What Is Company Culture?

company culture

Company culture is defined as a shared set of goals, practices, and a general attitude of the company. Company culture is not necessarily a formal program. Instead, it focuses more on the environment, employees, and values. The company's working environment, leadership, goals, and values are all vital parts of a company's culture. How employees interact with each other, their leadership and outside forces also help enforce a company culture.  Some common words that describe a corporate culture include; flexible, challenging, inclusive, collaborative, and motivating. 

Importance of Company Culture 

Why does a company need a culture? Simply put, a company that doesn’t have a strong culture is set to fail. Without a strong, positive culture, companies could lose out on employee retention, a positive work environment, strong leadership, and more. 

An additional risk associated with a lack of company culture is the potential of one building on its own. According to INC, company culture is a “summation of your behaviors.” Employees and leadership are left to their devices if a company doesn’t have clear values and expectations. They can behave how they want (within reason, of course), as the environment becomes a compilation of different cultures. 

“...if people in your company don't have the skills to behave in the way that supports your culture, you'll end up with behaviors that undermine it. As much as your people need to be skilled on the technical side of things, they need to learn how to work in the culture you want. This requires investment in building those skills.”

James Sudakow, INC
Kudoboard is perfect for team appreciation ❤️

A Kudoboard business plan makes birthdays, shout-outs, and retirements SO much easier. Check out our business plans.

3 Benefits of a Positive Company Culture

Now that we’ve established the importance of having a company culture, let’s discuss three significant benefits of having a positive culture. 

First, A company that has a positive culture will impact employee retention. Employees who are happy at their company are more inclined to stay. Employee retention reduces unnecessary turnover, money spent on training new hires and encourages loyalty. 

Second, company culture impacts employee and company success. Employees that understand the expectations their company has for them. Clear expectations and a positive environment lead to increased productivity and workers ready to go the extra mile for their company. 

Third, companies with a strong, positive culture have increased appreciation between employees and management. This is important because it boosts morale, engagement, and productivity. It also leads to better collaboration overall. 

If you are looking for more reasons to foster a positive workplace culture, here are seven more benefits of a healthy workplace culture. 

Read More: Why Employee Retention Matters

What a Toxic Culture Looks Like

When I think of a positive work environment, some of the first words that come to mind are encouraging, supportive, and constructive. A toxic work environment/culture is the opposite of that. A hostile workplace culture includes poor management styles and unhealthy habits among coworkers. These habits could include gossiping, unhealthy competition, lack of time off/breaks, etc. Toxic cultures also practice bullying, lack of trust, discrimination, and more. These (and more) are all signs of a toxic culture that should be avoided. To learn more, here are ten signs of toxic company culture.

4 Steps to Building A Company Culture

Building an organizational culture may seem daunting. However, as stated earlier, the benefits will be so rewarding. Below are four steps a company can start immediately that will affect their company’s culture. 

Quality Leadership

Before determining and establishing a corporate culture, it is time to evaluate leadership. Leadership has an incredible impact on culture. Leaders set the tone through their actions, such as delegating, interacting with employees, managing work, and leading. 

For example, quality leaders would know what their employees are working/doing at work. However, O.C. Tanner reports that only 54% of employees say their leaders understand what they do while at work. If leaders don’t know what is happening in their company, how can they properly lead/manage employees? 

In that same study from 0.C. Tanner, only 56% of employees feel valued by leadership. It is tough to work in an environment where one doesn’t feel valued by their management. Finding leaders who connect with their employees, are role models, and empower and recognize employees will make a difference in company culture and the employee experience.  

Establish Core Values

A significant first step is establishing core values. What do you want to be at the heart of your company? What words or phrases appear when you think about how your company will be perceived? Getting with colleagues and leaders in the company and getting on the same page is vital to success. 

Below are five examples of core value words/phrases to get started. 

  1. Driven 
  2. Helpful 
  3. Empower Others
  4. Trust
  5. Integrity

BuiltIn has a great list of 49 Core Value Examples from actual companies. Companies like Airbnb, Canva, Headspace, and more all have core values at the heart of their company to help guide leadership and employees. Through using core values, companies have had great success in creating positive work culture.   

Set Goals

After evaluating and finding quality leaders to guide your company’s success and establishing core values, a great next step would be setting goals for your company and employees. Set achievable goals that won’t take too long (it is good to have both long and short-term goals) and ones that support the company's core values. Splitting up goals into categories could be helpful. Below are three categories a company could use when setting goals: 

  1. Personal 

These would be set by leaders and employees and would be specific personal goals that support their particular priorities. Examples include improved team member engagement (individually and as a team) or creating a better work-life balance. 

