business landscape, cultivating a thriving company culture is a paramount challenge for HR leaders. In this blog post, we discuss 10 effective ways to improve your company culture.

The repercussions of a lacklustre culture, from decreased profitability to heightened turnover rates, loom large. But within this challenge resides an opportunity. 

At Eletive, we firmly believe that " culture drives growth".

In this article, we unveil ten strategies to empower HR leaders and organisations to build a culture where employees thrive, contribute more, and experience happiness.

Discover the possibilities of exploring the art of company culture and the profound impact it can have on your organisation's success.

What is company culture? (definition)

At its core, company culture is the personality of a business. 

It's an invisible but powerful force that dictates how things get done in your organisation. 

What does company culture look like in practice?

In essence, it includes shared beliefs and values established by leaders and then communicated and reinforced through various methods, ultimately shaping employee perceptions, behaviours and understanding.

Your firm’s ethos has a tremendous influence on how employees work together as well as their productivity levels - think of it like the DNA of your enterprise.


The role of values

A significant part of this concept lies within values. These are deeply held principles that guide actions; they're integral to identifying what you stand for.

You might be familiar with slogans such as "Just Do It" from Nike or "Think Different" from Apple - these aren't just marketing taglines, they reflect deeper values intrinsic to each brand's identity.

The power of behaviours

Culture isn’t only about written words or spoken missions though – people's actions embody true organisational spirit. That means observing behaviour at every level can give insights into real cultural dynamics. How the people in your organisation act usually is the result of values.

Nurturing a positive environment

Beyond belief systems and conduct norms, we also find physical aspects influencing the corporate atmosphere – everything from office design to dress codes can contribute towards setting specific vibes within workspace environments.

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast." - Peter Drucker

This quote from management consultant Peter Drucker perfectly encapsulates why investing time in developing strong internal cultures pays off exponentially: because no matter how brilliant your strategies may be without buy-in across all ranks they’re doomed to fail.

A well-defined and positive culture leads to employees feeling valued, which in turn can increase commitment levels, enhance productivity and boost morale.

How is company culture different from organisational and corporate culture?

Company culture, organisational culture, and corporate culture are terms that we often hear in the business world. But what do they really mean? What's the distinction between them?

What is organisational culture?

The term 'organisational' typically refers to a wider scope than just one company. It includes all sorts of organisations like non-profits, governmental bodies or even sports teams. 

So when we talk about 'organisational' culture, it refers to the shared values and behaviours that shape an organisation’s social environment.

This can be as broad as fostering innovation for a tech start-up or promoting team spirit within a football club.

What about corporate culture?

'Corporate', on the other hand usually pertains specifically to corporations – entities which are legally separate from their owners with distinct rights and responsibilities. 

The focus here lies not only on collective norms but also on governance structure including leadership style and decision-making processes.

In this sense, you might find an emphasis on ethical conduct at an investment bank or commitment towards sustainability at an energy firm.

Distinguishing company culture

Falling somewhere between these two is 'company' culture - reflecting attitudes within specific businesses rather than entire sectors or industries. 

A well-defined company cultural landscape provides employees with clear expectations regarding acceptable behaviour while aligning them around common goals such as customer satisfaction or operational efficiency.

An example could be a software development firm championing agility by embracing practices like pair programming or iterative development cycles; creating a unique identity distinguishing them even within their own industry segment.

Wrapping up, all three terms revolve around the social dynamic at work. But context decides their use. Whether it's organisational or corporate, what really counts is nurturing a positive culture. 

Company culture examples

Google: a pioneer in employee freedom

Google's workplace culture is famous for its employee freedom. 

They used to allow employees to use 20% of their time to work on personal projects and developing new skills, which helped foster innovation and autonomy. This policy led to creations like Gmail and AdSense.

The tech giant also provides numerous perks such as free meals, fitness centres, laundry services – you name it. 

But this isn't just about spoiling staff; it’s part of their strategy to attract top talent and keep them happy so they stay productive.

Related reading: Insider look at Googles organisational culture

Netflix: reinventing performance management

In contrast with traditional annual reviews, Netflix uses 360-degree' feedback allowing all members of their organisation to provide performance input. 

