It’s no surprise that people who enjoy their jobs are happier, more efficient, and more productive. Companies that cultivate the kind of great organizational culture that fosters these things are the Holy Grail for job-seekers, and they go far in the business world. Taking a look at Business Insider’s 25 Most Enjoyable Companies to Work For, you’ll see corporations like Twitter, Google, Facebook, Southwest Airlines, and other household names. There’s a reason why these companies do so well; they share many of the same traits. Numerous coaching and mentoring lessons can be away from the way they operate, and applied to any business venture to improve organizational culture.
Employees Feel Valued
Effective companies create an environment in which employees feel good about going to work every day. They see themselves as an integral part of something big, regardless of which position they hold. Those on Business Insider’s list provide things like benefit packages, vacation, 401k, scholarships, and more. The positivity generated grows into enthusiasm and energy, which is easily seen in end-products, and can be felt in the atmosphere while people are at work.
Structure is Highly-Defined
It’s said that “Too many cooks spoil the broth,” and a humorous workplace analogy can be seen in the iconic movie, “Office Space.” At one point, Peter explains to the business coaches that he has eight different bosses. In short, he only works hard enough to avoid being scolded by each of them. The other problem is that each boss wants something different, and the employee is pulled in too many directions. Companies with solid organizational culture create a defined hierarchy, so that it’s always easy to see who is responsible for each task, and people know whom to report to.
Unconventional Methods are Encouraged
Forward-thinking companies don’t just happen; ingenuity is instilled and encouraged in employees. Google has meeting rooms that are designed to feel like home, and even has game rooms for collaboration. Employees can slide down a fire pole instead of taking the elevator, or walk around barefoot if it helps spur creativity. NetApp hosts meetings on the roof, and other companies take advantage of stairwells, or other unusual venues. Shaking things up, pulling people out of their shells, and using unconventional methods to achieve goals are all encouraged because they lead to innovative, bold concepts.
Teamwork and Collaboration is Promoted
Many of the top 25 companies utilize open floorplans to encourage interaction between staff members. Some of them integrate free snack bars, so people from different departments come into contact with each other. Others intentionally seat executives alongside interns, or mix and mingle groups. This continual group-think model, where everyone works together and contributes, leads to better collaboration, inventive concepts, and improves employee morale.
Each Person is Accountable
Despite the collaborative environment, each person knows his or her tasks, and results are measured. All too often, large corporations hold meetings, in which employees are told what the goals are, but people leave not knowing what their role is in helping the company reach them. Other times, goals are so vague, that there’s no way to know if or when they are reached. Companies with great organizational culture create actionable goals, and give each person milestones, or measurable tasks. Moreover, leaders follow up with each employee, to ensure follow-through has occurred.
Personal Growth is Fostered
A recurring trend among companies with positive cultures is that employees are encouraged to grow. To foster this, internal candidates are considered before outsiders when positions become available. Businesses may offer general coaching or leadership coaching and training workshops, so that employees are prepared to take on new roles as they become available. Scholarships or other educational incentives are also routinely provided. In any case, these opportunities help ensure employees feel valued and improve their skills, so that the company continues to move forward.
Communication is Effective
Meetings are generally just 10-15 minutes long, and the stand-up is hugely popular. Google execs often limit attendance in meetings to ten people as well, and only invite those who must be there and will actively participate. Daily huddles are also common, which are most often used to ensure employees are on-task and meeting their goals or milestones. All communication, whether in-person, digital, or otherwise, is straightforward and purpose-driven.
Interactions are Positive and Goal-Focused
Although the exact phrasing is unknown, it’s believed that Edison once said something the lines of, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” With this in mind, innovative companies don’t punish their staff for failures or flops; they understand that missteps are part of the creative process. As individuals work to reach their milestones, leaders support them, give them the tools they need, and encourage a forward-thinking mindset.
Leaders Model Behavior
Great organizational culture must be cultivated, encouraged, and made to happen. Leaders model the behaviors, while utilizing coaching and mentoring skills to bring about the corporate atmosphere they want to inspire. They also go through leadership coaching training of their own, so they know how to instill traits in employees effectively.
Honesty and Integrity are Mandatory
Employees at Progressive and Intuit, both on the Business Insider list, specifically mention “transparency” when discussing company culture. Some companies record all meetings, or refuse to close their doors during discussions, which shows employees that nothing is being hidden from them. Businesses that operate with this kind of honesty and integrity create a secure environment, which is essential for employee morale, and also encourages staffers to take risks with their creative endeavors.
If you’re trying to improve the organizational culture of your business, begin by applying these traits in all you do. Change isn’t always easy, but as you get managers and other leaders within the company on board, you will begin to see a shift. Professional corporate training and leadership coaching can also help you attain your goals, as a master coach can arm you with the tools you’ll need to make the transition smoother.