  1. Departmental

Departmental goals would be set by heads of departments and would be specific for their employees. These could include end-of-quarter goals, collaboration goals, and transparency between management and employees. 

  1. Organizational

Organizational goals would be set by the company's leadership and include themselves and all employees. These could consist of cultural pursuits, well-being goals, and end-of-year goals. 

Following a specific goal-making program is also helpful. S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based) is a fantastic guideline for creating goals everyone can achieve. 

Involve Team 

Finally, when creating an organizational culture, it is essential to involve everyone. For larger companies, this may seem complicated, but utilizing technology can be helpful. For example, any company could have a digital survey where employees can voice their concerns and add input on what changes they want to see in a company or what is working within it. Involving the employees in creating a culture is vital to the success of the said culture. 

Involving everyone in the company also helps employees feel like they are making a difference and that their voices are heard (both great ways to foster company culture). 

If you are a hybrid company, strong company culture is very achievable. To learn more, read about creating a culture in a hybrid workplace. 

5 Ways To Maintain A Company Culture 

Maintaining a corporate culture doesn’t have to be complicated; below are five ways companies can keep a culture. 

Careful Hiring

Finding employees that make a good “cultural fit” in the company is essential after establishing and creating a company culture. You don’t want to put in all that work towards creating a culture to have one or a few employees break it down. It is important to note that cultural fit does not mean the personality/interests of an employee. Cultural fit refers to how employees respond to the culture and how they work within the company. 

To avoid hiring someone that may not be a good fit, below are two ways a company can incorporate culture into the hiring process. 

  1. Convey the company culture in hiring materials. 

Your company’s culture shouldn’t be a secret from employees or prospective employees. Ensuring prospective employees know the culture will help them understand what is expected. To learn more, this great article covers 6 HR documents needed to provide excellent company culture.

  1. Decide whether or not you need an onboarding specialist

Onboarding specialists can be a valuable asset to the company. They take the pressure off leaders (allowing them time to focus on other tasks) by taking the bulk of hiring responsibilities. Onboarding specialists can also ensure that potential hires would be a good fit for the company (including culturally). 

Make Training Accessible

Another way companies can ensure their organizational culture is maintained is through employee training. Employee training does not have to be a tedious task that no one looks forward to. Create an accessible employee training program that helps retain employees and build their confidence in their work. Helping employees succeed through training them also helps foster trust and accountability within the company. 

To ensure training is aligned with company culture, below are three tips for success. 

  1. Ensure leadership, the hiring team, and management are all clear on the company culture, brand, and value. The training should align with the company's core values to help employees maintain the culture. 
  2. Re-evaluate the training program yearly to ensure it aligns with core values/culture. Company culture may change as tweaks are made and the company grows, so evaluating a training program every so often is vital to ensuring that old information isn’t being used. 
  3. Get employee feedback on training programs. Involving employees in the training programs is helpful because they are the ones that have to sit through it. They can tell leadership if the training is practical, too dull, or any other problems they may have. Getting employee feedback also helps employees feel heard. 

Open Communication

A company cannot function well if communication isn’t clear, open, and accessible for all employees. Management, employees, and leadership should have access to one another through clear communication. It can be frustrating and discouraging for employees when they cannot get ahold of management for questions or concerns. It is also disappointing for management when employees are not accessible. 

Connect Outside Work 

team building event

Finally, a company that focuses on connection is one set to succeed. Connection outside and inside of work is essential. For larger companies, planning annual family-friendly functions (paying for families to attend a local attraction such as a zoo or amusement park) is a great way to show appreciation and involve families in the company. Smaller companies can focus on team-building events and annual and quarterly family-friendly functions. While these activities may seem like a lot of effort, they improve the employee experience within the company and help maintain a strong company culture. 

Workplace Appreciation

Of course, workplace appreciation is an excellent way to maintain corporate culture. This article about workplace appreciation gives valuable information on whether workplace appreciation works, different ways to convey employee appreciation, and what to avoid when giving recognition. An awesome and fun way to show appreciation for employees, try creating a kudoboard where colleagues and leaders can highlight the employee’s successes. 

Summing It Up 

Organizational/company culture isn’t just something made out of thin air; it does take hard work from everyone involved. There are specific steps to achieve and maintain a company culture. While it may seem daunting to some companies and their leadership, fostering a company culture is rewarding, and your employees will benefit significantly. 

How To Throw An Office Birthday Party

Who doesn’t love an office birthday party? You probably don’t have someone as awesome as Dwight and Jim planning your party (check out those incredible decorations below), but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw an awesome party for your co-workers! Celebrating birthdays is a great way to show employees they are valued, and it helps them feel special. If you’re lost on how to throw an awesome office birthday party, keep reading. 

