Your business’ culture is so important, and has been shown to have a significant impact on both your employee engagement and financial performance. While 92% of senior executives believe that a strong company culture would increase their business’ value, just 16% state that their culture is where it should be.
So how can businesses create a company culture that empowers employees to thrive, become more productive and ultimately, improve your bottom line?
No matter what your business does, it’s well known that workplace culture is a huge selling point today. Whether you’re trying to attract new employees, keep existing ones or simply improve the service you provide to your customers; your culture can make a world of difference.
In this article, we take a look at 5 ways to build a strong company culture.
Champion your company values
Your company’s values are where building your culture should start. They help to shape your culture and provide a foundation for how, where and why your businesses does what it does.
While developing a strong culture can be challenging if you have multiple branches across the country; good values will hold your team together, helps employees feel motivated and gives them a sense of purpose that they can share in.
And involve your employees in defining these values. They have the best insights into your business; they’re at the coalface every day, so deserve a say in how your values take shape.
Which leads us onto our next point…
Give your employees a voice
Your culture initiative will fall flat on its face if you don’t let your employees speak up, share their own experiences and directly influence your culture. After all, without them, you wouldn’t have a business.
Even if you don’t want to admit it, your leadership team will likely have a very different, sometimes rose-tinted view of the world within your business. Away from the day-to-day, in an office or simply not involved in the chats over a morning round of brews; it’s easy to get a very different view of your culture compared to the one your employees’ experience.
Your employees work within your culture day in, day out – they probably know it better than your leadership team. Combined, their experiences can help you to create a strong culture that they passionately believe in and allows them to thrive.
It is worth using anonymous employee surveys to get honest feedback from employees as asking them directly could lead them to provide a different view.
Lead by example
Again, you risk diluting the power of a strong culture if your leadership team and senior management don’t live and breathe it, too. If you’re trying to build a culture that champions openness and transparency yet your leaders keep important company news away from employees; your culture will be worthless in your employees’ eyes.
Your leaders should be the champions of your culture, advocating your values and encouraging employees to follow suit. Your leaders should be open to feedback, be transparent and able to lead by example.
Make sure policies reflect your culture
Similarly, if your culture is one of flexibility and family, yet your company’s working from home and flexitime policies are non-existent; your culture will quickly fizzle out and employees will become disengaged.
You need to talk the talk and walk the walk when it comes to culture. If you’re not following through on the values you’re trying to uphold as a business; you have no real culture.
As such, your HR and company policies must reflect the culture you’re trying to achieve. You may need to reconsider some policies or introduce new ones altogether, but these should mirror the values of your business.
Allow your culture to evolve
Your culture should not be cast in stone during your first year of business and never reviewed again. As businesses grow, customer attitudes and tastes evolve, markets fluctuate, and employee priorities change; so too should your culture.
However, your culture should be changed slowly and over time. Incremental steps in a forward direction are the name of the game here. Everything from employees, employee pay and benefits, dress code, systems, processes, values, office layout and more will affect your culture, so consider the impact of any changes before they are made.
Strong cultures are fluid and adapt to the changes in process that often comes with periods of business growth. How you did things in year one will likely be very different to how you’re doing things today; so, allow your culture to evolve alongside your business.