How to Create an AMAZING Company CultureMay 18, 2021
There are two ways to build a company culture, first is by design, second is by default.
Culture by design is intentionally crafted by company leadership to represent the ‘personality and behaviours’ that are important to the company and which are seen as key in order to achieve success.
By default, however, is a hands off approach where the company leaves its culture up to the dependency of how their employees get along with one another, with no real relation to the company’s values, vision or purpose.
Numerous studies show that the case for choosing the former option of designing culture is quite compelling. A Deloitte study confirms that 94% of executives that a strong culture provides a significant advantage to a company’s business success, however, only 12% agree they have the right company culture. In fact, studies show that businesses with a strong culture experienced revenue growth of 4x.
Two things are clear:
- The RIGHT culture can boost a company’s bottom line
- Few companies actually know how to leverage culture for success
So that begs the question, how to actually go about designing a culture that is RIGHT for your company.
When a company’s culture is purpose-driven it accomplishes two things:
- It captures that true essence of WHY the company exists in the first place and makes that the collective focal point
- It reinforces employee fulfillment by clearly relating the impact of their work on the greater cause (purpose) that they are contributing to.
For a culture to be purpose-driven, it needs to be representative of the:
Values: core beliefs of the company
Vision/mission: Guiding north star, giving individual team members a collective destination that they can strive for together. It lets people know where the company is going, and gives them the ability to envision a shared future.
Purpose: WHY your company exists. Reason-for-being
All in all, this creates the foundation for what can be referred to as the personality of your company. Thereby guiding behaviours, actions and decisions. Now it’s time to bring it to life.
EMBODY FROM THE TOP
The importance of leadership’s role in creating and sustaining culture is paramount, yet rarely emphasized. Typically, that’s because although the direct impact culture has on a company’s business success is clear, it’s still regarded as something that can be pushed onto HR or set up and left to be handled by employees.
The upside of following through on this tip, however, is a leader who will truly impact their company’s culture and therefore company’s success.
That’s because company leadership exerts the most influence over a company’s culture whether or not they want to. No exceptions. No matter how great a company’s culture appears on paper, the truth is only as strong as leaderships ability to embody those same guiding behaviours, actions and decision-making principles
Failure to do so creates a disconnect and tension between them and their employees.
Side note: This applies whether a company has 5 employees or 5000 employees.
New employees are going to need to become familiar with the culture and existing employees are going to have to remain aligned with it. That’s where reinforcement efforts come in.
This includes integrating culture into daily company life. There are a multitude of ways in which you can accomplish this, here are some that you can start applying immediately.
Hiring for cultural fit:
- Intentionally include steps in the hiring process which account for whether or not the candidate is a cultural fit for the company, in addition to being a fit for the role. Hirie RIGHT the FIRST time and avoid the costly mistake of a bad hire, which has been estimated to be at 1.5-3.5 times the employees annual salary (which does not include estimates on the negative impact of team morale and productivity).
Culture feedback loop:
A feedback loop which includes the topic of company culture allows leadership to:
- Maintain a pulse of how the employees actually feel the culture to be
- Reinforce positive behaviours, actions and decisions through recognition and acknowledgement
- Correct unwanted behaviour and catch problems before they get out hand
Assigning culture ambassador:
- Culture ambassadors are employees who are tasked with strengthening your company’s culture and ensuring that it remains positive and true to its design. From welcoming new hires, planning events to boost morale and checking in with employees, culture ambassadors are a fantastic way to promote positivity, fun and excitement around the company.
Click here to learn more about how you can leverage your company culture to boost success, employee performance and retention.
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