Your company culture is the heart of your business. It reaches every corner of your company and if you don’t take care of it, you will see your business weaken.
Company culture is a selling point. It helps you recruit new talent and retain the employees you have. Yet many companies neglect this fundamental aspect of their success.
What constitutes company culture?
So what is your company culture composed of? The answer is: everything. Company culture is how your employees interact with each other, with management and with your company as a whole; virtually or in-person. Strong company culture can take a business to the next level, while a weak or unsuccessful culture can hold back growth.
How does company culture tie into profits?
A healthy company culture means healthier employees and should be a top priority for this reason alone. However, that doesn’t mean emphasizing company culture provides no benefit to your bottom line. A successful company culture actually improves your profits and the stability of your business.
Your company culture is also directly related to employee retention. When your culture is one of disinterest, stress or hostility, employees won’t stick around, and talented employees in particular will leave swiftly to pursue better opportunities.
What does a successful company culture look like?
A successful company culture is one that supports all employees and empowers them to perform at their best. While no two company cultures will ever be exactly the same, the successful ones all have 4 things in common.
A successful company culture is one of commitment, both on the side of the employee and the employer. Your business should be committed to your employees and in turn your employees should be committed to you. Everyone at the company, from the highest executive to the newest intern, should be committed to the same company vision.
Your company should emphasize retention. You won’t have a solid company culture if your employee ranks operate like a revolving door. You need experienced, long-term employees to form the backbone of your business’s culture. A loss of institutional memory means an erasure of company culture. For a culture to remain consistent, you must have a solid foundation of long-term employees.
Strong communication is the glue that holds together all the other aspects of a good company culture. Without clear and consistent communication on all levels, your business’s culture will not be able to thrive or grow.
Good communication is about more than just meetings and daily memos. You should strive to cultivate a company culture where employees feel empowered and confident enough to communicate with their coworkers and with their supervisors. Communication is a two-way street, and if your employees feel that they can’t ask questions, they will be unable to contribute to a strong company culture.
Most importantly of all, your employees need to have trust in your company and your leadership. A positive company culture emerges when employees can trust that their hard work makes a difference and that they will be treated well.
Employees need to know where they stand in terms of employment. Companies that function like revolving doors rarely have cohesive and productive company cultures.
Hire a mixture of skill and character without allowing one to overtake the other. This will help create balance within your company.
Healthcare and retirement
If you want to retain top talent, you need to give them a reason to stay. Your employees invest a certain amount of their lives into your company, and a paycheck isn’t enough to repay that. Caring for your employees’ financial wellbeing as well as their health establishes trust. When your employees trust that you will take care of them, they will engage more with their jobs and a confident company culture will emerge.
Crafting a successful company culture
You may be wondering how this all looks in practice. “Company culture” can seem like a very abstract concept at times. Here are 4 solid action items to get you started on creating a successful company culture.
1. Gather and meaningfully employ feedback
Give your employees an outlet for discussing company culture honestly and most importantly, consider this feedback in a measured way. It won’t do any good to fire blindly when addressing company culture. You need to know what your workers are feeling.
2. Schedule ongoing training
Company culture is a living organism. It needs constant care and attention to thrive. You should offer ongoing training to your management that keeps supervisory goals in line with desired company culture.
3. Work on your company vision
Does your company have a unified vision? How long has it been since you workshopped it? Make sure your business’s vision is still in line with your goals and work to reinforce this vision at all levels of your company. Make sure you follow through on your company vision because more than half of job-seeking adults say a company’s level of social responsibility is vital.
4. Tie additional benefits to company performance
It should go without saying that tying all benefits to company performance is a bad idea. However, this doesn’t mean that additional benefits shouldn’t be offered when things are going well. If employees see their own rewards when your company succeeds, they will be more invested and engaged. Conversely, employees may “check out” if they notice their hard work is filling the pockets of those above them while they’re left behind.
Company culture takes time
Growing a successful company culture (or repairing an unsuccessful one) is not something you can do overnight. It is a long process that requires a holistic approach. Your desired company culture should be a point of consideration at every policy decision and hiring meeting. Match your company actions to the culture you want to cultivate and the rest will gradually fall into place.