Corporate culture can make or break the success of your company.
It sets the tone for every aspect of your business, from the moment a new hire begins on-boarding to the way customers are treated. The culture within your organization affects everything. Get your corporate culture wrong, and it can take months to correct. Build a winning culture and your company can join the ranks of other successful organizations. How can you build a thriving employee culture?
Define your core values
Culture is the outward expression of the internal core values within your company. Before you can establish a thriving culture, you must define what it will look like.
Is customer service a priority?
Do you value innovation?
Your company is unique, and the vibe your culture radiates should reflect the distinct character of your organization. Create a list of your values and then begin to build your corporate culture around those terms.
One of the biggest problems in creating a thriving employee culture is that different people define words differently. Simply posting a list of values on the boardroom wall is not enough to affect change within your organization.
You must define those words and align them to the goals you have as an organization. Engage employees from every level of your organization to develop definitions for the values you prize. This ensures that every employee will understand the specifics of your organization’s mission.
Successful corporate cultures like the ones many people admire found at Facebook, Apple, Disney, or Zappos don’t happen by accident. They are the product of purposeful design that permeates every aspect of the company.
It requires top-down buy-in. When the leadership demonstrates that they are living the values of the organization, it inspires others to do the same. Consistently making decisions that support the culture of the company is one way to show that culture matters.
Another facet of intentional culture building is creating a set of expected behaviours for your team. What are the standards of behaviour for when your employees interact with your customers? With vendors? Other employees? How do those behaviours tie in to the culture of your organization?
Craft written standards that are observable, measurable, or tangible. Train your employees on how to implement these behaviours into their day, and then reward them for their efforts.
Don’t be afraid to experiment in your pursuit of a thriving workplace.
Introduce a new employee recognition program. Adopt a casual Friday wardrobe. Institute a weekly breakfast meeting. Not everything you try will work – and that’s ok. Ask for feedback from your employees about what is (and isn’t) working. If something doesn’t work the way you expected, change it.
Companies that thrive are constantly pursuing greatness. The minute you stop putting effort into building your corporate culture is the minute you’ve lost it. Make building your culture a top priority for everyone in your organization. When you do, you’ll find that your company can grow and flourish in ways you may not ever have imagined.