Ways to Build a Stronger Culture in Your Organization | ‘Organizational culture’ – it feels like a bit of a buzzword, but did you know that businesses that don’t put the effort into building their company culture, as well as their company brand, are more likely to fail than those who take both culture and brand seriously?
Building a culture is something that CEOs and business owners should be doing from the start. It’s vital for attracting and retaining top talent, gaining a competitive edge, and, ultimately, succeeding in your market space.
What Is Organizational Culture?
Organizational culture can be the difference between a business that’s constantly struggling to meet deadlines and one that consistently overachieves. It can mean the difference between a company that’s full of disengaged and disaffected employees or one where your employees love what they do and love working for you.
Culture is an important part of any business and it’s something that every good HR consultant around the world will ask you about in the first meeting with them.
Building A Culture To Succeed
Here are a few ways to build a stronger culture in your business today.
Establish Your Culture From The Start
From the moment you start talking about creating an organizational culture, you need to know what you want your company culture to be. In other words, get specific! Assess all aspects of your organization, both internal and external.
For example, an internal culture could be one that’s goal-oriented, fast-paced, and rewarding. An external culture on the other hand may be one that’s thoughtful, empathetic, and customer focused. Put these attributes into your budget and business plan as soon as you can.
Move Beyond The Buzzword
Now, it’s time to take the time to really understand what a strong organization looks like.
- How is the leadership team going to behave?
- What will the employees be hired need to know?
- What are your values as a company?
- What behaviors will you tolerate or encourage?
- What will happen when people don’t follow through on those cultural traits?
These are just a few questions you should ask.
Lead From The Front
The best way to build a stronger culture is to model it throughout your organization, starting at the top.
So, what does this mean?
Show employees by example that creating a positive organizational culture is important and that they can participate in this effort by actively creating it. Begin by modeling the behavior you’d like them to see, and then get everyone on board.
For example, if you want your team to be focused on results over all other factors, plan your meetings around goals instead of activity or titles.
Be Specific, Be Transparent
Review your culture regularly with your employees. Make sure they understand the impact of these values, that they know what behaviors are being rewarded and which ones are not.
Employees also need to know what is going to happen when cultural traits aren’t followed. You need to set clear standards and expectations around how people behave.
Let Your Employees Speak From The Heart
Another great way for growing a stronger culture at your company is to always have your ears open to suggestions from employees regarding the culture itself.
What do they like about the culture? What don’t they like?
These questions should be asked from time to time, and then make some changes based on their input.
Every company needs to give its employees a certain amount of freedom to do their jobs. That’s part of being a high-performance company, but it’s important that you consider the value and benefits of a solid corporate culture for your business, too.
Don’t Get Too Relaxed
A lot of employee turnover in the startup world happens because the young companies get too lax on the corporate culture front, but if you create an environment where people want to stay and thrive, you’ll see an increase in productivity as well as retention.
The most important aspect of organizational culture is that it reflects the values and principles of the company. Many companies in their early years tend to think that focusing on culture is a waste of time or that the culture will “grow with the company”, but this thinking is too narrow for those who want to build an organization that’s successful in the long term.
Ask Around For Helpful Tips and Advice
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice from people outside of your company about how to improve your organizational culture.
A lot of other business owners and HR professionals are happy to offer up their thoughts and experiences, and, with your encouragement, they’ll be more than happy to do so.