Your company culture is founded on the norms, values and working environment you create within your business – and a positive culture can directly drive your bottom line.
Companies with an effective culture perform 20-30% better than ‘culturally unremarkable’ competitors, according to research by Harvard Business School professor and writer, James Hecket. Why? Because in these companies employees were happier, more productive and (as a direct result) less likely to leave.
So, if a vibrant and transparent company culture is so vital to success, how do you promote a culture that works for your business?
Embedding your values in everything you do
It’s important to embed your company culture from day one of the business. This means sitting down to establish your vision, your values and the underlying goals of the company – and using these to drive every decision you make as the management team.
To build a productive company culture:
Define your values – agree on 5-10 core company values that demonstrate how you do business, how you treat your employees and what your customers can expect from your company. Have these key pillars clearly written down so they form a cultural foundation for the entire company and staff to work from.
Share your company values with all stakeholders – display your values prominently. Have an ‘Our Values’ page on your website, design an eye-catching ‘Our Values’ one-pager for your employee inductions and make sure these cultural pillars are seen around the office, at events and anywhere they can be reinforced.
Hire talent based on your core values – your people are a key asset for the business, so it’s important that they demonstrate your values and are a good fit for your company culture. When hiring and interviewing, assess how candidates measure up against your values, how they interact with other people in the team and whether they uphold the cultural norms that form the bedrock of your business.
Create a harmonious team – for a culture to function well, your employees need to work together as a team. A harmonious team is the beating heart of a successful business, and that requires choosing the talent and personalities that form a cohesive and productive staff. If everyone shares your cultural vision, success is more likely.
Proactively promote your culture – Company culture isn’t just words on a page; it’s about how you live and breathe these values. So, you need to get your culture out in the open and promote your core values through team events, regular work social events and transparent sharing of company performance and strategy with your team.
Keep your culture alive and relevant – the things that make your company tick will evolve and change over time. So there’s an occasional need to review and update your core values and cultural norms, helping you remain relevant and productive.
Defining your company culture
Your company culture can add tangible value. Flesh out your core values, define your key cultural pillars and create an open and transparent culture within the business.