A strong company culture is the cornerstone of your business’ success. Top companies know they need a corporate culture that recognizes and nurtures the shared attitudes, standards, values, and beliefs that characterize the persona and the mission of the organization. It’s always a good idea to be sure that your corporate culture resonates with your top employees as well as your customers and your key stakeholders.
To establish a company culture that works well with your organization’s mission and persona, you need a consistent, clear vision of just how you’d like to be perceived by everyone—both inside and outside the organization.
The Old-School Approach to Culture Probably Won’t Cut It
In the past, old-school C-level executives were in the business first, people second camp—but in today’s diverse, flexible work environments, most savvy execs know that it’s the people that make or break an organization’s success.
The more you involve your employees in all aspects of your business, the better invested they become—which naturally leads to a more dedicated staff and customers who feel appreciated and valued. In today’s customer-centric marketplace, it’s likely that your business depends on and is built around the people who produce your products and provide services to your customers.
First, Support Your Vision With Strategy
To ensure you are operating with a company culture that is reflective of your brand, start by meeting with your board of directors or partners to establish core values and how they can be incorporated into your company’s DNA.
Keep reading for 5 must-know tips for building a solid company culture:
1. Ensure transparency in company metrics.
High-performing companies regularly audit and reinforce their key brand metrics with all personnel. The goal of this practice is to involve all employees in the responsibilities, thinking, and strategy at various levels of the organization and to ensure that they’re comfortable sharing ideas and feedback—no matter what floor or level they are on.
A company culture that values all of its employees with the same level of respect—from janitors to admin—will benefit from a happier, more fulfilled workplace across all departments.
2. Establish the value of disconnect time.
Employees at every level get burnt out when they don’t take time to hit the reset button—you can’t expect people to be in top shape during crunch time when they are overextended during a normal workweek. While most employers would like to see their staff work with the same energy and vigilance during downtime as they do when production ramps up, it’s important to recognize that work-life balance is vital to the process.
In order to maintain a staff of personally fulfilled, focused employees, establish that everyone must take time to disconnect from the grind. Don’t let employees overextend themselves, especially if you know they are experiencing an overload of work-related or personal stress. A company culture that recognizes the personal lives of its employees is likely to be far more successful than one that takes and never gives back.
3. Encourage empowerment with a sense of freedom.
When you encourage your employees to use flex time and work-from-home options—even just occasionally—you establish a level of trust and dedication that simply isn’t possible in an atmosphere of micromanaging and corporate rigidity. Consider offering flexible hours as a reward for top performers, and expand the freedoms of those employees who work well independently.
When employees are given freedom to take on responsibility, manage tasks, and execute solutions on their own, they integrate more readily into the culture and develop a deeper connection to the organization. By encouraging the work ethic and lifestyle of diverse employees, you can leverage the talents of those who perform better on their own while keeping those who need a bit more oversight with a long-term goal.
4. Be mindful of physical space.
No one wants to be stuck in a collection of cubicles for weeks and years on end. Having a hybrid workspace where employees can retreat with their laptops helps to break up the monotony of more rigid office environments. Allowing a change of working space throughout the day can boost creative juices, foster collaboration, and reinforce company camaraderie while keeping employees on campus.
5. Put thought into your organizational design—and whether it actually works.
Sometimes change can be a good thing—and if your organizational design needs a facelift, don’t be afraid to take a good, hard look at how to improve.
- How does your company communicate with employees and customers? Is your technology in keeping with the company persona you’d like to portray?
- Are company policies still relevant, and reflective of the current corporate culture—or how you’d like the culture to actually become?
- Are your performance evaluations designed to support the type of company culture you are trying to establish?
- Are your company meetings and meeting-places reflective of your organization's persona?
A carefully considered and effectively implemented organizational design clarifies responsibility, authority, and accountability—and each element contributes to a successfully executed company culture.
Having a strong company culture is vital to attracting and retaining your top talent. To develop a committed, high-achieving talent pool that works well with your corporate culture, it’s important to understand that skillsets and workplace environment need to make a good fit.