Whether you’re building new or trying to restore an existing one, Company Culture is the foundation for success in every aspect of your business. From attracting and retaining good talent (77 percent of workers consider a company’s culture before applying, and almost half of employees would leave their current job for a lower-paying opportunity at an organization with a better culture) to building a strong customer base to impacting your bottom line, (companies with healthy cultures are 1.5 times more likely to experience revenue growth of 15 percent or more over three years) culture matters A LOT
So what exactly is Culture? And how can companies ensure they are creating a great one?
Culture for business purposes is defined as the collection of values, expectations, and practices that guide and inform the actions of all team members. It’s the collective characteristics that make your company what it is. Determined by your core values and your leadership’s ability to live them, culture sets the tone for your workplace and is felt by your customers.
“You can watch company culture in action when you see how a CEO responds to a crisis, how a team adapts to new customer demands, or how a manager corrects an employee who makes a mistake.” *
That means you better be clear on what your core values are and whether your practices reflect them. Essentially Culture is created and conveyed through consistency and authenticity, through the actions of your leadership and the way your teams work together. For example, if you claim to value Work/Life balance, yet there is an undercurrent of workaholism, your culture may breed a sense of distrust. To determine how authentically and accurately your culture reflects your values, take a moment to step back and be “the witness.” Observe and evaluate whether attitudes and behaviors align with your values and the culture you want to build.
Every company culture is different, and it’s important to preserve what makes yours unique. But whether you need to transform your current culture or you’re building a brand new one, consider the following highly sought-after qualities found in most high-performing companies:
Alignment—do your people, their motivators and your culture match?
Appreciation—are you making sure your team knows their contributions are valued and appreciated?
Trust—is there transparency and safety for all?
Performance—do your team members encourage each other to excel?
Resilience—Are you able to calmly & confidently weather the inevitable storms and deal with unexpected changes?
Teamwork—do your employees communicate and collaborate well?
Integrity—do your actions and words consistently line-up? Is there honesty and transparency?
Innovation—are your people encouraged to think outside the box and bring new ideas? Be creative and take risks?
Psychological Safety—do your employees feel safe to take risks and to provide honest feedback to leadership?
These are just a few of the cultural attributes that highly successful and competitive companies display. You have to make your culture your own but consider incorporating some of these in the mix if they fit. *
We’ve defined what culture is and why it’s important to the overall success of your company. We’ve also identified some characteristics of a healthy, thriving culture—the ones that enable your business to attract and retain great talent, out-perform the competition and grow revenue. Now it’s time to explore how your company can create and cultivate that kind of culture.
According to the experts at Achievers, there are 8 critical elements to building the culture you desire. They are:
- Excel in Recognition— When everyone on the team recognizes the accomplishments of others, individuals start to see how they’re part of a whole — 76 percent of employees don’t feel especially recognized by superiors. Experts agree that when an organization makes appreciating employees part of its culture, important metrics like employee engagement, retention, and productivity improve.
- Enable employee voice–Creating a culture that values feedback and encourages employee voice is essential, as failing to do so can lead to lost revenue and demotivated employees.
- Make your leaders culture advocates–Your company’s success in building a strong workplace culture rests in the hands of team leaders and managers. For example, if your workplace culture prioritizes certain values and your leadership team doesn’t exemplify them — or even displays behaviors that go against them — it undermines the effort
- Live by your company values–Your company’s values are the foundation of its culture. While crafting a mission statement is a great start, living by company values means weaving them into every aspect of your business.
- Forge connections between team members–Building a workplace culture that can handle adversity requires establishing strong connections between team members, but with increasingly remote work, creating those bonds can be challenging. Encouraging collaboration and engaging in team building activities — even when working remote — are two effective ways to bring your team together and promote communication.
- Focus on learning and development–Great workplace cultures are formed by employees who are continually learning and companies that invest in staff development. Training initiatives, coaching, and providing employees with new responsibilities are all great ways to show your team that you’re invested in their success.
- Keep culture in mind from day one–When an employee’s perspective doesn’t match your company culture, internal discord is likely to be the result. Organizations should hire for culture and reinforce it during the onboarding process and beyond. Practices and procedures must be taught, and values should be shared.
- Personalize the employee experiences–as modern consumers, your employees expect personalized experiences, so you need to focus on ways to help each team member identify with your culture. Tools like pulse surveys and employee-journey mapping are great ways to discover what your employees value and what their ideal corporate culture looks like. *
- Excerpted from Achievers’ Engage blog April 9, 2021
Recognizing the importance
of Company Culture and its undeniable impact on your bottom line is the beginning of creating the culture you want. Of course, each company is unique and should be true to who they are—in other words, make sure
your culture is authentic. With that in mind, when you’re designing your culture, it is a good idea to be aware of the highly desirable cultural attributes found in top-performing companies.
Ultimately the most important ingredient in creating, cultivating and maintaining strong company culture is your people! From the company founders to leadership to every team member, alignment with culture is paramount. Starting with the hiring process and onboarding, your people have to match your culture, see it lived out through leaderships’ actions and behavior and feel that their voices will be heard and their unique contributions to your success are valued.
Build your culture, align your people, live it out loud and watch your business thrive.
Know Your Talents has worked with over 300 restoration and construction companies to help enhance culture and optimize performance. Want to talk more about building your culture, reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org