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As a business owner, you’ve probably heard the phrase ‘company culture’ a lot over the last couple of years. But what does it mean, and how can putting time and money into your culture help to keep staff on board?

You could think of your company culture as your organisation’s personality. It’s what defines your working environment and includes several elements, such as company values, mission statement, work ethics and company expectations.

How does a good company culture help to improve retention?

Your company culture has the power to make or break your business, especially when it comes to retention.

That’s because a positive company culture breeds a sense of loyalty among employees. If they feel that they are treated well and with respect, and enjoy coming into work every day, they’re much more likely to stay with you.

Investing in your employees’ wellbeing is essential if you want a team of happy, dedicated staff. A strong culture can also help to reduce workplace stress, which will both boost employee health and reduce absenteeism rates. What’s more, higher retention rates mean you won’t have to keep spending money on hiring new staff and training them up.

Even simple things like showing a duty of care can be a step in the right direction. But there are many ways to invest in your company culture to ensure your team is happy, motivated and unlikely to look elsewhere for a new job.

How to create a good company culture

When we think of improving the culture of a company, it can be easy to think that providing a free lunch, donning the office with a ping-pong table or placing a games console in a meeting room is going to make your workplace a happy environment.

Whilst these perks are all fun and will undoubtedly be appreciated by your employees, a strong company culture needs to be built on something more substantial in order to retain talent.

Your staff want to work for a company that believes in them, and sees their value. They want to be treated with respect and be proud of the company they work for, which means you need to create an environment that caters for those needs. You can do this through the following means:

Developing strong, clear values

Make sure your values are easy to remember and embrace. They should always be in line with your company mission and be backed up by your incentive structure.

Values should drive company culture because they give your organisation its identity. If your staff don’t know what your values are, it won’t be clear to them what your company cares about. Bringing your company values in line with those of your employees will help to build a cohesive workforce that works as a foundation for your company culture.

Encourage growth and learning opportunities

Your employees will have a plethora of skills and talents, so you should be making the most of them! Providing the appropriate training and resources will help your staff to expand their existing capabilities.

Personal growth is essential for ensuring your employees reach a high level of fulfilment, as it sees them unlocking their full potential. In addition, helping your staff get better at their jobs demonstrates that you care about them on a personal level as well as a professional one, which in turn leads to a stronger culture.

Invest in your teams

As we’ve established, a good culture highlights that you value your staff as people, rather than just employees.

Providing benefits such as flexible working hours, additional paid leave and educational reimbursement shows that you care about your employees’ work-life balance. This, in turn, builds loyalty and trust between you and your staff.

Be transparent

In order to build trust among your workforce, you need to encourage open communication. You can do this by involving your teams in decision-making and being transparent about what goes on within the company.

A good starting point is by asking your staff about what they’d like more information about, or any frustrations they currently have at work.

Remember, building a strong company culture takes time. Don’t give up if it doesn’t happen overnight. By focusing on creating a company with strong values, engaged, motivated employees, and a feeling of trust throughout the organisational structure, you will build a dynamic culture that improves your business.