Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Workplace stress is responsible for 60-80% of workplace accidents, 80% of doctor’s visits, and 550 million lost work days every year. Of course, disengaged employees are also less productive and more likely to quit.

So, what can you do to ensure your employees are happy and healthy? Well, one way is to work on forming and maintaining a positive office culture.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to improve company culture. In fact, many of the best techniques don’t have to cost a dime!

Do you want to know more? Keep reading to learn how you can improve your company’s culture without breaking the bank.

1. Establish Your Values

You can’t improve your company culture if you don’t really know what it is. So, start by establishing your values. While you may be used to focusing on profits, make sure your company culture focuses on people.

Once you’ve outlined your company culture, be sure to include it in the employee handbook, so new recruits know what to expect immediately. You can also send out an email or hold a meeting to bring current employees up-to-date with the new culture.

2. Recognize Good Work

When was the last time you singled out an individual to recognize them for a job well done? Many bosses fall into the mindset that employees don’t need to be recognized or congratulated for doing their job. After all, that’s what they get paid for, right?

However, a little recognition goes a long way to inspire positivity and help employees feel appreciated. Consider sending a quick email to people that have been doing a great job lately, or mention them in a company-wide email.

3. Be Transparent

Nothing kills company culture faster than lack of trust. If you keep your employees in the dark about major issues, rumors often start to spread which just creates stress and distrust in the workplace.

Instead, make sure you’re being transparent with your employees whenever possible. Send out emails to inform employees of any changes and explain why these changes are necessary. You could also start an open-door policy where employees feel free to pop in with questions or concerns.

4. Spend an Afternoon Outside

Team outings are a great way to let your employees cut loose and bond with each other. But when you’re inviting dozens or even hundreds of people to your outing, it can quickly get expensive.

One way to keep this within budget is to spend an afternoon outside. Go to your local park, order pizza for everyone, and start a fun game of volleyball or touch football.

These types of team-building activities are also a great way to inspire collaboration inside the office. If you want to learn more about the benefits of team building, be sure to check out this guide.

5. Offer Flexible Schedules

If you’re like most companies, you probably have strict 9-5 hours that every employee must follow. The problem is that life is sometimes messy.

What happens when your employees’ child is home sick from school? If they can’t find a sitter, they’ll probably have no choice but to use a personal day to stay home too.

However, this problem completely disappears by simply offering more flexibility. If you give your employees the option to work from home or tweak their working hours, you’ll seem a lot more accommodating and understanding.

6. Update the Office

Cubicles can make your employees feel closed off from others. But by simply removing these walls, you can create open workspaces which will help everyone feel like part of the team.

You can also set up collaborative workspaces and add furniture to break rooms to inspire your employees to work together and get to know each other more during breaks.

7. Conduct Surveys

In order for your company culture to really make an impact, it has to resonate with your employees. Consider sending out surveys to gauge how they feel about your new and improved company culture.

This will highlight any weak areas to let you know what needs to be improved. Be sure to leave a space for comments too, so your employees can add something of their own.

8. Listen to Your Employees

Sending out surveys is also a great way for employees to feel heard. But if you just throw those surveys in the trash without changing anything, your employees will get frustrated that you aren’t listening to them.

This goes for other aspects of work as well. Your employees are likely able to identify things that aren’t working in their department and may have some great ideas to help things run more smoothly.

9. Cultivate Friendships

When your employees are also friends, they’ll be more likely to help each other out and work together. It also makes work more enjoyable and reduces stress, leading to an increase in productivity.

So, be sure to cultivate friendships by organizing employee outings or parties, encouraging people to eat lunch in the breakroom instead of at their desk, implementing a team chat group that can be used for social purposes, and incorporating more team projects.

While you can’t force friendships to form, you can create an environment where your employees feel free to bond and chat with each other.

10. Maintain These Changes

It’s all good and well to implement a new company culture, but if you want to see the long-term benefits, you need to ensure that you’re maintaining your new culture. Keep a list of core values by your desk, and find ways to incorporate them into your workday.

You’ll also want to mark things on your calendar. For example, perhaps you want to send out a monthly email to update employees of any changes and recognize certain employees for their hard work. You may also want to have quarterly team outings, such as pizza in the park or bowling afternoons.

Whatever you decide to do, it’s vital to maintain these efforts throughout the years.

How to Improve Company Culture

Don’t run a workplace that causes stress and disengagement. Instead, follow the tips above to improve company culture and create a business that thrives on happy and engaged employees.

Do you want more valuable business advice? Then check out our business blog page today!