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Effective Business Practices: Improving Employee Culture

Download past articles:

Small Business Management 101: Business Process and the Small Business Owner

Effective Feedback: What, What, Why

Manager Productivity

Making Decisions

Leadership and the Pareto Principle

A Look at the Six Sigma Process

How Leaders can Successfully Navigate the Negative Backlash to Change

Constructive Criticism in the Workplace

Creating a Safe Workplace

Child Labor Laws - What Employers Should Know

Growing Your Business

Looking for ways to make a small business more effective? Consider the needs of your employees because they perform day-to-day business operations in your small business. Employees are also important components of your small business culture. They depend on your company for their livelihoods and other personal rewards such as job satisfaction. Help employees derive more benefits from their jobs with these tips:

  • For an employee survey, consider using a free form available on the Internet. You can eliminate the items on any survey that you don’t want to measure. A good survey should have a scale, such as 1 through 5, so that employees can numerically rank their responses to each statement. Email a link for an online survey to all employees, ask them to print it out, fill in their rankings, and submit it to a sealed box. Or, provide copies of the survey and ask employees to complete it and return it by your deadline. A paper format makes compiling results a bit more time-intensive, but you can go back and read these surveys later.

  • If you have a recent employee survey, you’re ready to focus on a major issue identified in the survey. For example, if employees want more flexibility in managing their work tasks, you and your management team should develop a new set of guidelines for delegating tasks. Determine what types of tasks are appropriate for employees to manage on their own. Guidelines include how managers monitor employees for satisfying their weekly targets.

  • Ask for employee suggestions for improving the company culture. A survey provides information about what employees want to improve in the company. For example, employees can email suggestions to a single email account. You or one of your managers can assume responsibility for reading the emails. Develop a method of screening employee suggestions and choosing which ones to discuss in the next management meeting. Keep in mind that some suggestions require long-term planning. If employees want to purchase stock in your company, you will need more time to plan the right program. However, you can more easily purchase an espresso machine for the employee lunchroom in the next month or two.


When you work to improve the employee culture, you send positive messages to your staff. They will be encouraged by a responsive leader who cares about their needs. A strong employee culture also encourages employees to stay in their employment instead of seeking other work.


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