This gives every voice equal weight - from interns up to senior management - creating an environment that values honesty over hierarchy.

To maintain high-performance standards, they employ what's known as the 'Keeper Test'. Managers ask themselves if they would fight hard to keep each team member. If not? The person may be let go – showing how serious Netflix is about maintaining quality over quantity in their workforce.

"Our aim is excellence,” says Patty McCord in . “Being on a dream team can be the thrill of a professional lifetime."

Both Google and Netflix are clear examples that company culture isn't about ping-pong tables or beer fridges. It's about creating an environment where employees feel valued, empowered to innovate, and motivated to give their best.

Related reading: How Netflix reinvented HR


Rutgers, an NGO headquartered in the Netherlands, aimed to create a happier and healthier workplace. They turned to Eletive to collect and act on employee feedback, leading to a shift towards a feedback-driven culture. 

Eletive's real-time insights empowered employees and managers to take ownership of their experiences, fostering a more engaged and motivated workforce. 

By leveraging pulse surveys, Rutgers identified areas for improvement swiftly and drastically improved their company culture.

Geert Jan Braber, HR Manager, Rutgers
Geert Jan Braber

Personalleiter, Rutgers

My focus, working in HR, is to build a happy place to work at. We know that happy employees achieve their goals and perform their work at a higher quality, but how do we know if they’re happy? That’s why I started looking for an agile and modern tool for measuring employee engagement. 

Related reading: Discover how Rutgers works with Eletive

Why is company culture important?

The importance of company culture stems from its influence on every aspect of an enterprise. A healthy workplace environment fosters motivated employees who feel valued and invested in their roles.

This engagement often leads to increased productivity as staff members are more inclined to go the extra mile when they feel part of something meaningful. They're not just working for a paycheck but contributing towards a shared goal or vision - that's the power holds.

Nurturing talent

A positive corporate ethos helps attract top talent too. High achievers aren't solely interested in financial compensation; they crave environments where creativity thrives, ideas are respected, and growth opportunities abound.

Candidates will pick organisations whose values align with theirs over higher-paying competitors without such alignment. This matching process benefits both parties: companies get dedicated workers while individuals find fulfilling careers instead of mundane jobs.

Sustaining success

Firmly rooted cultural practices can also drive long-term success by fostering resilience during challenging times (like pandemics). 

It’s akin to having deep foundations on your house - stormy weather may rattle windows but won’t bring down the structure itself. Companies with robust cultures endure crises better because team spirit keeps everyone pushing forward together.

Realted reading: Building a strong brand image with Eletive In fact, according to a Forbes article, businesses boasting strong cultures see 4x revenue growth compared to those lacking them – evidence if ever needed about why nurturing these invisible threads binding your workforce is crucial.

10 effective ways to improve company culture

1. Leverage data-driven insights

What is it?

Leveraging data-driven insights involves using analytics and feedback data to make informed decisions about your company's culture. 

This approach goes beyond gut feelings and intuition, relying on concrete data to guide your culture improvement efforts.

Why is it important?

Data-driven insights are crucial because they provide a clear, objective understanding of your organisation's strengths and weaknesses. 

They allow you to identify trends, pinpoint areas that need attention, and make informed choices about how to enhance your company culture. 

Without data, you're essentially navigating in the dark when it comes to culture improvement.

How it can improve company culture

When employees see that their feedback is being actively used to shape the workplace, it fosters a sense of trust and engagement. 

These insights can also help in recognising and rewarding positive behaviours, aligning employees with common goals, and addressing any issues that may hinder a positive culture.

Eletive lets you easily benchmark your data

Diana Bond

Senior Customer Success Manager, Eletive

"Benchmarking provides valuable context and helps you set ambitious but realistic goals."

2. Offer professional growth opportunities

What is it?

Offering professional growth opportunities involves creating pathways for employees to develop their skills, advance in their careers, and achieve their professional goals within the organisation. 

This can include training, mentorship programs, workshops, and clear career progression plans.

Why it's important

When employees see that their organisation is invested in their development, it not only boosts morale but also increases loyalty and retention. 

Moreover, offering these opportunities demonstrates that the company values its employees as individuals and is committed to their long-term success.

