5 Simple Ways to Improve Company Culture This Summer (with Examples!)

It should come as no surprise that at the heart of every successful company is a booming company culture. These companies understand that their people are their greatest asset – and when their people feel valued and connected to the company’s values, they’re more likely to succeed and even help grow the business.

Here at SHIFT, we look to promote a positive company culture whenever and wherever we can. Now that summer is upon us – which often coincides with a “summer slump” – there is no time like the present to check your agency’s pulse, making sure your company culture is on track and that the engagement strategies you have put in place are working.

With that in mind, here are 5 simple ways to improve your company’s culture this summer, with examples of what we’ve done here at SHIFT.

1. Embrace Transparency

Although transparency regarding finances can be tough, providing transparency whenever possible gives employees a more positive outlook – and helps them feel more involved in the company’s wellbeing. When you can, offer employees unfiltered insights into the company’s operations and future – and allow employees a voice. This will instill trust, which is the true foundation of a great company culture.

How SHIFT does it

At the beginning of each year, SHIFT (and parent company NATIONAL) presents their business plan to each office. This provides employees with insights into how the business did the year before, and where the business is headed in the year to come. Additionally, every Friday morning, SHIFTers attend a weekly roll-up where leadership provides company updates, employees share team kudos and teams conduct large scale brainstorms or share valuable lessons learned.

2. Practice Flexibility

Many employees – particularly millennials – veer towards companies that offer workplace flexibility because it shows that the company both values and trusts them. Fortunately, finding ways to be flexible can come at little-to-no cost and have a wonderful effect on company culture.

How SHIFT does it

Here at SHIFT, we are very lucky to have many flex options at our finger tips, whether that’s working flex hours to accommodate your child’s schedule, working from home a few days a week or working as a remote employee. Additionally – and most excitingly – SHIFT offers the opportunity for employees to take a sabbatical once they’ve been with the company for over 5 years. I recently took my sabbatical this May (more to come on that in a future blog post!) and it was a truly amazing opportunity.

3. Establish Traditions

Traditions are an important part of any company culture – and a little effort on this front can go a long way. Over the next year, try holding a variety of different events for employees to enjoy, and ask for their feedback in real time. That feedback can then be used to choose a few events that were especially successful to make into annual celebrations. Sometimes it’s best to think outside of the box – instead of just focusing on a holiday party, instead opt to celebrate the first day of summer or National Ice Cream Sandwich Day (never underestimate the value of an afternoon sugar pick-me-up!).

How SHIFT does it

SHIFT has a designated Cultural Committee who oversees everything from planning the summer outing to hosting monthly happy hours. Our Cultural Committee took a similar approach to the above, and each year now hosts celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day, Oktoberfest and Cinco de Mayo. Additionally, many one-off events are planned to celebrate minor holidays – most recently, we celebrated National Rosé Day!

4. Be Cognizant of Working Moms’ Needs

Although to some this may seem like a given due to recently passed laws, many workplaces still only provide the bare minimum when it comes to a space for new mothers to breastfeed. Provide your employees with a space where they feel comfortable – not just any room with a lock – and allow them to adjust their schedules as needed. It’s important to foster a company culture that’s positive towards breastfeeding mothers.

How SHIFT does it

Here in our Boston office, SHIFT has a designated Wellness Room that includes everything a mom would need – privacy, a relaxing atmosphere, a comfortable chair, a refrigerator and sink. SHIFT’s flexibility also comes back into play here, allowing new moms to rearrange their schedule to best fit their needs, and offering the ability to work from home.

5. Encourage Strong Relationships Between Coworkers

Recent studies have found that relationships with coworkers are a top driver of employee engagement, and these connections have a big effect on company loyalty, job satisfaction and even productivity. Therefore, you should sure your organization is conductive to building strong relationships – whether that’s by engineering spaces for collaboration or offering opportunities that promote coworker interaction.

How SHIFT does it

First, SHIFT’s Boston office was designed with collaboration in mind – we have a large kitchen for employees to enjoy lunch with a friend or an office wide happy hour, many lounge areas for internal meetings and more. Additionally, each team has a monthly budget to put towards team activities, separate from the Cultural Committee events mentioned above.

Building an outstanding company culture is integral when trying to build a flourishing company. A great culture attracts the best workers, increases overall retention, improves performance and much more. These are just a few tactics used here at SHIFT – how have you sought to improve your company culture? Share your insights in the comments section below!

Taylor Gallagher
Account Manager


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