Is your organization slow to react to changes? Does your organization have too many structural layers that prevent employees’ voices from reaching the top management? Does the authority lie with few and others are not involved in the decision-making process? Is there a conflict of interest between different departments?
If you said yes to any of these questions, this means that your organization has a traditional organizational culture, which is outdated. You need to create a company culture that aligns with not only your values but also the values of the people. Here is a step by step guide that helps you create a strong company culture for your business.
1. Have a Purpose
When you are establishing a new company culture, start with a purpose. To create a purpose, it is important that you focus on the why, the what and the who of your business. Why does your business exist in the first place? What products and services do you plan to offer? Who is your target audience? Once you answer these questions, you will have a clear purpose in front of you.
Once you have a clear purpose in front of you, it is time to test it with different stakeholders. Successful companies live and die by their purpose and you need to do the same if you want your business to succeed. What is the point of creating the purpose when you are not going to follow it? Stay true to who you are and define your success.
2. Define Your Core Values and Standards
To make your company culture a success, it is important that all the stakeholders stay on the same page and speak the same language. Additionally, you should have a common set of core values. A company culture that revolves around core values can easily withstand the test of time.
Once your core values, standards and common language are aligned with one another, you create a cohesive company culture. As your company grows, your culture needs to adapt. Your company culture needs to be flexible and change according to the situation.
3. Lead by Example
Fish rots from the top. You might have heard this adage many times, but did you know that it is true when it comes to business. According to research, Leaders can make or break your company culture. Your company culture is heavily influenced by the action of your business leaders. A great business leader always reflects the company values, both internally and externally and is usually its strongest advocate. Instead of reading the mission or vision statement, they should exemplify it because action speaks louder than words.
Richard Branson is the best example in this regard. He is a true reflection of his brand. Business leaders must set a great example because employees look up to them and follow them. If they live by their company culture, others will take inspiration and follow them. If they don’t, others won’t either.
4. Find Your Cultural Ambassadors
There are two types of employees. One that lives, breathes and stands by the company culture while the others are not interested in knowing what their company core values, mission and vision are. You need to find the former because they are your biggest asset because they are your brand ambassadors and advocates.
Even though they might be fewer in numbers but can create a huge impact if you use them correctly. In fact, they can even give you a competitive advantage because most of your competitors might not have these brand advocates. Customers not only hear but trust these employees but also remember them as they are the ones who are spreading a positive message about your brand.
5. Communicate with Truthfulness
When your company is small and has dozens of employees, communication is direct and frequent, but when your company goes to hundreds or even thousands of employees, communication is sporadic because it becomes difficult to reach out to these thousands of employees. You can overcome this issue by using communication tools or communication features offered by task management software.
Business leaders need to intervene and communicate company values explicitly, both to internal and external stakeholders. Every employee should understand the company culture so they can play their role in preserving it. This is very important to keep everyone on the same page. A good leader is honest about their strength and weaknesses. They tend to approach everything with integrity.
6. Treat Your Employees Well
“Clients don’t come first; employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.”—Richard Branson
CEOs need to understand that if they don’t treat their employees with respect, they won’t be able to implement the company culture. Your company’s turnover rate will increase, and your company will start to earn a bad reputation, which is not what any CEO wants. When you hire employees, focus more on attitude and character instead of skill. Skills can be learned, but it is much harder to develop the character and attitude of an employee.
How do you create a company culture that coincides with people’s values? Let us know in the comments section below.