A joint study by Columbia University and Duke University shows that 90% of leaders agree that culture is important at their companies.  Similarly, 92% of the CEOs and CFOs surveyed said that improving their companies’ cultures would improve the value of the companies. 

This research indicates that today’s business leaders recognize a shift in workforce values. While compensation certainly plays a role in how satisfied people are with their jobs, a great company culture can prompt someone to stay with their current company … even if they’re not 100% pleased with their salary. The bottom line? Company culture matters more than compensation to today’s workers. 

If you’ve built a dream team for your small business, creating a good company culture can help you retain your best employees. And if you’re looking to expand your team, your company culture can attract great candidates for your open positions. 

Read on for tips on creating a positive company culture! 

Tip #1: Have a mission your employees can believe in.

Since most employees spend a huge chunk of their week at work, it’s only natural that they want to work for a company with a mission they believe in.

If you don’t have a mission statement yet, take some time to create an action-oriented statement that outlines your company’s purpose, core values and goals. Your mission statement makes it easy for your employees to see your business’s overall purpose and how their own role supports the company’s mission. 

Focus on how your company serves your customers and clients in your mission statement. This will allow employees to see that they’re serving a purpose and helping improve others’ lives by working at your company. 

Tip #2: Ask your employees what their ideal company culture looks like. 

Finding out what kind of company culture your employees expect can help you create a culture that appeals to your staff and boosts your employee retention rate.

Before you ask your employees about their ideal company culture, create a brief outline of your ideal company culture. 

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to home in on your perfect company culture: 

  • How can the company embrace diversity in terms of hiring, thoughts and approaches? 
  • What does a comfortable workspace look like to me? 
  • How can I create a good work/life balance for myself and my employees? 
  • Am I providing professional development opportunities for my staff? Should I be providing more opportunities? 

Once you’ve outlined your ideal company culture, create a survey to send to your employees. Then, once the surveys are completed, look for ways to incorporate their ideas into your vision for your company’s culture. 

Tip #3: Get to know your employees.

Did you know 75% of employees stated that their boss was the most stressful part of their job? 

Clearly, as the boss, you play an important role in your company’s culture and in your employee’s job satisfaction. 

Your employees want to know that you see and appreciate their efforts. And more importantly, they want to know that you value them as people instead of viewing them as cogs in your company’s machine. 

Make a point of getting to know all of your team members. Strike up conversations with them and learn about their interests. You can get to know them at company dinners and parties, during at-work mixers or simply by chatting with them throughout the workday. 

If your team is completely virtual, you can get to know your employees by hosting virtual coffee chats or by creating a general chat channel in Slack. 

Tip #4: Create a safe space for all.

Creating a safe workspace empowers your employees to show up as their authentic selves, which boosts morale. 

Here are a few steps you can take to create a safe space at work for your team: 

  • Invite your team to share their thoughts and ideas during meetings 
  • Prioritize diversity and inclusivity
  • Communicate transparently with your team
  • Encourage employees to check their privilege and consider others’ perspectives
  • Have clear policies in place that outline your company’s values regarding hate speech, discrimination, racism, sexism and homophobia

Tip #5: Set clear expectations.

Setting clear expectations with your employees allows them to find their place within the company culture.

Your company culture may be completely different from that of other businesses your employees worked for. They won’t be able to adapt to your company culture unless they know exactly what’s expected of them.

Here’s an example: Let’s say your company culture is centered around teamwork and transparency. However, 1 of your employees is used to working on their own and turning in projects once they’re completed. They may feel micromanaged if you and your other staff members are constantly asking them for progress updates. 

Take time to educate every employee about your expectations so all of your team members are on the same page. 


Struggling to create a great company culture on your own? Call in the experts! As your full-service HR provider, we’re here to establish your company culture, set guidelines for your employees and more. Check out our services here: https://careerpathwaysconsulting.com/hr-consulting

Barbara Mason is a HR consultant that brings over 20 years Human Resources experience and has been in senior level roles for Fortune 500 companies. She is the owner and CEO of Career Pathways Consulting and  is an expert at helping female led companies build amazing teams, scales their businesses and increase their revenue.

To learn more about working with her, visit www.careerpathwaysconsulting.com.