Do you have a thriving and authentic culture within your business? If you don’t, but have identified that you need to change an unproductive or toxic company culture, then there are ways to cultivate it.

“It’s not just about portraying a thriving culture and image that many experts show you how to do: it’s about being it."

Culture is everything. It's your brand. It’s inherited, and it’s also a choice, and can be designed and shaped. You can choose to build a great company culture, from the inside out.”

The focus on having a vibrant and thriving company culture has never been more important than it is today. In particular, this is a key aspect of your organization where you can shapeshift and be a shapemaker in nurturing, shaping, and embedding a winning corporate culture.

 

Company culture refers to company vision, values, norms, language, assumptions, goals and beliefs. In a Forbes report, Jacob Morgan explains that the culture environment is about what you feel; the vibe you get when you walk in the door and the mood that the workplace sets which gives the employees a sense of purpose. In today’s connected world, your great company culture will spread like wildfire through your employees’ networks.

In organisations with low employee engagement scores, they experienced 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth, and 65% lower share price over time.

Therese Gedda, keynote speaker and consultant, says, ‘Creating a successful company is more than just providing services, selling products or coming up with “the next big thing”. Creating a workplace where team members are appreciated, engaged and autonomous, as well as feeling proud to work there, are all vital to the success and longevity of your company.
Before it opens its doors for business, a company already has a culture embedded in its genetic code through its founders. The culture that exists within in a company is not random or created by accident — culture is a choice, and the Founder and CEO play a vital role in what this culture looks like in any company.’

“In short, the culture is the shared values and best practices adopted by the company’s people.”

Company culture is integral to the success of any business. In the early stages of a start-up and establishing a new business, mostly company culture isn’t at the forefront of the priority list. However, company founders are already putting their own stamp on the cultural mix through their own style, character and way of going about things, even though more immediate business needs are being dealt with first.

But a good principle to embrace is that building your company culture is just as important with two employees as it is with two thousand employees. To establish and support a company culture of respect, engagement, and transparency, you need to lay the groundwork from the very beginning. There are a number of ways you can build a strong foundation to create a great company culture that will grow with you:

  1. Take the time to figure out what's important to your company

“Your company culture and values should be dynamic, your company culture will change as you grow. This doesn't mean your values will become diluted over time, it simply means you have the opportunity to organically build and continue to hone your culture.

In fact, the current generation worker wants to work for a company where they can help build company culture, not just be told what it is. Your employees are your best asset; let them help shape your culture organically as you grow,” says an industry expert.

  1. Encourage a Workplace of Respect
  1. Engage Your Employees

“Fun workplaces do not call forth loyalty or high performance from their employees. It is personal growth, meaningful relationships and the knowledge that they are making a difference that makes employees work hard to overcome challenges and go the extra mile in their efforts to boost productivity.

Perks are great, but you need to provide more than that for long-term engagement. Team building activities, mentoring, and career development opportunities will feed your employees long after those catered lunches and cappuccinos.”

  1. Be transparent and Be the culture you seek

“It's important to communicate the values of your company, but it's more important to demonstrate them.”

  1. Recruit on culture

“The focus of a high performing organisation starts with people — recruiting the right team members based on company values and individual strengths. These team members are more likely to provide your customers with high-quality service, and in turn, your customers will feel more valued and more likely to give loyalty to your company. This is a profitable position to be in.
Recruitment based on culture and strengths is the way to produce high performance, engagement, trust, and loyalty among team members already from the start.”

"Cultural fit, philosophy and passion is key. Growing your company with people who believe in the company’s purpose, values and direction are essential. Don’t only look for hard skills such as previous experience and formal education. Look for the individual’s strengths, passion, determination and values. In that way, you will find people who are naturally engaged by the role and add a spark to the company."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As part of our upcoming Network Group September Focus event, GM Simon Tetlow will be contributing further insights into the importance of a thriving workplace culture. Great company cultures don’t happen by accident, but at the same time it is also easier than you might think to build one.

Simon says, "Values are the principles we use for making decisions. Our values motivate our actions and behaviours, and can be positive - like respect, trust and openness; or limiting - like blame, bureaucracy or control. Limiting values not only create dysfunction in our lives, they also create cultural entropy. In my experience, these core values have to include -
Commitment
Shared Vision
Customer Satisfaction
Employee Fulfilment"

Culture is the key factor that differentiates one group of people from another. The culture of an organisation defines who you are and what you stand for. Vibrant cultures are often values-driven, mission-focused and  vision-guided. These display a high level of values and alignment. Culture drives performance by unleashing potential and with these values they can transform companies results and have a positive effect on the working environment.

What are values? Our values reflect what is important to us. They are a shorthand way of deciding our individual and collective motivations. Together with belief they are factors that drive our decision making.

Vision guided: An inspiring vision keeps everyone heading in the same direction. The vision of the organisation guides its long term decision making.

Mission focused: A purposeful mission inspires employees on a daily basis. When employees are able to align their personal sense of purpose with the organisations mission they find meaning and bring their whole selves to work.

Values driven: Your organisation values tell you how to be, individually and collectively, to achieve the organisations mission and vision.

Values aligned: When values of the organisation are in alignment with the personal and desired culture values of employees you will experience high levels of employee engagement. People will bring more energy to their work and go the extra mile to get the job done.

In the run up to the September event, Simon will be considering how our Network Group values define our Culture, and looks forward to sharing his thoughts and ideas with you.

 

Compiled by Karin Dubois, Network Group