Regardless of your industry, tenure in business, or the size of your company, you are sure to have a distinct and definable company culture. Some aspects of your culture will develop organically, while others are cultivated with intention. Either way, it is important to be able to actively speak to the working environment you wish to provide your employees, as well as measure whether your current culture accurately reflects your intentions. So how do you create a great company culture?
What Is A Company Culture?
“Culture” is a word that is often misused and misunderstood. It can be used to define a country, a geographic region, state, school, business location, and many other environments. It is even possible to have more than one culture in the same environment. For example, you may have a larger company culture which contains departments or projects that have their own unique environment.
When it comes to your professional organization, there are a variety of elements that define your culture. This goes beyond your employee salaries, but to elements such as:
- Mission Statement
- Lines of Communication
- Leadership Styles
- Employee Balance
- Team Approach vs. Top-Down Approach
Why Is Developing A Great Company Culture Important?
As of 2015, the average full-time employee in the US spends 47 hours a week at work, meaning that people spend more of their waking hours at work than at home with friends and family. By developing an intentional, and a great company culture, you have the opportunity to provide more than just a job in a field of choice—but a meaningful and fulfilling job. Employees who enjoy their daily environment are often more productive, have less personal and professional stress, and are more dedicated to their work.
Even when speaking of Generation X and Millennials, who typically maintain a shorter tenure with their employers, they are likely to stick around a bit longer when they enjoy the environment they work in.
How Can You Determine Your Current Culture?
As mentioned earlier, every company has a culture, but if you are unsure of what yours is, it is time to ask the questions required to figure that out. The best way to determine your company culture, is to start talking to your employees. This includes your executives and department heads, as well as your mid-level and entry level team members.
If you conduct monthly one-on-one interviews with your team, you can begin defining your culture. You can also consider anonymous employee surveys, exit interviews, and other methods of direct feedback. Forbes writer Chris Cancialosi offers some great insight, and some thought-provoking questions that will help you to determine your current company culture.
Positive Actions Steps—Redefining Your Environment
Change is inevitable in businesses, meaning that your daily operations, products, and services will constantly evolve. As your business continues to evolve, you may need to tweak and adjust your standards and expectations to ensure that you provide an optimal work environment for your team. Whether you are just a bit off track, have completely lost sight of your intentions, or simply want to maintain your current environment, you must take positive action steps. A few ideas to consider include:
- Investing in your team’s ongoing training and development
- Revising, or increasing focus on your Mission, Vision, and Values
- Keeping an eye on what your competitors do to create a great company culture
- Thinking outside of the box to utilize some more novel ideas
- Embracing transparency, autonomy, and shared accountability
Emotional Intelligence And Organizational Culture
One of the fastest growing trends in creating great company culture is cultivating emotional intelligence (EI)—developing the awareness of your emotions, and the emotions of others—and harnessing these emotions to produce positive solutions.
However, EI has many benefits beyond driving organizational culture or transformation. When properly developed and applied, it can be used to strengthen partnerships with both internal and external customers. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner is one of the most well-recognized advocates of professionally applying compassion and emotional intelligence in business, which he has built into LinkedIn’s 6 Core Values.
Creating a great company culture is appealing to prospective clients and employees alike, and is often a defining factor in why they choose you over your competitors. The information above is designed to help you define, and elevate your company’s culture.
If you are searching for qualified candidates who exemplify your company culture, reach out to The Birmingham Group today to discuss your staffing needs!