10 Tips to Encourage Employees to Foster Their Own Company Culture

Members of the Young Entrepreneur Council explain how to encourage employees to play an active role in shaping organizational culture.
Young Entrepreneur Council
Expert Contributor
May 27, 2021
Updated: May 28, 2021
Young Entrepreneur Council
Expert Contributor
May 27, 2021
Updated: May 28, 2021
employee-company-culture
Top row, from left: Amine Rahal, Mark Stallings, Ashley Sharp, Shu Saito, Miles Jennings. Bottom row, from left: Solomon Thimothy, Stephanie Wells, Kalin Kassabov, Diego Orjuela, Chris Christoff.

Cultivating an empowering and supportive culture for employees is one of the most important parts of building a team. A companys staff should create its culture by and for itself, so involving your team in the development process will help you reap the best results.

To help you do this, a panel of the Young Entrepreneur Council members shared 10 creative ways to encourage employees to foster their own company culture. Here’s why these tactics are so effective, and how you can implement them in your workplace.

10 Tips To Encourage Employees To Foster Their Own Company Culture

  1. Let Them Create and Bring Their Own Values
  2. Hold Regular Team Video Meetings
  3. Give Employees Agency and Responsibility
  4. Encourage Friendships Among Coworkers
  5. Publicly Recognize Positive Employee Behaviors
  6. Prioritize Transparency
  7. Develop a Clear Mission Statement
  8. Facilitate Frequent Communication and Feedback
  9. Complete a Vision Exercise
  10. Host Virtual Get-Togethers

More From the Young Entrepreneur Council13 Essential Lessons for Leaders From the Remote-Work Era

 

1. LET THEM CREATE AND BRING THEIR OWN VALUES

Youve already trusted your team enough to hire them, right? Take that trust a step further by encouraging them to create (and live by) core sets of values that the entire team can respect. Encourage them to bring some of their own culture from their home into the workplace. Build a work culture organically from the bottom up. — Amine Rahal, IronMonk Solutions

2. HOLD REGULAR TEAM VIDEO MEETINGS

Like many companies in 2021, we’ve gone from a traditional office to fully remote. Maintaining a culture when your only interactions are mediated by technology is a challenge. Weekly video one-on-ones and all-hands-on-deck video meetings have helped us maintain our culture and connection. The group chats aren’t work-focused, but more about what’s going on personally and coping with pandemic life. — Mark Stallings, Casely, Inc

3. GIVE EMPLOYEES AGENCY AND RESPONSIBILITY

The only way you can grow your culture from the bottom up is by giving your employees agency and true responsibility. Encourage them to be completely in charge of implementing their own programs and changes, from creation to actualization. When they’re invested in the organization and have ownership of the inputs and outcomes, the culture shifts to one of hard work, inclusivity and pride. — Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity

4. ENCOURAGE FRIENDSHIPS AMONG CO-WORKERS

Don’t discourage friendships at work. Although business owners can’t make people become friends, they can do several things to create a culture where friendships thrive. For example, pair older workers with younger workers, promote cross-team collaboration and incorporate friendship time in meetings. Friendship is a key driver of company culture, so it pays to promote it at work. — Shu Saito, All Filters

5. PUBLICLY RECOGNIZE POSITIVE EMPLOYEE BEHAVIORS

Company culture is crucial but tricky. You need to strike the right balance between organic, bottom-up growth and intentional, top-down cultivation. One easy way to do that is by strategically, publicly recognizing employee behaviors that reinforce the culture you hope to achieve. That way, the culture still grows authentically from employees, but without the risks of a hands-off approach. — Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com

6. PRIORITIZE TRANSPARENCY

Make transparency a normal part of your business. It’s one of those difficult practices that we have to foster on a daily basis. Whether HR-related or finance-related, ensure that you consistently strive to create a culture of transparency. This lets people know that you’re open to new ideas and that you’re supportive of the culture that is being created within the company. — Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

7. DEVELOP A CLEAR MISSION STATEMENT

For any business to cultivate a strong company culture, you need a clear and solid mission statement. A mission statement outlines the core values of a company so everyone can easily follow protocol and create the desired environment in the workplace. It gives you and your team a framework to work with so you can create products and services that align with your audience. — Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. FACILITATE FREQUENT COMMUNICATION AND FEEDBACK

Company culture is a complicated mix of your business goals, branding and the total environment created by everyone who works with you. The best way to allow employees to contribute to the culture is to encourage communication and feedback, which includes meetings, online chat channels and newsletters. Be open to suggestions and feedback and let people know you appreciate their perspectives. — Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

9. COMPLETE A VISION EXERCISE

Do an exercise where your employees can spell out exactly what they would love the company culture to look like. Then, take time to have employees share and take note of the similarities and patterns they see. That will show you what company culture they desire and will also give your employees ownership in how to build that culture. — Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

10. HOST VIRTUAL GET-TOGETHERS

Businesses can build powerful company cultures by having optional get-togethers on Zoom every month. We encourage everyone to join in and talk to their teammates. Once everyone has joined, we separate the Zoom channels into rooms with four or five people and hang out for around an hour. I think that these moments help us build a healthy team and company culture. — Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

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