As many professional organizations shift toward a remote work environment, maintaining a supportive company culture is more important than ever. The “Great Resignation” has already upended numerous industries where employees report work environments that make them unhappy, leading to labor shortages across a variety of markets. That’s why today’s leaders must focus on cultivating an appealing culture that people actually want to stay in.
To help, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members offered their ideas for how leaders can bolster their workplace environment—remote or otherwise—for the better. Follow their recommendations to build a culture where people willingly collaborate and support each other.
1. Start By Establishing Values
Community is built around shared goals and interests. Start by establishing a set of core values and apply them to daily interactions among your team. Aligning values makes open communication, empathetic leadership and teamwork in general a lot easier—and more effective! – Shay Berman, Digital Resource
2. Incentivize The Right Actions
Look at your incentives and what people are praised for. If people are praised for grinding and doing it all themselves, then that doesn’t set up a supportive culture. If someone is given a bonus because they took the initiative to put together a new training session for new hires that they felt would have been valuable, then that’s a great way to recognize that the company values supportive people. – Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.
3. Foster Trust And Psychological Safety
Create a results-based culture that fosters trust and psychological safety. Show your employees you trust them by offering the flexibility to let them choose when they get their work done. This gives employees the freedom to work when they’re most productive. Psychological safety is creating a space where employees feel comfortable with making mistakes and learning from them. – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.
4. Create A System For Giving Praise To Peers
Create a system for your team to publicly praise other team members. Along with making these comments public, have them reinforce your company values. For example, we use hashtags on these expressions of gratitude that align with our company values (be bold, be human, be an owner). Use these comments and supportive comments to instruct your use of quarterly incentives and other bonuses. – Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com
5. Align KPIs To Promote Support
Make sure key performance indicators are aligned and that people are incentivized to help each other. For example, if you have a sales team where one sales rep has to compete with another, that leads to an unsupportive culture. However, if you focus on overall company goals or ensure the KPIs that individuals have are based around supporting other people’s goals, you’ll have a culture where everybody is happy and supportive. – Cody Candee, Bounce
6. Establish A Better Work-Life Balance
Don’t try and force your company culture to be more supportive; it will feel phony and only increase stress in the workplace. Instead, focus on establishing a better work-life balance for your employees. By limiting stress and pressure, it’s easier for a more supportive culture to develop organically in your business. – Bryce Welker, Real Estate Schooler
7. Model The Right Tone
Creating a supportive and happy company culture starts with the tone of not just one member of the leadership team, but all members. Owners and managers should be cohesive in their tone toward subordinate team members—respectful, mindful of their humanity and fully engaged in direct conversations. This establishes an example of how everyone in the organization should interact with one another. – Richard Fong, SecurityForward.com
8. Focus On Empathy And Communication
People feel supported when they’re listened to and see action. Your business’s HR team should be on a mission to create open, defined pathways of communication where employees can professionally express themselves. From there, HR should take action to correct any issues or concerns that could better serve and support your team. – Emily Stallings, Casely, Inc.