Read More

What Is A Hybrid Workplace?

A hybrid workplace mixes in-office and remote work. Essentially, it is the idea that employees will either be remote, in-office, or a mix of the two. Hybrid teams allow employees to control their hours and support employees in having a better work-life balance. This study proves how flexible work hours have a significant impact on productivity. Around 60% of employees stated that their flexible work schedules made them more productive and engaged. In this post-pandemic era, many companies are shifting to hybrid work. While this all sounds simple, there are many aspects companies need to consider before implementing this model. These include the technology required, possible security breaches, collaboration strategies, and more. 

What is a Hybrid Company?

Companies that label themselves as hybrid have intentionally built their workplace model, with clarity and specificity about how they will function. Companies can’t just say, “okay, this half, you’re working from home! This half, you’re staying here! Oh, and sometimes remote workers will come into the office! Good luck :)” Unfortunately, it is not that easy. 

Read More

5 Ways To Promote Remote Team Wellness

Remote workers need wellness programs now more than ever (ok, EVERYONE does). Between the COVID-19 pandemic and remote work becoming the new norm, remote employees are struggling. Prioritizing employee wellness has many benefits including improved mental health, employee retention, improved productivity, and more. Before we get into more benefits, let's go over what team wellness is and what it isn’t. 

What is Team Wellness?

The Workplace Wellness Institute describes workplace wellness as any activity that promotes healthy behavior. These could include wellness fairs, free medical screenings, stress management, health coaching, and more. 

Better Up makes an excellent point in their article about talking to your team about team wellness. In this article, Maggie Wool states: 

“It’s also important to explain that mental well-being isn’t the same as mental health. Mental well-being isn’t clinical and doesn’t involve a diagnosis. It encompasses our thoughts and feelings and affects our personal potential and how we cope with challenges. It can vary across time, and it underpins our ability to perform at our best.” 

Team wellness starts with the leaders in the company. If the management isn’t involved, team wellness can’t happen. Companies should offer a variety of employee wellness support, and employees need to know how to access them. When speaking to employees about the wellness options available to them, let them know that they aren’t mandatory but are there for them. Remember, management can also open up about their own struggles to open up a conversation about mental well-being. 

Read More

12 Remote Work Memes

The Covid-19 pandemic brought many new challenges, including working remotely. There are definitely many benefits to working from home (no commute, more family time, you don't have to wear pants). There are also plenty of challenges. Thanks to the digital age we live in, new challenges often bring new memes to lighten any situation. 

Everyone needs a little stress relief in their lives, especially if working from home feels chaotic or lonely. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughing is a great stress reliever, this article about stress relief explains why. Some benefits of laughing include soothing tension, improving your immune system, and even relieving pain. Hopefully laughing at these funny remote work memes will help you feel a little lighter and stress-free while working remotely. 

Read More

How To Communicate Better As A Remote Team

Many have transitioned to working from home in recent years, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Industries of all types had to switch to remote work suddenly because of COVID.  While there are many benefits to working remotely (close to family, little to no commute, and overall saves money), there are also difficult aspects. Loneliness, time-management problems, and internet troubles are just a few examples of struggles a remote employee can have. Staying connected through communication with your remote team can be difficult, as many relationships are fostered in the office. However, there are still many ways that teams can foster connectivity while working remotely. 

Read More

Gifts For College Students

For many students, college is full of fun times and memory-making moments. It can also be a very difficult time for young adults leaving the nest for the first time, figuring out who they are, and how to provide for themselves while balancing school and friends. 

As a college student, I quickly realized that for gifts (birthday or Christmas) I usually wanted more practical items. One year, I received a grocery gift card and it was one of my most valued gifts. While I also enjoyed getting fun gifts, the practical gifts were useful and greatly appreciated as I struggled with finances (working in retail doesn’t pay the bills, that’s for sure). 

If you are wondering what gifts would be best for college students, read further to see gifts that would be great for the holiday season, birthdays, or just because.  

Dorm Gifts for College Students

Are you looking for gift ideas for college students' dorm rooms or living areas? Read on to see 5 useful gift ideas that students will love for their living spaces. 

  1. Handheld Vacuum

Most dorms or apartments don’t have a lot of room for large, bulky vacuums. This handheld vacuum is a great price, has good reviews, and will make cleaning up quick and easy (what most young adults are looking for these days). 

