What’s it feel like, walking in to work or standing in the break room, sitting at your desk or tucked away in your office or cubicle?
The vibe of your workplace matters—if it’s ringing with silence or buzzing with chatter, if doors are open or closed, if employees are excited, or less than thrilled to get their days started, literally dragging themselves there. And it’s company culture that decides. So what is yours—or what do you want it to be?
Probably a place that inspires and motivates the people inside it to do their best, right? This magical environment, or the success that comes with it, doesn’t just show up, though; you’ve got to commit to making your business the best place ever to work.
We asked the Young Entrepreneur Council, “What is one thing you want to accomplish regarding company culture?” Here are their goals… which can be your goals, too:
1. Communicate and appreciate workers.
I’ve worked in too many roles where communication was nonexistent and hard work was not appreciated or acknowledged. This year is going to be the year of efficient communication and showing shameless praise for a job well done. When I’m engaged, challenged and appreciated, I’m unstoppable. And I have a feeling I’m not the only one who operates that way.
—Sydney Owen Williams, 3Ring Media
2. Learn to teach.
Something we continually strive for as an organization is to spend as much time as possible on learning and self-improvement. We’ve structured our entire work week around meetings and events that will help drive learning as much as possible. The next big thing we’re focused on is getting our entire staff engaged with teaching, as we’ve found there is no better way to learn than to teach.
—Ross Beyeler, Growth Spark
3. Collaborate across departments.
One of the defining aspects of our company has been the intertwined nature of our business functions. Marketing is constantly talking to Tech, who always checks in with Sales, and so on. This has been easy considering the small size of our team. But as we grow and expand, it is a priority to maintain this transparency and collaborative environment to ensure a comprehensive approach.
—Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, AirPR
4. Encourage an environment of acceptance.
A business runs smoothly when the culture is one of acceptance toward peers’ idiosyncrasies. Acceptance does away with the time-wasters of back-stabbing and social climbing. It takes team-building experiences to foster acceptance. It takes tight control of yourself to not roll your eyes at a ludicrous idea. It also takes making sure that your team believes in building each other up.
—Peter Daisyme, Hostt
5. Focus on employee development.
We want to create a culture of curiosity and realization that we will never know enough. We want our employees to continually develop themselves, so we’re encouraging a fund for them to actively find and attend conferences. By sharing what they learn, they can inspire other employees around the office to be hungry for future growth.
—Kenny Nguyen, Big Fish Presentations
6. Inspire a culture of self-awareness.
In order for organizations to prosper and grow, each individual must have a realistic view of their own set of strengths and weaknesses. They must acknowledge and accept where they currently are before they can begin to map out plans for improvement, and the culture should allow them the chance to accept who they are before attempts are made to change.
—Christophor Jurin, Construct-Ed, Inc.
7. Improve employee independence.
Successful employees tell you what they did, rather than asking what to do. Moving forward over the next year, I’m going to try to encourage everyone in the company to make their own decisions instead of looking to managers to make their decisions for them.
—Liam Martin, Staff.com
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprising the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.