Building Culture in a Disparate Workplace

Your company culture is an important part of how you function. It encompasses how your employees interact with each other, how they interact with the organization, and what’s expected of them. A good, positive company culture is important for morale. It’s important for attracting new talent to your company, and it’s an important part of the gauge for whether a potential new hire would be a good fit.

What if your company doesn’t have a good culture, though? Maybe different people in different departments, or from different backgrounds, have trouble connecting with one another. It can make it difficult for them to work together as a team, or to see themselves as a part of a bigger whole. Here are some ways to build a more positive culture in a disparate workplace.

  1. Establish Goals and Values. What does your company hope to achieve? Why does everyone come in every day? “Generating sales and increasing profits” isn’t enough. It’s not something that your employees can unite behind. This is why values are important. What are your company’s values, and how does each employee’s work contribute to the promotion of those values? By establishing common goals, both for the company as a whole and for each individual department, you can help unite your workforce and become more of a team.

  2. Maintain Good Communication. This is important for three reasons. It’s important to make sure your employees know what’s going on in your company: that they know what’s expected of them, that they’re made aware of any important news or changes to the organization, etc. But communication is a two-way street. Your employees need to know that they’re being heard: that you’ll listen to their concerns and try to rectify any problems, and that if they have suggestions for how to improve things at your company or create a better working environment, you’ll listen to them and take them seriously. Finally, your employees need to be encouraged to communicate with one another, both within and across departments. They can’t help one another if they don’t communicate with each other. Many of the problems that arise within companies are a direct result of poor communication. By creating a culture where people can talk to one another, you’ll save a lot of hassle and create a better working environment.

  3. Establish Respect and Recognition. Much like communication, respect is a two-way street. You likely already make it a priority to ensure your employees respect you. But do you respect them? If you don’t show respect for the work that they do and the effort that they give to your company, the culture can turn toxic quickly. One way to show you respect your team is to recognize them for a job well done—both individually and as a group. Make an effort to single employees out for praise when you can, and tell them they’re doing a good job. Providing bonuses when they reach certain goals can also go a long way towards boosting morale and creating a positive company culture.

  4. Plan Bonding Events. To get your team to connect with one another and establish a rapport, it helps to hold regular outings and other events that promote bonding. A company picnic is a good start, but there are other, smaller things you can do more frequently. Try a happy hour once a week after work, or things like game night, or trivia night: something that involves getting together and socializing, but that doesn’t involve work. Not everyone is into the same things, so having a wider variety of activities available will help attract a broader cross-section of your company. By holding these events regularly, you can get your employees to connect on a deeper level and establish camaraderie that will translate to better teamwork and a more positive company culture.

These are just a few of the things you can do to improve your company culture, improve connections, and strengthen bonds within the workplace. In the end, it all comes down to respect. If you respect your employees and treat them well, they’ll respect you and do a better job serving your company.