Business success – how do you define it? Profits, bottom lines, market share, company size? Maybe not.

Welcome, I’m Dianne Crampton founder of TIGERS Success Series and author of TIGERS Among Us – Winning Business Team Cultures and Why they Thrive.

Recent studies show that business success is all about an employee friendly work culture. Companies that encourage teamwork and employee-friendly work cultures see greater productivity and employee loyalty.

One study collected 32,000 employee surveys from 183 employers in the Denver area, and employers were scored in areas such as employee confidence in senior leadership, appreciation of workers, company direction, workplace values and ethics, encouragement of ideas, competence of management, and pay and benefits.

The study’s results concluded that the most common characteristic for a successful business was a friendly work environment. And Many of the participating employers recognize that the right workplace environment is necessary for attracting and retaining the right talent and reaching company goals.

The simple formula is this – happy employees are productive employees. The work culture determines whether the work environment fosters happiness, commitment and excellence —  or not.

So, how do leaders build a positive, engaged, and employee friendly work culture to sustain their success? These four tips will get you on the path to business success.

  • Recognize employees as your champions – As I state in my audio training program, Engaging Employees to Champion Change, “if you want more civility, recognize people who went beyond the call of duty to be kind and helpful to someone in another department. If you want quality, recognize the rock star teams that achieve it and then tell stories about it to every new hire.” Employees are the back bone of both small and medium sized businesses. Without them, most companies will soon be out of business.
  • Build morale through storytelling – We human beings are naturally wired for storytelling. Leaders who share stories about successful teamwork or an employee that went above and beyond the call of duty communicate a compelling historical narrative that inspires a special kind of commitment among employees. This affects a company’s success because employees have actual examples of what success looks like so it can be repeated.
  • Create a team culture where “we” and “us” are the norm – Modern work cultures have become “I” instead of “we” oriented. When executives incorporate the word “we” into their vocabulary, employees at all levels feel included and a part of the organization’s success.
  • Create the sense of community and belonging – Belonging separates companies like those on the “Forbes Best Companies to Work For” list from those with high employee turnover. “When leaders nurture belonging in their work culture, their leadership practices and in their systems, employee engagement is the inevitable outcome. When employees are engaged they are also loyal. And, they step forward to accomplish extraordinary things through collaboration and team work. Time and time again over two decades, TIGERS Success Series has helped leaders build teams of committed, loyal, and collaborative employees. Belonging is the foundation that launches high levels of engagement and productivity.

Go ahead, recognize and acknowledge employees! It’s good for employee morale and loyalty and goes hand in hand with my previous bullet point of making employees feel like they “belong.”