6 Secrets to Creating Company Culture

Three businesswomen smiling and talking.

January 4, 2024

“Company Culture” is more than just a buzzword. It’s the secret to a successful organization that has thriving employees and a satisfied customer base. 

According to ZipDo, “A positive culture results in 30% better customer satisfaction levels and a 4x increase in revenue growth.” After all, it makes sense – if you like your job, you’re less likely to leave.

Gone are the days of motivating employees with negative feedback. Feeling respected and recognized at work is good for morale and results in increased productivity, employee longevity, and customer satisfaction.

So, with all this talk about why company culture is so essential…how do we create it?

1. Skills & Personality Testing

Many organizations are using skills and personality tests for professional development – such as Myers Briggs, DISC, Enneagram, Clifton StrengthsFinder, the Predictive Index, and WBCP’s chosen methodology, Polaris® Competency Modeling. We offer an assessment of organizational Core Competencies as a consulting service, with exciting and actionable results.

Why is skills testing essential for team culture? It’s all about recognition and growth. 

Skills testing in the workplace creates an environment where your staff can recognize one another’s strengths and encourage one another. It also communicates that skills are consistently developed in the workplace. LinkedIn has even featured its favorite workplace skills tests, quoting, “These exercises tend to be enlightening and perspective-shifting. Going through them alongside coworkers is enriching, with lasting impacts in terms of understanding and awareness. Recognizing how others think, in relation to ourselves, leads to more effective working relationships.”

Here’s an example: You go around in a circle, sharing the results of your skills tests and what you learned about yourselves. You might find that you see your coworkers in a new light and understand the frameworks of successful (or unsuccessful) teams more clearly. It is also clear what people should work on to be a better team collaborator in the future.

Recognizing and honoring strengths is an excellent way to begin creating a positive and inclusive workplace culture. Assessments such as the Myers-Briggs offer insight into one’s foundational personality traits.

Core Competencies take this concept further in order to offer a snapshot of which skills – or competencies – one should possess at different levels of an organization, from individual contributor (employee), to supervisory (management), to executive level. Knowing the core competencies of staff members can offer actionable steps toward improving team function, communication, and career succession.

2. Check-in Meetings

At WBCP, we have a virtual daily meeting called “stand-up,” where everyone is present. Everyone on staff attends this daily meeting, which happens first thing in the morning and lasts about 30 minutes.

What is this meeting, and why is it an important part of team culture?

As many staff work remotely, the daily check-in meeting is an opportunity to ask questions and go through projects one by one, ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Important details are discussed during these meetings, and everyone leaves with a checklist of action items. This is an effective way to make sure that clients get the best customer service from our team.

Indeed touts the effectiveness of daily check-in meetings, saying, “Everybody has an equal opportunity to share their ideas or concerns in a productive way to create healthy communication between all team members.” If you don’t have check-in meetings but you have a large and/or remote team, you may want to consider implementing them. A great way to do them is on Zoom, at the same time every single day, with every team member present.

3. Employee Reviews & Goal-Setting

There is something that successful organizations have in common when it comes to employee happiness: A culture of growth, encouragement, and personal development.

Employee reviews can be an essential tool for creating excellent company culture, if they are structured correctly. 

Let’s face it, reviews are often seen as negative or stressful, but in a positive workplace culture, they are viewed as exciting opportunities for growth. Employee reviews should not just be a place to air negative feedback. Ideally, they are a time to honor the strengths and achievements of employees, communicate goals, ask questions, and discuss career succession.

A culture of accepting mistakes and developing skills on the job is great for productivity. “Embracing a growth mindset makes your brain more willing to make mistakes, better at correcting and learning from mistakes, and better at accepting feedback,” according to Inc Magazine.

While employee reviews are important milestones, they are not the only time or place for communication between management and staff. Ask questions like: “What can I do to support you,” and “What did you enjoy the most about this project?” The key is to frequently recognize employees for doing projects well, on time, and with excellence.

4. Employee Recognition

It’s no secret that when we feel appreciated, recognized, and celebrated at work, we do a better job. But recognition can get lost in the shuffle when it comes to the day-to-day activity of work.

Recognition is about celebrating your strengths and the contributions you individually make to the team. 

According to a study featured in Harvard Business Review, “Creating positive anticipation in others (perhaps with a weekly acknowledgment of the most productive employee on the company website) may be more effective at motivating action than threatening poor performance with a demotion or pay cut.”

Encourage employees to write notes of encouragement and compliments for a job well done for one another. Periodically, have employees retrieve their notes and read their favorites out loud, or have them read them weekly on Monday mornings.

5. Staff Retreats

Organizing a retreat or event for your employees is an excellent way to build a positive team culture. 

Hiring a business coach or a keynote speaker can be a great way to educate, inspire, and unite your team. Decide on an objective for your retreat — what do you want your employees to feel when they leave, what tools do you want them to have, and how do you want them to get to know one another?

If you’ve been doing a lot of hiring recently, a retreat can be an excellent way to help everyone get acquainted. You can implement exercises into your retreat such as the skills testing before they arrive and discuss the results so that they can learn more about one another. You could also introduce the note-writing activity during your retreat and set expectations for how you want them to encourage teammates.

Planning an activity such as an escape room excursion, mini golf, or an intermural sports team can also be fun ways to build a foundation for team collaboration and communication.

6. Shared Mission, Vision, and Values

A shared mission and vision for the organization is an excellent way to create a positive company culture. 

Post your values statements on a wall to set intentions for employees. You may also choose to feature your mission or vision on your company website or in your email signature.

If you haven’t developed an official mission statement or decided on a list of values, this is a great reminder that they provide a solid foundation for your culture. This is ideally developed in conjunction with the executive team and a business coach or the internal marketing team.

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