When companies typically start out, the founders come up with a business model, maybe a management style, but how many define their culture? What do I mean by culture? Essentially, business culture is the way employees and managers act in regards to how they act at work – they are the morals of the employees. The culture defines the attitude and beliefs of their employees which should carry over on how they perform at work.
How many companies do you know that instill their culture throughout the company? Could you describe your current company’s culture? Culture is the aspect of a company, which I believe gets forgotten about too often because it has potential to be a very powerful part of the business.
Personally, I work for a multi-billion dollar company, which makes it a priority that every employee breathes the culture. Even though it has around 10,000 people worldwide, it still has the small, family-feel type of culture it started with when it was a two-man shop.
How did they do it? How did they create a company whose family-like, client first culture never departed from the core of the business? Easy. It’s in the DNA of the company. What do I mean by that? I mean the culture is in the DNA of the company because the senior managers believe in it and it trickles down. If the people who are making all of the key decisions believe in the culture, it makes it a lot easier because all of their decisions will be aligned with their beliefs. And when that happens – it’s contagious.
What’s the point? Why have a culture?
You want to establish a strong culture because it will make your employees able to associate themselves to the company. It allows them to really enjoy the company they work for (assuming they enjoy the culture), and when you have employees who enjoy working for you, they typically do better work. They typically care more about their job. They typically stay with the company for a longer period of time. It’s a way to humanize the company and have your employees feel much more connected. Typically, if you are successful in creating a culture, you have created an environment where people have real work friendships and not just people “they work with.”
Think about it like this: Your company culture as your internal brand. Your brand is what people see you as – it personifies you to customers. Your culture should do the same for your employees.
So how do you create a culture? They first thing you want to do when creating your business culture is to think of how your business conducts business. Is there an underlying rule or mantra you use? Do you train your employees to have a certain mindset or act a certain way? In other words, take a step back and think about what you want your company’s morals and values to be. If you can establish those, I would recommend creating a mission statement, which really describes the vision you have. I’m not going to recommend that you make all of your employees memorize your mission statement because that could be seen as cheesy. Instead, what I would recommend is to slowly start incorporating aspects into your internal communications. Maybe create awards given to employees who embody the culture the most?
If you strive to instill morals within your company and write your company’s DNA – you’ll create a culture. You’ll see the companies who make one of those “Best Places to Work,” lists normally attribute it to their successful culture. Employees enjoy working for the company because they enjoy the atmosphere, they enjoy the people they work with and they enjoy going to work every day. You know what happens when people outside of the company see your company in a magazine on one of these lists? They want to work for you. They think about where they work and what it would be like to work somewhere that has a strong culture and people enjoy showing up for work.
Your business’s culture … you must create it, breathe it and believe it.