How to Improve Company Culture as an Employee
A company’s culture is a major identifying factor that is unique to the company and sets it apart from others in their industry. You might have 10 companies that all do the same work, but the company culture in each one will be different. Why? Because culture is defined by the shared attitudes and values of the employees.
Another way to think about company culture is the unique characteristics, ethics, and mission the people within the company have. It’s vital that employees feel that their values are expressed by the company’s culture. When the company’s culture is in alignment with their own, employees will be happier and more motivated to contribute to the company.
If a disparity exists, what can employees do (besides quitting)? How can you help create a company culture that aligns with your values and goals? The following four tips will show you how to improve company culture if you are an employee.
Be sure to actively participate in any surveys or feedback requests you get from the manager or employer. When answering these surveys, take them seriously and respond truthfully. There are some issues that managers won’t see as readily as you will because of their position. Since you are up close to the internal workings of the culture, you have valuable insight that can help in creating a positive work environment. You may have ideas to improve the workplace environment. If so, feel free to add them to the survey. For example, you could suggest an on-site daycare or diversity/cultural training if this is something you feel would be beneficial.
Some people sit back and wonder how to improve company culture. They wait for an opening or something to occur. However, the opportunity is often right in front of you — it just involves being proactive instead of reactive. You can facilitate good company culture by communicating openly with management about the changes you want to see.
Ask to meet with management and discuss the issues that concern you. You may be assigned to lead a committee that works on these initiatives. For example, if you’d like to see more flexible workplaces for working parents, present several ideas to management. The more proactive you are by providing solutions, the better chance that things will change.
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Be an Advocate
As you see the culture you are working in taking shape, advocate for your company by being a brand ambassador. You can post about the company on social media, or if you blog, you could write about the importance of cultural tone within a company and so on.
So, when is the cultural tone of a company usually set? When employees begin to advocate for the company. Then the employer knows the values it has are getting through. You could even start a Facebook group for the company employees. Be an administrator of the group and make sure it represents the brand image adequately.
Be a Leader
You can push new efforts forward by stepping up and being a leader when the opportunity presents itself. As an employee, you may have better opportunities to drive change since you will have firsthand experience about areas that may need it. For example, suppose the company image is about unity and togetherness, yet you see that everyone in the office is distant and unsocial. In that case, you could come up with a monthly social outing. This may inspire other similar initiatives that drive the same theme of the company as a team family.
With a little bit of brainstorming, you can find ways to drive the culture change in the workplace. As you strive to improve company culture, you’ll likely inspire those around you to do the same.
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