How to Build a Great Corporate Culture

Corporate culture

Corporate culture has been the focal point of many companies throughout the last couple of decades and has increasingly become a selling point for many new hires and for investors across different industries. However, getting corporate culture right isn’t always easy – changing the office layout to be more of an “open-concept” style, for instance, doesn’t suddenly turn your company into the coolest place to work overnight. Such surface level changes might come with some advantages, but building great corporate culture is about more than the type of coffee you offer your employees or how much money you spend on the annual company social. To build a great corporate culture, you have to start with the employees themselves, ensuring that everybody has the ability to participate and be heard in building a better company.

To get your employees to be heard, they need to feel that they are in an environment where they can express authentic thoughts and opinions without fear of retribution. They need to see that the things they express can actually get translated into action within reason, and within a reasonable timeframe. When organizations take their employees seriously and show them that the things they say can actually have an impact, a sense of collective responsibility can be developed in a natural way that fosters better communication, collaboration and productivity. Making use of well-rounded feedback methods and tools like a 360 employee evaluation software is a great example of how to encourage employees to share their thoughts, allowing companies to analyze insights and plan how to drive better culture.

Performance evaluation

The 360 review is a feedback system implemented across many companies to assess the behaviour and effectiveness of employees based on the thoughts and opinions of their colleagues, including but not limited to supervisors, subordinates, peers and customers. The idea is to develop a fair, well-rounded view of how an employee is regarded by the people with whom they interact with on a regular basis. An important thing to note is that 360 degree feedback is not meant to be used in an evaluative manner to judge how an employee may have performed in regards to past key performance indicators (KPIs)  and other such measures. It is meant to be used as a forward-looking tool to help employees create development plans for themselves, based on an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses regarding things like their ability to communicate clearly, make decisions, participate in teamwork and more.

360 degree feedback software makes it easier to implement this review system than ever before. Indeed, modern technology is one of the principal drivers behind this system’s recent rise to fame. This is because prior to the advent of the Internet and ubiquitous computing, collecting and analyzing data from hundreds or thousands of employees was an immense, costly task. The new generation of working-age employees is also one that has grown up in tandem with technology, and not only are they comfortable with using it, they are also particularly keen on receiving feedback and acting on it.

360 Degree feedback

To best leverage 360 degree feedback in order to improve corporate culture, it’s important that companies actually act upon the things employees express. Ignoring feedback is actually significantly worse than not having asked for it at all, as employees might then feel like they were led on – and then brushed aside. This can create resentment and discourage employees from ever voicing their genuine thoughts again, resulting in yet another company’s failed attempt to improve their corporate culture. Another important thing to do is to actually provide the employees with a framework of understanding the results of their 360 review, so that there are no misunderstandings as to the purpose of such reviews.

It’s important not to tie results with bonuses or promotions, or conversely punishment, as this would take away from the purpose of the review. Don’t forget to teach employees to learn to leverage review results themselves, as corporate culture is intrinsically tied with employees themselves. Encourage them to ask open-ended questions of their review results – for instance, why might one’s superiors rate one negatively on a particular behaviour, while subordinates rate said behaviour in a positive manner? These types of questions will help employees to create development plans centered around a few very clear points, so that corporate culture can improve collectively and from the ground-up.

Of course, not every industry is the same, and key differences must be taken into account in order to make the most effective use of the review process. Factors like geographic location can also have an impact on the effectiveness of the 360 review, even within the same company, as different countries also tend to have different local customs and cultures that play into how reviews are perceived as a whole, 360 degree or not. Review implementers would therefore do well do study and understand an industry and/or a country’s particular cultural needs in order to better train employees to make use of the 360 feedback system, ensuring that employee voices are indeed being properly heard and acted upon. Otherwise, the results may not provide the information required in order to effectuate the desired change on the company’s culture, leading to things remaining the same – or perhaps getting steadily worse.

As everybody now knows, better corporate culture is simply one of the cornerstones of success in this modern day and age. It is essential to building a business that works smoothly for customers, employees, and one that is attractive to investors. By making use of tools like 360 feedback software, businesses can build better culture by giving all employees a voice in how the company operates, allowing companies to stay astride with the many other businesses that are racing ahead to be the most attractive, successful places to work in the twenty-first century.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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