Corporate culture plays a major role in job satisfaction and security. Fortunately, you can have a powerful impact on your workplace whether you’re a senior manager or a summer intern. Try these suggestions to create an environment where everyone can feel valued and appreciated.
Steps to Take by Yourself
- Continue learning. Invest in education and training. Developing your knowledge and skills will broaden your opportunities at your current company and in all your future positions. You’ll be a stronger member of any team.
- Think long term. Keep your goals in mind. Evaluate how your actions will affect your company’s future. Going the extra mile to satisfy a client could lead to repeat business, glowing reviews, and valuable referrals.
- Take risks. Reward yourself for being innovative, even if some of your efforts fail to pan out. If you’re persistent, you’re bound to come up with some breakthrough ideas. Maybe you’ll find a new vendor who can save your company money. Or perhaps you’ll work on redesigning the company logo.
- Ask questions. Being able to ask for information and advice is a sign of confidence. You’ll do your job better and show your colleagues you appreciate their experience and expertise.
- Redecorate your surroundings. Culture involves both internal and external factors. Clearing the clutter off your desk could enhance your peace of mind. Displaying family photos may make you feel more comfortable and spark conversations.
Steps to Take with Your Co-Workers
- Build consensus. Think about all the stakeholders who are affected by your work. Request feedback and input. Involve others when you’re making important decisions. They’ll be more likely to support projects that they helped to develop.
- Socialize more. Becoming more familiar with your colleagues outside of work can deepen your relationships. Participate in office picnics and happy hours. Join the softball league and invite your coworkers out to dinner.
- Welcome new hires. Reach out to new employees. Explaining the corporate culture to them may reinforce your own beliefs and actions.
- Give praise. Be generous in acknowledging the talents and achievements of your colleagues. Congratulate a colleague who recently published a paper in a prestigious journal. Let the office manager know that you like the way he reorganized the supply cabinet. Thank the mail room staff for delivering a proposal in time for a tight deadline.
- Share credit. Recognize team work. Thank others individually and in public for how they contribute to group victories. Throw a party or write a letter expressing your gratitude.
- Communicate openly. Speak directly and respectfully. Thank your coworkers for sharing their viewpoints.
- Resolve conflicts. Disagreements are unavoidable. Hold yourself accountable for your actions and apologize when needed. Be courteous, even when your find yourself on the opposing side of an issue.
- Focus on strengths. Remember to pay attention to the things you and your co-workers do well. Everyone’s strengths are the essence of your company’s culture and the foundation you can build upon to keep growing.
- Give back to the community. Your company’s philanthropy and community programs say a lot about the corporate culture. Take part in initiatives you care about, such as holiday food drives or volunteer outings. Suggest new programs that are appropriate for your company’s mission.
You’ll find your work more meaningful and gratifying when your employer’s corporate culture aligns with your own values. Whatever your job title, you can have a positive influence on the practices in your workplace.