When you think about your company, what words or values would you use to describe it? Is it hard working? Rewarding? Trustworthy? Customer-focused? Expectation-driven? Or something else? These words are descriptions that would be used when speaking of a company culture. This term has recently gained popularity and is the main reason behind the type of employee you will attract and retain.
Many business owners may not take into consideration the value of establishing a strong company culture. What they don’t realize or may need to consider is that company culture is the feelings and values of the business for whom you work. It may seem like a simple thing, but it makes a huge difference, very much like the pivotal balance point on a see-saw. Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail,” and nothing could be truer of company culture.
Company culture is more than just the feelings of the business you own, operate and run. It is the values and ethics incorporated in your work. Do you train your employees or have monthly audits on your inventory? Do you reward employees for good behavior or just expect it? Culture is the mission statement your company lives by. It even boils down to how you require your employees to treat customers and how you want them to treat each other.
Peter Drucker, an American-Austrian educator, once said, “Culture will eat strategy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.” Culture is the fuel that your company’s strategy and day-to-day operations will run on and this begs the question of why more business owners don’t consider the impact of the company culture they are developing.
If you haven’t considered your company culture before now, don’t worry, you are not alone. Planning for company culture requires a realistic confidence of your company’s longevity. Forbes magazine lists the four areas to consider when creating or changing a company culture. They are a good starting point to make a direction adjustment within your own organization:
- Clarity of Purpose – Do assigned tasks reflect meaning and show in the success of the company?
- Employee Engagement – Do your employees feel empowered to fulfill their purpose?
- Environment of Trust – Do you and your employees trust each other complete a job well-done?
- Continued Learning – Do you create opportunity for your employees to stretch their abilities by learning more?
These questions will help get you on the right path to creating a strong company culture that will not only have your drive duplicated in your employees but will also have your employees enduring through good and bad times alike. It will reinforce trust that no matter what happens, as a team, you will be able to push through to the next step or phase of company success.
Lastly, remember that change takes time, delegation and intention. Be sure to include your employees and get their feedback regarding the feel of the company. You could even ask them to create their own department or personal work mission statement outlining their top five values. People are more likely to adopt what they are involved in creating. Be reassured that creating a strong, ethical and lasting company culture will take teamwork and time. Persevere through the process to attain or maintain your company culture knowing that in the end, you will be creating a great foundation for any company to thrive in.