A company work culture is defined by its employees. Their values, their motivation, and their personal goals are essential to creating a positive and successful working environment.

Happy employees bring many benefits to businesses, including a 31% increase in productivity and a 37% increase in sales. However, 68% of employees feel their company isn’t doing enough to create a work culture in which employees have a sense of purpose and a meaningful impact. Are you one of those companies?

You don’t need to be a creative genius to improve work culture and end staff burnouts forever, but you do need to care about your company and your workforce. Here are four simple ways to do it.

Have a Vision

What does your company want to achieve? Have dreams, have aspirations, have a vision. Without an ultimate goal, no one will know what they are working toward and this will cause motivation levels to dwindle. Communicate your company vision to your employees and get them as enthusiastic about achieving it as you are. Having a vision doesn’t mean just telling staff to make something happen, it’s about putting their work into a broader perspective. Explain your strategy, create short-term targets for each worker, and work together to achieve long-term goals.

How do you make that vision come alive? Don’t forget about it, and don’t let your employees forget about it either. Coca-Cola commissioned a 6.5-meter-high art installation for its new London HQ celebrating the values and culture of its brand. The display is there to inspire employees and create a sense of pride in Coca-Cola’s 128-year heritage. But you don’t need to a multi-billion-dollar company to achieve this; SMEs can do it too. Exposure Ninja, a web design and marketing company, simply painted a client testimonial on the wall of its office to motivate employees and boost camaraderie at work.

Transparent Communication

When it comes to communication, have an open-door policy. Management who make decisions behind closed doors alienate the rest of their workforce and create a breeding ground for rumor and gossip. Be clear and open about the state of the company and decisions that are in the pipeline, and always be the first to tell your staff about changes.

Worried about lost memos? Use a company intranet to send email and text notifications of important bulletins to each employee. How about inefficient meetings? Make meetings  more specific and stick to a printed agenda. Delegate key speakers to inform the team about what progress has been made since the previous meeting and invite others to contribute their ideas afterward. Most importantly, don’t let anyone walk away from the meeting room without an assigned task that they need to achieve in time for the next meeting.

Invest in Training and Development

Ask your employees where see themselves in five years. Write down each employee’s answer and help him or her achieve it. If your sales assistant wants to be heading up the sales department, offer him/her training to enhance his/her product knowledge and to develop managerial skills. If one of your secretarial staff wants to make the move into web design, let him/her shadow a designer for half a day each week.

Take advantage of apps like IdeaScale and Kindling so that employees can offer feedback on the company work culture and their own ideas. Providing staff with training, learning opportunities and a chance to offer feedback is a vital way to avoid staff feeling as though they are stuck in a “dead-end job.” When you support their career development, your staff will be re-energized and ready to face new challenges. Remember, if they are performing at the top of their games, your organization will be too.

Reward Employees for Their Efforts

Naturally, employees want to be recognized for their hard work and commitment. Reward everyone who performs at or above the level expected of them, no matter what position they hold in your team. If your cleaners always have the office spotless, praise them for it. If your sales team punch above their targets, praise them too. Let all of your employees know that they are a valuable asset in your team.

You don’t need to shed out $1,000 bonuses and 10% raises for every employee like Google to reward your employees. Simple rewards like verbal praise and buying employees a coffee can work well too. The aim is to encourage positive practices. Treating your employees equally and responding to behavior in the correct way will improve workplace culture and encourage employees to work at their best.

Ron Stewart has worked in the recruitment industry for 30 years, having owned companies in the IT, Construction and Medical sectors. He is currently running the Jobs4Group, and is CEO of Jobs4Medical.

photo credit: Mr.TinDC via photopin cc