At the heart of every successful company is a group of hardworking individuals invested in the outcome of their work. Supporting these individuals with a company culture of care and empathy is integral to success in business.
Why Does Having a Supportive Company Culture Matter?
With all the hustle and bustle of running a company, it can be easy to let company culture fall to the back burner. However, company culture should be more than an afterthought in your business strategy; it is a crucial component to the sustainable success of a business.
“The culture of a company is the glue that holds it together,” explains Dr. Michael Green, Chief Medical Officer of Winona. “That glue must be supportive, strong, and shared among the whole team.”
According to Eagle Hill, 74% of American workers believe that company culture impacts their ability to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. Similarly, Quantum Workplace found that companies with a robust culture saw 72% higher employee engagement compared to those with misaligned cultural values.
Investing in a supportive company culture can not only make your employees happier and more productive, but it can lead to better engagement and even higher stock value. You can transform your workplace by building a solid culture based on trust, empathy, and communication.
11 Cornerstones of Crafting a Supportive Company Culture
1. Establish Values
At the heart of a supportive company culture is a strong set of core values. A company should operate under these values across the workplace, demonstrating a commitment to integrity and accountability.
“When the leaders in your organization are exemplary representatives of the values you wish to see upheld throughout the organization, the entire culture shifts in a positive direction,” says Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce.
Establishing company values, sharing them across the team, and showing up for those values in concrete ways is the foundation of building a robust company culture.
2. Provide Resources for Constructive Criticism
Offering feedback in a constructive way can be a difficult task for leaders. By providing resources like training on feedback styles or methods, you can build a feedback system that doesn’t leave your team feeling hurt or undervalued.
“Empathy is the key to leadership in business. Learning to express criticism in a way that is constructive and kind can completely transform team dynamics,” explains Travis Mydock, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney at Mydock Law.
When you understand the feedback and communication styles of your team, you are much better equipped to provide encouraging feedback while still getting your point across. Building a constructive feedback system helps grow a supportive company culture instilled with trust and respect.
3. Create a Peer-to-Peer Praise System
Everyone likes to hear positive feedback when they’re doing a good job. However, critical feedback tends to be doled out more often than praise, leading to a culture of dissatisfaction.
Consider creating a peer-to-peer praise system to open the dialogue around positive aspects of team dynamics. With open communication across the team to discuss wins and successes, you can foster an environment of support that spans across leadership levels.
“Support doesn’t just come from leadership. It comes from within the infrastructure of the company,” Miles Beckett, Co-Founder and CEO of Flossy shares. “Peer support and praise are integral to a strong, supportive company.”
You can create a peer-to-peer praise system by building praise shoutout time into your regular meetings. By doing this, you open the door to a feedback system that is positive, regular, and supported.
4. Accountability That Goes Both Ways
When you create a safe space to share feedback — both positive and constructive — across team levels, you build a foundation of trust and accountability in your company. Feedback from the team to leadership is crucial to understanding how your employees are responding to leadership styles, structures, and culture.
“It’s a commonly held but incorrect belief that leadership is a one-way street,” explains Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO of OSDB. “Successful leadership includes feedback, praise, and collaboration that goes both ways.”
Opening up a feedback system that allows the conversation to flow both ways elevates the company culture to one of safety and respect.
5. Foster Trust by Not Micromanaging
Micromanaging, or the scrutiny of small details in an employee’s work, can be harmful to building a supportive company culture. Instead, focus on trusting your employees and stepping in with additional support only when needed or asked.
“Trust is the currency of a successful workplace,” suggests Asker A Ahmed, Director of iProcess Global Research. “You have to be able to trust your employees to do the work you’ve hired them to do. Micromanaging hurts everyone, cutting away valuable time and energy that could have been better used elsewhere.”
By trusting your employees, you foster a company culture built on respect. When your team feels respected and valued, they can work and innovate creatively and freely.
6. Establish a Work-Life Balance
A happy, well-rested employee is a productive one. Establishing a healthy work-life balance is essential to crafting a supportive company culture.
“Draining workers dry for the sake of achieving goals can negatively affect the overall mood of the company and your ability to engage with clients,” says Valentina Drofa, co-founder and CEO of Drofa Comms.
Your employees will feel safer and more respected in a company they know doesn’t overwhelm their lives. Establishing a work-life balance at your company helps build a culture that supports the overall wellness of your employees.
7. Provide Mental and Physical Health Benefits
A supportive company culture is built by happy, healthy people. By investing in the health of your employees, you’re investing in a richer culture and, subsequently, investing in your company as a whole.
“If you want strong, healthy, and focused employees, you need to provide them with the resources to be strong, healthy, and focused people first,” says Max Ade, CEO of Pickleheads, a company known for their comprehensive ranking of the best pickleball paddles.
Your company is only as strong as the people working for it. Not only does providing mental and physical health benefits like a solid insurance package draw in better candidates, but it also shows your team members that you care about their well-being.
Paid time off is a significant selling point for many people searching for a job. Offering and encouraging PTO can demonstrate that your company is built on a foundation of trust, respect, and care.
“It’s been proven time and time again that offering a robust PTO package is beneficial to the entire workplace,” says Julia Kahlig-Garuba, CEO and Founder of Herb & Root. “It’s a complete myth that more PTO reduces productivity.”
Trust is always the cornerstone of a supportive company culture. Show your team that you trust them to balance their own time by encouraging breaks and time away.
9. Establish Clear SOPs and KPIs
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) provide clear expectations for how your team should run. When your company’s SOPs and KPIs are clear and realistic, your team knows what is expected of them and can perform accordingly.
“Clear procedures and expectations keep everyone on the same page,” states Dorothy Pun, Founder of Knitup. “When you have a performance metric to reference like a KPI, it’s easier to provide feedback that is constructive and well received.”
Being on the same page about the expectations of procedures and performance helps build a company culture of transparency and accountability.
10. Offer Opportunities for Growth and Professional Development
Offering opportunities for growth and professional development shows that your company cares about the future of its staff. Promotional opportunities, stipends for further education, and even staff training are all ways to demonstrate your company’s commitment to its employees.
“When you invest in the skills and development of your employees, you invest in the longevity of your business,” shares Mara Dumski, Chief Fragrance Experience Officer of Pura, a company known for their smart Car Diffuser. “The people of your company are the cornerstone of success.”
Not only does offering opportunities for growth help build a supportive company culture, but it also allows for a wider breadth of skills and expertise in your workplace.
Investing in Company Culture Is Investing in a Strong Company
A supportive company culture is the foundation of a well-built company. By investing in the wellness, trust, and communication of your team, you can create space for better efficiency and innovation.
“When you listen to your employees and fundamentally trust their input, you’re better able to create an inclusive, transparent environment in which all types of people can thrive,” explains Christina Brun Peterson, co-founder and Chief People Officer at Worksome.
Spend time intentionally cultivating a supportive company culture and watch as your company transforms. When your employees are showing up to work with enthusiasm, sharing feedback openly and constructively, and working productively, you’ll know you made the right choice investing in company culture.
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