  1. LED Desk Lamp with USB Port

If you are looking for a little pricier gift, with really cool features, this desk lamp looks interesting! It has a clock, dimmable lights (that change color as well), a lamp, pencil compartments, and a USB port. It has all the bells and whistles!

  1. Closet Hanger Organizers

These cute and colorful closet hanger organizers are a great gift for college students. Those closets are not big, and most students usually need more space for clothes. Students could also use these to store off-season clothing. 

  1. Lap Desk 

I would have loved this in college. There were many times where I sat on my couch or in a chair, and it would have been convenient (and better for the laptop to prevent overheating) to have one of these. I especially like that it has a phone compartment and there’s enough space for a mouse. 

  1. Compact Air Fryer

This little air fryer looks adorable, but also functions well! This would be great for quick, single-serving meals (most college students are looking for quick meals that don’t take a lot of effort, and air fryers are perfect for that!). It also has a cool auto shut-off feature to prevent over-cooking. 

Self Care Gifts for College Students 

College can be a stressful time for many, and many students are just getting used to managing work, school, and their social lives. These self-care gift ideas will help ease the stresses college can bring. 

  1. Self Care for College Students Book 

This book doesn’t have any reviews yet, but I love the concept! So many college students are struggling mentally, and this book looks like it goes over great ideas to stay “happy, healthy, and stress-free”. 

  1. Back & Neck Massager

I love massages, but they are pricey! This back and neck massager looks like a great way to get an at-home massage. A massager is a great gift for students who are stressed out and just need a quick 15-minute relaxing massage. 

  1. Shower Steamers

Most college dorms and apartments don’t have bathtubs (and if they do, they probably aren’t looking too clean). These steamers are a great alternative, you can just throw one down on the floor of the shower and enjoy a relaxing, in-home spa experience. 

  1. Less Anxiety Affirmation Cards

As someone who had bad anxiety in college, I know how hard it is to deal with and cope on the bad days. I also know there is power in positive affirmations. I think these would be a great gift for students who are feeling overwhelmed and need help shifting their mindset. 

  1. Personalized Game-Day Tailgate Stainless Steel Tumbler 

These are cute and perfect for students who love to be hydrated and show off their school spirit. You can personalize the color, font, state, and more. This would also be cute to give as a going-away or graduation gift. 

Games College Students Will Love 

Games are a great way to get to know people and can be a great way to get a party started. I also like board and card games because it doesn't involve screens. While there is nothing wrong with screens, college students probably spend enough time in front of screens. Having non-screen options to socialize and have fun are a necessity. 

  1. Throw Throw Burrito

Throw Throw Burrito is a hilarious and physical game. This is a great group game or can even be played as a couple. We have used it for a group date activity and each couple had a lot of fun! 

  1. Sushi Go 

Sushi Go is a fun, quick card game that focuses on earning points based on what you collect during that round. Each player passes their hand until all the cards are gone, and as you get a new hand you collect a card. At the end of the round, you can add up your points based on how many nori, sashimi, and other sushi cards you have. This edition is the “party” edition so you can play with more people. 

  1. Anomia

Anomia is a favorite at our house, as it is fast-paced and you need a quick wit. This would be a great group game, or you can play with just 3 players (it is more fun the more players you have). 

  1. Skyjo 

Skyjo is another point-based card game. However, for this game, you are trying to get as few points as possible. I like this game because you can play it with just 2 players, so it is fun for roommates or a cheap date night. 

  1. What Do You Meme

A fun game for any meme lover, this is apples-to-apples meets memes. Another great group game that is hilarious to play. I also like how many different expansion packs you can get for this game, so there are a lot of options. 

School Supply Gifts

I love buying and receiving school supplies. The following gifts are great for stocking stuffers, or would also be great in a back-to-school basket. 

  1. Mechanical Pencils 

Mechanical pencils are a great gift and college students go through so many. It is always a great idea to have extras. These pencils come in a 4 pack, have a little cushion grip, and include extra led. 

  1. 5-Pack Notebook

I went through so many notebooks in college. I like that this comes in a 5 pack, so they can have one for each class for an entire semester. 

  1. Wireless Printer

I love our wireless printer, it is so convenient to be able to print from my phone, tablet, or computer and it is easy to use. This would be a really useful school supply gift for students so they don’t have to go to the library and pay for printing. 

  1. A Good Flashdrive

Flashdrives are a must for many college students. It is more convenient to carry around a flash drive than a computer, so if they are using the library’s computer they can ensure that their assignments won’t get lost and they can continue to work on them at home. 

  1. A Planner

Good planning is an essential part of the college experience. Supplying your college student with a planner will help them stay organized and learn skills that will help them succeed through college and in life. This planner looks great, it has monthly and weekly sections, as well as stickers to help them keep track of events.

