Build company culture like you would a grassroots movement – guerilla-style.
Now hear me out; Building company culture, to a degree, is up to the employees. It is more of a grassroots effort than most of us believe.
A quick Google search shows articles rife with recommendations for leaders to help build up their people. CEO’s value is partially built on their ability to establish and maintain “company culture.” Millennial employees, rapidly entering an filling the workspace, are looking for good pay, ample time off, a sense of doing good for their world, and a great company culture at work.
Overall pay, benefits, hours, work safety, etc. fall solidly to the dictation of the C-suite and other leaders. However, employees control much of the mood and overall culture than the CEO herself.
Every single person in a company affects work culture.
The overall picture of a healthy workspace is as much about the guidelines and tone set by leadership as it is the values and engagement of the employees who show up to work each day.
Setting aside the conversation about the toxic nature of negativity in the workplace (it’s been scientifically proven to be contagious). Let’s talk for a second about the difference you can make in your workplace. Certainly, you don’t mean me, Miss Author? Yep. You, middle-manager, salesperson, or part-time intern.
Companies with strong work culture are successful.
Here are some easy things you can do:
- Show up to company events. Even if you’re awkward in groups like so many of us are (I’m raising my hand). The company spent time and money on this event for you – be there. Have fun.
- Make it fun. HR-appropriate, fun, of course – but be silly. I have a coworker who took out a stock photo from a picture frame in one of our models and replaced it with one of her. It took me weeks before I noticed and then I burst out laughing when I noticed! It was a goofy little prank and it made my day.
- Support and build up your coworkers. Create an atmosphere of plenty. Thank the people who help you and refer them to other people in need. Justin in IT knows how to save all your emails from the 1-year purge? Let others know, tell your boss, build him up for being helpful. Look for people doing good things and highlight them.
- Highlight the good. If your company does something you really like, for example matching a higher 401k amount, talk about it with your coworkers, on social media, and with your family. Express gratitude in a way that creates room for more gratitude.
- Act like a CEO. Think about whether your actions are in the best interest of the company. If what you’re doing furthers the mission of your organization, BINGO! you’re on the right track. If not, then you’re off the rails, come back, come baaaaaaack!
Strong company culture is about individuals within the organization – and that includes you.
Now, this is not to say every company culture is healthy. By no means does this article wish to shift accountability to employees who are in a company whose structural integrity is unsound. Recognizing not all people can easily pivot from one role or one organization to another.
The hope here is to show all employees, regardless of current company culture or individual stanging, how you can take control of your own experience.
If these options are not working for you, it may be time to consider speaking with your leadership or looking for another job.
In short, the stronger your culture, the stronger your company. In turn, increasing the number of talented applicants wanting to work at your organization. Consequently contributing to your overall job satisfaction and the longevity of your position. In other words, you’re contributing to your own job security.
Now that’s something we can all get behind.