For the past ten years, there has been a strong push in cultivating and improving the organizational culture of a business. When we define company culture, we are talking about the values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment that personifies the identity of an organization. This includes the organization’s expectations, experience, philosophy, and overall values. Still, as business leaders, we need to understand the myriad of factors that goes into establishing a strong and successful company. It is not something that can be accomplished overnight. Instead, we need to truly understand the ins-and-outs of our business. By internalizing these concepts, we as business leaders will be able to drive our company in the most efficient, effective, and consistent way.
Below, I have provided five influential factors (or questions) that have shaped and molded the identity, brand, and actions of a strong corporate culture. This is something that I have established in my own personal projects and ventures. At the end of the day, we need to think of company culture as the end-all-be-all factor for success. The reason why is that a company’s greatest strength is their weakest link. If we are able to establish that culture, we will be able to leverage any weak links in the best and most optimal way.
1. What is the company’s vision?
Great company culture does not happen automatically. Even with great people, the candle itself cannot be lit without the true spark of life. For every company and organization, a business needs to start with a vision or mission statement. These simple turns of phrases become the overall guide and value of why your employees should come into work each and every day. It provides them, as well as yourself, with the necessary purpose to orient your decisions in the best possible way. When coming up with a vision, be purposeful. Understand what you and your company (or product) are looking to accomplish and what it can do for the public. In addition, make sure the mission statement is compelling and attractive for your employees and customers to relate to. The best way to do this is to think simple. You will find out how simplicity can be your biggest win when establishing your vision.
2. What are your company values?
Company values are the core characteristics of your work culture. While the vision itself articulates the goals and purpose of your company, the company values instead offer the guidelines and procedures for the behavior and mentality needed to achieve those goals. These can be something that revolves around employee professionalism and mindset to overarching beliefs and mottos.
3. Who are your examples?
Since primary school, we have always been taught to follow the leader. Similar to that, company work culture must be enshrined by various individuals and business leaders in your company. The worst that can happen to your organization is creating a flat hierarchy where the vision and values lack action and investment. That type of action, or lack there of, not only hurts the future employee, but also the company culture as a whole. To prevent this, make sure you are the ideal role model for your employees. Remember, your workers cannot invest in your goal, if you yourself cannot invest in it either.
4. Who are your workers?
For a company culture to be strong, consistent, and helpful, you need to make sure you have individuals who can both share and personality your core values and goals. This willingness and ability to embrace your company’s beliefs will be a huge game changer in how your employees view your company. That being said, make sure you are picky about your standards for employees. As much as we would love to have that Harvard MBA JD candidate, you also want to make sure that they will be a team player and game changer for your business. At times, the resume isn’t everything. Make sure you hunt for those applicants that can fit the growth of your culture. This extra attention will solidify the people your company needs in order for it to grow in the future.
5. What does your setting look like?
We have heard all of the stories of Google, Facebook, and Apple having work environments with Ping-Pong tables and massages. While we may not be able to provide those daily massages for our workers each and everyday, we can however create strong work environment that alleviates the stress and pressures of work. Much of company culture can be contingent on the space and freedom of working in a comfortable area. To do this, see what you can do to improve your work setting. Even if it is something minor, test it out and see how it bolds with your workers.