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Do you want to run a company whose employees love coming into work or a company where the employees come to work very begrudgingly? 

If you want excited and eager employees, the key is to have great company culture. Company culture is often equated to the work environment employers provide. In truth, it’s much more than that. Great company culture creates a set of shared beliefs and goals, as well as expectations, that guide each any every employee in their day to day responsibilities. 

The right culture will inspire employees to do their best and go above and beyond. In essence, they feel that they are important to the success of your company. At its worst, company culture can make employees feel under-appreciated, inferior, and undervalued. If they find themselves feeling this way, they will be unlikely to care much about the future of the company, and therefore underperform. Can you blame them? 

Luckily, there are some great first steps you can take to ensure your company culture is up to par. Continue reading to find a fitting starting place: 

Offer Flexibility and Unlimited Time Off

Gone are the days of the traditional 9-5 office as employer after employer realizes it’s just not as productive. As long as employees get their work done well and in a timely manner, offering unlimited time off or the ability to work from home have proven rather successful. In the end, if you find your employees are abusing the flexibility the benefits can always be revoked. 

Match Your Benefits to Your Mission

Nobody wants to work for a hypocritical company. For example, say your company values health—yet you offer no health-related perks or benefits to your employees. If you believe in creating a healthier world, make sure that mission starts with your employees. Perhaps you offer incredible medical insurance or free/discounted gym memberships—whatever it is, make sure that it aligns with your mission and values. 

Get Involved in the Community

Let’s face it: office parties and events can be a bit awkward. Everyone is forced to socialize, and more often than not people stick with who they already know. One way to both bring your employees closer and improve company culture is to take a company volunteering day every once in awhile. Getting out and helping the community forces employees out of their comfort zone reinforces the company’s cultural values. 

Be Transparent

Perhaps the simplest—and cheapest—way to enhance your company’s culture is to be open and honest with your employees. When company’s hide failures, mistakes, or big changes from their employees, it breaks down any trust that had been established. Employees want to feel like they are a part of something bigger. It’s empowering. When information is kept from them, they will retract and become less engaged in their work. 

Company culture is nuanced and influenced by many factors. The recommendations above are fantastic places to start, but if you truly want to get to the bottom of the problem with your company culture, talk to your employees. What do they see as the biggest threat to their motivation and excitement? If you’re worried they won’t be honest, create anonymous surveys. Either way, an honest conversation is vital to improving not only the culture of the company, but the company as a whole.