Company culture can make or break your business’s success. Employees of companies with stronger cultures tend to be motivated workers who stick around long-term. The right company culture attracts top-notch employees and thriving sales, not to mention, a qualified buyer for your business.
Culture is defined as “the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations.” In the business world, culture is how day-to-day operations play out at your company. The way your employees treat each other, customers, and the community are all important pieces of the puzzle.
By now, we’ve all heard about Google and other tech giants’ reputation for having great perks, but many companies cannot afford such lavish work environments. Fortunately, your company culture is unique to your business. You need to establish a version that works for you.
6 Steps to Creating a Thriving Company Culture That Works for You
1. Define your purpose. Begin by understanding the whys of your business. Who do you serve? What type of products or services do you want to create? You and all your employees should be on the same page, and your clients should be able to realize your purpose from their interactions with you. Make sure you come up with a purpose that is inspirational with room to grow. Most companies start off small when communication is simple and it’s easy to discern the culture. However, as your business grows, communication tends to get a lot more sporadic, or it can even disappear altogether, putting your purpose at risk. Having a strong foundation can prevent this.
2. Define your values. Your company should be able to stand the test of time, so establish a core value, and make sure every member of your team understands those values. You should definitely write these down, but not in stone. They will need to adapt as your company grows and times change.
3. Set an example. As the leader of your company, you are charged with the responsibility of shaping the company culture. You need to represent your business values, not as a regurgitation of what you’ve defined in the previous two steps, but as a person who genuinely lives and works by those beliefs. Make sure you are transparent, as it’s crucial to maintain the trust of your workers.
4. Identify your ambassadors. Hire employees who believe in your message just as much as you do. These workers become valuable assets to developing your company culture. They will mentor new hires to adopt the business values, and when they interact with clients, their dedication will shine through and your business’s voice will be heard.
5. Maintain your integrity. Practice what you preach and do the right thing, even when no one is watching. Be honest with yourself and others about your biases, weaknesses, and strengths. Keep an open line of communication, and always express your values.
6. Treat people well. Your efforts won’t be worth much if you have a high turnover rate. Be good to your employees and be choosy when hiring candidates. Remember, skills can be learned, but a good character and attitude cannot. An impressive resume is a good start, but if it’s accompanied by a bad attitude, it isn’t worth it.
Keep in mind, there is no secret sauce that works for everyone, and your company culture should be unique to your business. Use these steps as an outline but be prepared for trial and error.