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10 Ways to Improve Your Organizational Culture

Are your employees happy? Whether the answer to that question is "yes" or "no," chances are the reason for that answer is an undefinable something that makes your workplace better or worse than some others. That something has a name: culture. If you think you can't control your organizational culture, you're wrong. There are things you can do every day to make sure your workplace is a positive one.

There is No "I" in Team

As cliched as it sounds, teamwork is an important part of corporate culture. That means you, too. Instead of making major decisions that impact everyone and laying down the law, bring staff in to get their own thoughts. While there are admittedly times senior management must make decisions without the input from staff, but if you're interested in staff retention, it's important to encourage employees to be emotionally invested in the direction of your organization.

Encourage Flexibility

Studies have shown that flexible workers are more productive workers. If you're still one of those bosses who expects workers to sit at a desk from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, you may be missing a great opportunity. Today's technology allows workers to connect to the server and work at night, on weekends, or while on an overnight flight to meet with an important client. Flexibility could make a big difference in whether your workers stay or leave for a competitor who does offer those opportunities.

Lighten Up

When you're trying to run a business, the idea of someone speeding around the office on rollerblades may seem incomprehensible. But small perks like allowing workers to bring pets to the office or having a fun day out can go a long way toward satisfying your employee retention strategies.

Promote from Within

When it comes time to hire a new team leader or manager, look at your own staff before hiring from outside. Better yet, ask each employee what his or her long-term goals are and work to find ways to help those employees reach those goals, even if it means they'll eventually have to leave. Showing your interested in helping your workers achieve their dreams establishes you as a great boss.

Take Time to Celebrate

Your organizational culture should include plenty of celebrations, whether you're sharing cake for someone's birthday or ending a long, grueling project with a pizza party. These get-togethers can also offer a prime opportunity for workers to bond.

Acknowledge Accomplishments

Did you know most employees would rather have appreciation than more money? Your employee retention strategies should include plenty of back pats. If you're tight on funds, have the head of your company stop by to personally acknowledge the hard work employees are doing. When cash flow is positive, use that extra money for bonuses to reward especially impressive performers.

Use Creative Hiring Strategies

Your best efforts to create a positive, open organizational culture can be negated by one poorly-chosen employee. To avoid bringing someone into the workplace who will bring office morale down, actively recruit each new employee rather than simply choosing from a small pool of candidates. Don't rush into choosing someone just to fill a vacant position. Take your time and find the right person.

Provide Perks

By partnering with local organizations, you can improve staff retention by offering perks. Strike up a deal with a local dry cleaner to pick up employees' dry cleaning and pay the delivery fee yourself. Secure group discounts for family attractions, restaurants, and service providers and pass those deals on to your workers.

Keep Staff Informed

Numerous bosses say they have an "open-door policy," but their actions contradict that. Whether your organization has 5 employees or 500, find a way to regularly inform them of all the goings-on in the organization.

Develop Written Strategies

Every time an employee leaves, it costs your organization. Crafting written employee retention strategies can ensure your entire leadership team works in unison to provide an environment that has employees wanting to come to work each day.