While knee deep in the growth stage, many small-business owners neglect to focus on one of the most important factors behind the long-term success of their organization – creating a positive company culture. By boosting employee morale, a great company culture can have sweeping effects within the workplace – from increased productivity and engagement, to lower turnover and improved company performance.

In fact, happy employees are 85% more efficient at work, experience a 60% drop in absenteeism and stay twice as long in their jobs as their less-happy colleagues, according to a recent study by Globoforce. And, in turn, this will help foster the growth and success of a company.

1. Establish a Clearly Defined Purpose

In order to lay the foundation for a positive company culture, it’s important to first identify a clear vision statement and define the core values guiding the company in all of its decision making – from hiring employees and managing day-to-day operations, to product creation and interactions with customers.

Employees need to have a sense of purpose within the workplace – and a major part of that is knowing their job or a given task is making a difference. Instead of simply designating tasks, small-business owners should take the time to explain how each task is important to the company as a whole.

By creating a vision statement that supports the company’s mission, employees will be motivated to continuously strive for betterment and will feel more personally empowered in helping the company to achieve its goals.

2. Hire the Right Talent

When hiring a new employee, small-business owners must focus on far more than simply filling a vacant seat. In order to attract the right person for the right position, it’s critical to evaluate whether each candidate is a good cultural fit, as well as how the candidate will contribute to the overall success of the company. This requires developing a strategy that will help guide the hiring process.

Distilled down to its most basic components, our implemented EOS Process involves two key elements for attracting and retaining great employees in the workplace – defining the company’s core values, and then hiring employees who share the same set of core values. When evaluating a candidate, small-business owners should consider:

  • What qualities fit best with the work culture and core values?
  • How does this role advance the company’s vision and mission?
  • How will the candidate help the organization achieve its goals?

In turn, a solid hiring strategy will lead to more engaged employees and minimal turnover. And by hiring only those who are a good cultural fit, small-business owners will put their company on the path for a future of growth and success.

3. Recognize Milestones and Achievements

It goes without saying that employees who feel appreciated will often go above and beyond within the workplace. So, it makes sense that one of the biggest components to cultivating a positive company culture is the recognition of milestones and achievements.

And the gestures don’t have to be elaborate – recognizing even small accomplishments, pointing out unique talents and praising team members during a meeting or in an email can have a big impact. In addition, reward systems can be established for a job well done.

By focusing on the positive when interacting with employees, small-business owners will help boost employee morale and empower their workforce to have a “can-do” attitude. It will also show team members that outstanding performance and important events are noticed and praised in the workplace.

4. Promote Open Communication

It’s human nature that employees need to feel their thoughts and opinions genuinely matter to the company. Small-business owners can increase engagement and improve productivity by promoting effective, two-way communication within the workplace.

A great way to promote open communication within the workplace is to hold team meetings on a regular basis, such as weekly or monthly. This can provide employees with an opportunity to be more involved in decision making, discuss new ideas and explore ways to continuously improve the company. Establishing a feedback process can also help encourage employees to offer feedback and ask questions.

In addition, it’s important to keep in mind that employees may not be aware of all the good a company is doing behind closed doors. By promoting a culture of transparency and keeping team members informed about any new changes, small-business owners can empower their employees to be more engaged and participate in discussions that will ultimately help the company to grow and succeed.

5. Encourage Social Interaction

Everyone needs a break from the daily grind from time to time, and encouraging social interaction among employees – whether in the office or at social events – is a great way to boost happiness, productivity and morale within the workplace. In fact, companies that encourage play are often where the best employees do their best work.

Within the workplace, small-business owners should resist the urge to send employees scurrying back to their desks and instead encourage social interaction among peers, such as periodic breaks, friendly chit-chat and group lunches. Although it may seem counterintuitive, allowing employees to relax, recharge and connect actually leads to increased motivation and productivity at work.

In addition, organizing social events that take place in a casual atmosphere outside of the office can help employees connect on a more personal level, build comradery and form shared memories – all while having fun. Although these outings don’t have to break the bank, they should be something that everyone is interested in, such as a company picnic, summer sports league or community volunteering.

Want to learn more about growing your small business?

Contact Evolution Capital Partners at (216) 593-0402.

Jeffrey Kadlic

Author Jeffrey Kadlic

Jeffrey Kadlic is a Founding Partner of Evolution Capital Partners, a nationally recognized and award-winning private equity firm dedicated to driving small business transformational success. His passion is simple: arm and inspire entrepreneurs today with the operational leadership, capital management, and success drivers that competitive markets demand. He is a creator of Evolution’s Five Fundamentals, the systematic organizational change agent that transforms the challenges small businesses face into sustainable and profitable growth.

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Contact: (216) 593-0402