How it can improve company culture

By providing avenues for growth, you foster a culture of continuous learning and development. This not only enhances employee skills but also empowers them to take on new challenges and responsibilities, contributing to their sense of purpose and engagement. 

It can also lead to a more collaborative work environment as employees share knowledge and mentor one another.

3. Customise recognition and rewards

What is it?

Customising recognition and rewards involves tailoring your acknowledgement and incentive programs to suit the unique preferences and motivations of your employees. 

Instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, you personalise recognition and rewards to make them more meaningful and impactful.

Related reading: Measure employee engagement

Why it's important

Everyone is not motivated by the same incentives. 

Customisation ensures that your recognition and rewards resonate with individual employees, making them feel valued and appreciated.

How it can improve company culture

Customisation promotes a culture of appreciation and gratitude. 

When employees feel that their efforts are genuinely acknowledged and rewarded in ways that matter to them, it boosts morale, enhances job satisfaction, and strengthens their commitment. 

4. Foster inclusivity

What is it?

Fostering inclusivity means creating a workplace where every employee feels valued, respected, and included, regardless of their background, identity, or characteristics. 

It involves promoting diversity, equity, and fairness at all levels of the organisation.

Why it's important

When employees feel that they belong and that their unique perspectives are welcomed, it not only enhances their job satisfaction but also drives creativity and innovation. 

It ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute and thrive within the organisation.

How it can improve company culture

A culture of inclusivity encourages collaboration and brings diverse perspectives to the table. 

It leads to greater employee engagement, reduces turnover rates, and promotes a harmonious work environment. 

Inclusive workplaces also tend to be more adaptable and better equipped to navigate the challenges of a rapidly changing business landscape.

With Eletive you can assess the effectiveness of your DE&I efforts.

As the saying goes, "What gets measured gets managed." 

To ensure the success of your diversity and inclusion strategy, it's crucial to have a dependable way to gauge its results.

Eletive provides a research-supported set of survey questions designed specifically for evaluating diversity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging within your organisation. 

With Eletive, you can conduct in-depth analyses of various segments within your workforce, gaining insights into the employee experience and monitoring the progress of your diversity and inclusion initiatives.

5. Encourage flexibility and work-life balance

What is it?

Encouraging flexibility and work-life balance involves providing employees with the freedom to manage their work schedules and personal lives in a way that suits their needs. 

This can include flexible hours, remote work options, and policies that promote a healthy work-life equilibrium.

Why it's important

When employees have the flexibility to address personal commitments and reduce stress, they become more engaged and motivated. This approach also demonstrates that the organisation values their holistic welfare.

How it can improve company culture

Employees can better manage their responsibilities and enjoy a sense of autonomy, which enhances job satisfaction. It also reduces burnout and turnover rates, contributing to a more sustainable and positive company culture.

Eletive supports this endeavour by allowing employees to provide feedback on their work arrangements and the organisation's approach to flexibility. 

Real-time data collection enables HR leaders to gauge the effectiveness of these policies and make data-driven adjustments as needed. 

6. Cultivate a culture of learning

What is it?

Cultivating a culture of learning involves fostering an environment where continuous learning and skill development are not just encouraged but ingrained in the company's DNA. 

Meaning: you provide adequate opportunity for employees to acquire new knowledge and grow professionally.

Why it's important

It fosters a growth mindset, where challenges are seen as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles. 

This ensures that employees stay relevant and adaptable, contributing to the organisation's long-term success.

How it can improve company culture

A culture of learning promotes engagement and enthusiasm among employees. 

When they have access to resources, training, and development opportunities, it enhances job satisfaction and motivation. 

It also creates a more innovative and agile workforce that can navigate change effectively.

7. Empower employee autonomy

What is it?

Empowering employee autonomy entails giving employees the independence and authority to make decisions and take ownership of their work. It means trusting them to manage their tasks, set goals, and make choices that align with the company's objectives.

Why it's important

When employees have the freedom to make decisions and innovate, it not only boosts their job satisfaction but also taps into their creativity and problem-solving abilities. 

How it can improve company culture

When employees feel trusted and valued, they become more invested in their work. It also enhances collaboration and adaptability, as employees are more likely to proactively address challenges and contribute to the company's success.