Essentials For College Students

Below are 5 practical gift ideas that would be useful for any occasion. Usually, college kids don’t have a lot of money to spend, so helping them buy the “essentials” is a great way to show that you care. 

  1. Grocery Gift Card 

I wasn’t kidding when getting a grocery gift card was one of my favorite gifts one year. Groceries can be so expensive, and these college kids need to eat (and hopefully eat mostly healthy). Giving them a grocery gift card paired with a box of their favorite granola bars would be a very useful gift that they will definitely use and appreciate. 

  1. Noise Cancelling Headphones

I wish I had a pair of these when I was in college! It can be so hard to find a quiet spot to study. Being able to block out the world to study is a necessity for all college students. These Sony Noise-Canceling Headphones are a great option and will last them their whole college career (and longer). The over-ear design relies on smart noise cancellation, and the battery lasts for up to 35 hours. These headphones use Bluetooth, so they won’t have to be bothered with wires. 

  1. Clorox Wipes

Remember 2020 when cleaning supplies and toilet paper were practically nonexistent because they were so hard to find? Clorox wipes are a necessity to prevent illnesses and keep all the nasty germs away. Throw these wipes in with a few other cleaning supplies in a cute basket, and you are set with a great and useful gift! 

  1. Mini ToolKit 

Chances are your college student doesn’t have their own set of tools. This little kit is a great size and has the essential tools needed for small jobs/changing out batteries in items (like calculators). 

  1. Grubhub Gift Card

Similar to the grocery gift card, but way more fun. A GrubHub gift card is great because they can choose where they want to eat and have it delivered to them (or pick it up). I like GrubHub because they usually have deals on restaurants and they are pretty reasonably priced. Students will love this for date nights, or a busy study session. 

The Gift of Love 

The best gift your college student can receive is letting them know that they are loved and cared for. One way to do this is by sending them a kudoboard. Kudoboard has many uses such as just because cards, birthday cards, and more. You can also create custom collages for graduations and farewells to send them off by sharing fun memories. 

Letting your favorite college student know they are loved and missed is a great gift to give. Navigating adult life is hard enough, knowing that they are missed can turn a bad day around and help them feel valued. 

20 Eco-Friendly Gifts

Many of us are in the midst of holiday shopping, trying to find the perfect gift for the ones we love. While in this consumer mindset, we are often not aware of how much waste we are producing. During this holiday season, perhaps we can find ways to be more sustainable. That can include finding eco-friendly gifts for our friends and family. Unsure of where to start? Keep reading to find 20 sustainable gifts your friends and family will love. With 10 options from Amazon and 10 from Etsy, you will be able to get plenty of ideas of eco-conscious gifts for the people you are gifting to. 

Read More

30 Awesome Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Have you ever found yourself in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, only to realize that Christmas is right around the corner and with all the other distractions, you forgot to buy someone a gift? I personally have been in that situation before, even more than once, and it is stressful. The number of shopping days until Christmas is counting down. If you have forgotten a gift, or just need more gift ideas for the people you love, read on to see 30 awesome last-minute Christmas gifts for anyone in your family. The best part? They won’t even know it was last minute and you’ll look awesome for finding the perfect gift on Christmas morning. 

Why is a Kudoboard a great way to say Merry Christmas? 🎁

It’s a thoughtful and heartfelt way to spread holiday cheer! Learn more about our Christmas cards here.

Read More

Where to Get Cheap Christmas Cards

It is that time of year again, where many try not only to enjoy this festive season but also share their heartfelt wishes for others to do the same. The holiday season is the perfect time to practice the timeless tradition of sending out holiday cards. My family has been sending out a Christmas card each year since we had our first daughter 5 years ago. I think that it is a fun tradition, and great to send to people who you don’t talk to as often, but want to keep in touch with. I’ve used a few different companies over the years and am always looking for a good deal. Below are some options for any type of holiday greeting card you want to send. 

Why is a Kudoboard a great way to wish your loved ones happy holidays? ❤️

It’s a thoughtful and heartfelt way to spread holiday cheer ! Learn more about Kudoboard's Christmas cards.

Affordable Virtual Christmas Cards

If you are looking for a very cheap and environmentally friendly option, online Christmas cards could be a great alternative to printed cards. Virtual cards also save time, as you don’t have to wait for the company to ship the cards to you first (and then hunt down addresses, write them on each envelope, and finally find the time to send them in the mail). Virtual cards are also accessible forever, so you can easily look back at your families’ memories. Here are some options for virtual holiday cards: 

Read More