Company culture is an important discussion for small business owners today. Many entrepreneurs seek to encourage employee loyalty by creating an inclusive, family-friendly environment. However, there is a long road between intention and implementation.
There are several ways that you can set the example for your team to create a truly family-friendly environment in your small business.
1. Practice What You Preach
This is key to successfully maintaining an inclusive company culture. As challenging as it may be, focus on schedule flexibility and putting your own family first. Many employees may still feel uncomfortable taking that approach if the “boss” is in the office twelve to sixteen hours a day.
You need to exemplify the concept of working hard at the office, and focusing on your family when you’re at home. There are many ways you can encourage work-life balance. Try to avoid sending emails to employees after work hours. Also, be clear with your deadlines. If a project isn’t an immediate priority, let them know, and show trust to your employees that they’ll manage their schedule appropriately and get the job done.
2. Encourage Creative Solutions
There are many factors to consider when creating an inclusive environment. It is impossible for one person to come up with all of the solutions and put them into practice.
Open the conversation to your mid-level managers and your team members. If they have a viable solution to fix a unique problem in your company culture, empower them to help you implement the idea. You’ll build trust with your employees, and reinforce the idea that you want to create a fantastic culture for every member of your team.
3. Establish Mentor-Mentee Relationships
Sometimes, it can be difficult for entry-level employees to come to the owner with concerns about day-to-day challenges faced by working families. Establish a mentoring program connecting new employees with more experienced employees.
This will help to open a dialogue with your employees. It will also help to mitigate issues stemming from family or life concerns in the office, because there is an internal support group already established.
Creating the perfect company culture may seem next to impossible: but if you can establish trust with your employees, you can begin that journey as a team.