Related reading: Self-leadership at work - A complete guide

8. Promote open communication channels

What is it?

Promoting open communication channels involves establishing transparent and easily accessible means for employees to express their thoughts, concerns, and ideas. 

It encourages a culture where dialogue flows freely, and feedback is welcomed and valued.

Why it's important

It ensures that employees feel heard, respected, and engaged. It also facilitates the sharing of information, alignment around common goals, and the quick resolution of issues.

How it can improve company culture

Promoting open communication fosters trust and a sense of belonging among employees. 

When they know their voices matter, they become more invested in the organisation's success. It also enables proactive problem-solving, idea generation, and a shared understanding of the company's mission and values.

Eletive is an employee engagement survey platform that offers real-time pulse surveys to measure engagement and well-being. It provides ready-to-use surveys, machine learning, and analytics for data-driven decision-making, along with features like anonymous feedback and customisation for tailored employee surveys.

9. Highlight mental health support

What is it?

Highlighting mental health support means actively promoting and providing resources to address the mental and emotional well-being of employees. It involves creating an environment where discussions around mental health are encouraged, and employees are aware of the available support systems.

Why it's important

Promoting mental health support not only demonstrates care for employees' holistic health but also reduces stigma and normalises seeking help when needed. It creates a culture where employees feel safe and supported.

How it can improve company culture

It fosters a culture of understanding and support, leading to improved morale and productivity.

With Eletive you can run employee wellness surveys to get an accurate picture of how your employees are doing.

10. Create a culture of innovation 

What is it?

Creating a culture of innovation involves fostering an environment where employees are encouraged to think creatively, challenge the status quo, and contribute fresh ideas. 

Think embracing change and continually seeking innovative solutions to business challenges.

Why it's important

It sparks creativity, problem-solving, and a willingness to explore new possibilities.

How it can improve company culture

When employees are empowered to innovate, they feel a sense of ownership and purpose. It also creates an atmosphere of collaboration, where diverse perspectives come together to drive progress and growth.

How much does it cost to improve company culture?

When thinking about costs, we often picture hard cash. But the price of improving your company's culture isn't always so tangible. It might be more useful to think in terms of investment rather than cost.

Committing energy and funds into cultivating a favourable work atmosphere which can bring about increased efficiency, staff maintenance, and greater degrees of worker participation is the aim. 

That’s not just good for morale - it has a real impact on your bottom line too.

The actual monetary value will vary depending on what measures you choose to implement. For example:

  • If you decide to offer professional development opportunities, there'll be costs associated with training courses or seminars.

  • Fostering inclusivity may involve implementing new HR policies which could require legal advice or hiring diversity consultants.

  • Promoting mental health support could mean providing counselling services or mindfulness workshops for employees.

All these investments have their own unique price tags but remember this: they are exactly that – an investment. 

They promise returns in the form of happier, healthier employees who feel valued and are thus more productive.

The Eletive advantage

This is where Eletive comes into play as a potential game-changer for managing the 'cost' aspect while enhancing your workplace culture simultaneously. 

Picture of engaged employees interacting with technology

Our platform offers effective tools tailored specifically towards increasing employee engagement and performance metrics through smart data-driven insights and personalised recommendations.

In contrast with traditional methods like consulting agencies (which come at hefty prices), using Eletive drastically reduces both direct costs involved in executing cultural improvement initiatives along with saving precious man-hours used up by teams handling such tasks manually.

What's more, Eletive offers a comprehensive view of your company’s culture and employee engagement levels. You can see exactly where improvements are needed and monitor the effectiveness of changes you make. That means every dollar spent is used efficiently to drive real, measurable change within your organisation.

Curious about Eletive? Welcome to book a demo!


How do you rebuild a company culture?

To rebuild your company culture, start by acknowledging the issues. Then gather employee feedback and use it to craft new core values that reflect your team's aspirations.

How do you fix a bad company culture?

Fixing a poor work environment involves fostering open communication, providing clear expectations, offering regular recognition for good work, promoting inclusivity and investing in employee development.

How do you promote a company culture?

Promote your workplace ethos by living out core values daily. Encourage leaders to model these principles and integrate them into hiring practices as well as reward systems.

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