Highly successful organizations know that the secret to a thriving organization lies in its culture. If you consider some of the most efficient and functional organizations in operation today, you will find that they base their culture on a solid belief system supported by strategy and structure–and that’s no coincidence!
When an organization builds a strong culture, its employees better understand how management wants them to respond in any given situation, and they are incentivized to align with your principles. This allows for better outcomes and a more streamlined process.
Did you know that a 4 x boost in revenue development has been observed among businesses with strong cultures? When employers work on building a solid company culture, they cultivate more loyal and productive workers who perform well and continually develop their skills.
Employers can play a critical role in maintaining their strong culture by recruiting people who will accept the organization’s ideals and flourish in its atmosphere. Managers should ideally provide orientation, training, and performance management systems that explain and enforce the company’s fundamental principles.
Before endeavoring to upheave your current work environment, let’s review the basics. What is company culture, exactly? How do you build one? And why does it matter so much to your company? In this article, we’ll explore four of the best culture-building practices you can implement within your company today.
What Is Organizational Culture?
Culture is the character of an organization’s employees, including what they believe and how they act. It’s also the way that these beliefs are turned into practice–often in ways that aren’t immediately visible to the people who work outside the company.
When you understand the culture at this level, it makes sense that corporate culture is often hard to maintain. Employers are constantly subjected to outside forces and pitted against other companies trying to steal their workforce away with the promise of better working conditions or shorter hours.
Importance Of Having A Strong Organizational Culture
Organizational culture is essentially your company’s personality. Much like human personalities, company cultures are all unique. However, one thing is certain: great organizations have great cultures, and a strong culture can make or break a company.
The best company culture promotes employee engagement and creativity at work via productivity and morale boosts. It also attracts new talent to the organization, increasing growth opportunities for both businesses and employees alike.
Finally, a strong organizational culture keeps employers loyal to their jobs and less likely to seek employment elsewhere once they’ve experienced working for an organization with a stellar reputation.
Culture Building Practices To Start Using
1. Establish A Sense of Trust
First and foremost, you need to establish a level of trust with your employees. Without it, the organization will be unable to see its most efficient self both here and abroad. Lead by example: never promise more than you can deliver. Show your employees that you are honest and upfront always.
Communicate often and consistently with employees and encourage them to do the same with their colleagues. Create an environment where everyone feels like they can speak freely without fear of judgment or reprimand for having differing opinions from others in the company.
Finally, support those who make mistakes and learn from them. Failure is never as painful as one makes it out to be if there’s positive reinforcement during the learning process; it encourages those around them to quell their fear of failure.
2. Work For The Greater Good of the Company
Every company is different, and each employee will have something unique to bring to the table. Once you’ve established a level of trust, sit down with your employees and start brainstorming ideas on how they can help improve the organization’s overall performance.
This could be anything from creating an internal job board to incentivizing good work through employee-of-the-month awards–whatever works best for your company’s vision statement.
Management must step back during these discussions. Instead, let your employees decide how the culture within their section or department will be. That way, they’ll be more incentivized to see the changes through and lead by example.
3. Conduct Employee Surveys at Regular Intervals
An employee survey is a great way to identify specific areas of improvement within an organization. It effectively highlights which employees, if any, might need some additional training in their role.
You might also find through your surveys that employees are not satisfied with certain aspects of their jobs or the company itself. On the other hand, they may be just stuck in their ways and refusing to change with the times, an attitude you can address with the individual in question.
Either way, it’s essential to know what your workers want (and don’t want) so that you can make the relevant adjustments accordingly.
These surveys should be regularly conducted if you expect to see results, or else there’s no point. Start small–a quick survey sent out every few months should do the trick.
4. Give Back to the Community
Every organization’s employees will have varying interests. An excellent idea for promoting work-life balance is encouraging your staff to volunteer in their community. Not only will this make them feel great about giving back, but they’ll also be able to network with like-minded individuals who share similar ambitions.
This sort of mindset can significantly improve morale daily, as it aligns everyone under the same common goal: to work together toward something that benefits the community.
Moreover, uniting your staff over a worthy cause will help to connect your team and give them a shared sense of purpose. In turn, this can dramatically reduce the risk of having disgruntled workers search for employment elsewhere because they don’t “fit in.”
Creating and Managing Organizational Culture
If you are motivated to create and manage your organization’s culture, you must be willing to roll up your sleeves and do whatever it takes. Some of the solid steps you can implement are:
Developing Your Culture
Once you’ve identified your organization’s values and goals, it’s time to develop your culture around these two concepts. Combine them into a unified vision that will determine what you stand for and how it sets you apart from the competition. If put into writing, your culture might read like a mission statement.
Example: Day.io values transparency, teamwork, and integrity. We uphold these principles in our day-to-day working lives to maintain our standing as the undisputed leader in time & attendance innovation.
Performing Regular Updates
Once your culture has been established, don’t get ahead of yourself–there’s still more work to do. Perfecting your company culture is more of an ongoing process than it is a one-time project.
For any organization to evolve at a healthy pace, management must seek new ideas that promote productivity and creativity within a culture of individuality.
Without these two key ingredients, there can be no growth; and without growth, an organization is bound to dwindle out. Avoid the slow death of your company by regularly checking in with your employees to reinforce your company culture and make any necessary changes.
Maintaining Your Culture
When it comes to maintaining your company’s organizational culture, things can get complicated. Your culture may be fully developed and implemented throughout every facet of your business, but the workplace is always changing, which calls for constant vigilance.
Make sure that your entire team is aware of the culture you are trying to build. While an organic development would be nice, it often takes a less subtle approach to ensure your culture is built on lasting foundations. You may even opt to hold regular meetings where you discuss the company’s culture, where it is proving successful, and where change is needed.
Benefits Of Having A Strong Organizational Culture
Strong company culture leads to many benefits, some of which are:
Solid branding. Culture helps your brand identify who it serves and what makes it unique.
Increased productivity. Culture contributes to motivation and innovation and helps employees understand their unique roles in the company.
Employee satisfaction. Happy employees contribute to a positive work environment that fosters innovation, creativity, productivity, motivation, and all-around profit potential.
Customer loyalty. Your company will stand out as different from the competition, just as the customers you attract will be unique.
Reduced absenteeism. If workers feel as though they’re part of something special at your company, they won’t want to miss a day unless something truly pressing has come up.
Better customer service. Culture offers a consistent quality experience for your customers by building trust and loyalty through teamwork, communication, and mutual support among every department, as well as each individual employee within those departments.
Common goals are established. A strong culture unites everyone on the same path toward success with shared values and common beliefs.
Top talent is attracted to your company. Culture attracts employees by making them feel like they’re an essential part of something bigger than themselves, and it helps keep them around by making sure their welfare and best interests are taken care of.
Innovation abounds. Culture encourages the development and sharing of fresh ideas to help your company stand out from the crowd.
Reduced stress and conflict. Culture helps set the conditions for success, ensuring that everyone is on the same page. This means there is less confusion, less conflict, and therefore less stress.
Culture Building: Final Thoughts
Building up your company’s culture is not an overnight task. It takes time to cultivate one strong enough to maintain its integrity in the face of various workplace challenges. Your culture is not fixed, either; it should continue to grow and evolve along with your company’s vision, mission, and goals.
If culture is not nurtured and tended to regularly, it is likely to die out. It takes a combined effort from the top down for culture to flourish. This includes having the right people in place throughout different levels of your organization — leaders who deeply understand their roles as culture builders and are committed to seeing the task through.