- A fantastic company culture can reduce recruitment and retention costs.
- Employees place great importance on company culture when choosing a career change.
- You need a mission and a vision for your business in order to successfully create a great corporate culture.
- This article is for business owners who want to create a company culture that works for all employees.
Your company is only as good as the people who work in it, which is why company culture is so important. If you follow the right steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating a great company culture. Read on to learn how making your company a great place to work benefits both your employees and your business, and the seven steps to developing a positive company culture.
What is corporate culture?
The corporate culture is made up of the values, objectives and behaviors shared by the company. It affects the way employees interact, the way work is performed, and the decisions a company makes. Corporate culture includes the following elements:
- Company mission. The mission of your business is the purpose of the business. It explains why your business exists, what you hope to achieve, and what you value. A strong mission is important because it gives employees something to rally around – a reason to work for your company (beyond a paycheck).
- Management styles. There are several management styles that a company can adopt when creating a corporate culture. The key is to stick with the one you choose. [Read related article: What Kind of Leader Are You? 9 Leadership Types and Their Strengths]
- Working environment. When establishing a company culture, think about how you want your employees to collaborate. If you are in an office, is it an open space or closed cubicles? If everyone is working from home, are they required to show up regularly or as needed? Ask yourself these questions when creating the work environment you want for your business.
- Expectations. Employees want to do a great job, and it’s up to the business owner and leaders to define what that entails. With a good corporate culture, employees need to know what is expected of them and the consequences of failure. The more transparent you are, the better the corporate culture you will create.
- Goals. Businesses need goals to grow and employees need to understand those goals to achieve them. Ask employees to strive for milestones that contribute to company goals. This can increase productivity, especially if there are incentives to achieve goals.
Takeaway key: Corporate culture includes the mission, management style, work environment, expectations and goals of the organization.
What are the benefits of a good corporate culture?
A great corporate culture has benefits for both employers and employees. Here are some of the biggest:
Benefits for employees
If you create a great company culture, your employees will look forward to coming to work and be proud of their performance. Here are some other benefits for employees:
- Transparency. A 2013 survey by TINYpulse found that transparency is the #1 driver of employee happiness. When your company culture is one of transparency, everyone knows what’s expected of them, how business is doing, and where the company is heading.
- Good team morale. A good corporate culture can bring employees together. When everyone shares values and a mission, your workforce becomes a team.
- Job satisfaction. If your employees like their work environment and are happy with the people they work with and for, they are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs.
- Improved well-being. Toxic work environments can harm not only productivity, but also the health of your employees. Several studies have shown that employees in highly stressed companies spend more on health care, miss more days of work and experience more workplace injuries, Harvard Business Review reported. A healthy corporate culture can do the opposite. When your employees don’t feel overwhelmed or afraid of losing their jobs, their well-being can improve.
Benefits for employers
A fantastic work culture also benefits business owners. Here are some of the benefits:
- Reduced recruitment and retention costs. Recruiting and retaining employees can be expensive. A key way to reduce turnover is to create a great company culture because employees will stay with the company if they are happy there.
- Increased engagement. Companies that foster an open and collaborative work culture tend to have engaged employees. This commitment has a direct impact on productivity and, consequently, on the results of the company.
- Healthier employees. Work-life balance is key to retaining top talent. A company culture that promotes a healthier work-life balance will have healthier employees overall, and there will be fewer reasons for workers to take sick days.
- Improved picture. If you offer your employees a fantastic company culture, people will hear about it, either through word of mouth or on online review boards. When employees praise your company’s great culture, it will be much easier to recruit talent.
Takeaway key: The benefits of a good company culture for employees include transparency, positive team morale, job satisfaction and improved well-being, and the benefits for companies include reduced costs, increased engagement increased, healthier employees and an improved image.
How company culture can be the key to success
Corporate cultures are as unique as the business owners who create them. Those who succeed are based on the reasons they started the business.
Take Melissa Wirt, mother of five and owner of Latched Mama, an online nursing clothing store. She started her small business on her dining room table and now has more than 30 employees, most of whom are moms. Latched Mama is now headquartered in a 16,000 square foot warehouse. Wirt attributes much of its success to its corporate culture.
“When it came time to start hiring employees, I dreamed of hiring those who could use love and support,” Wirt told Business News Daily. “I also realized that I wanted to hire moms. They can talk to moms better than someone who doesn’t know about motherhood.”
This mother-centered approach also extends to the work environment at Latched Mama. Mums are encouraged to bring their babies to work, with most children making the transition at 15 months. At Latched Mama, employees are moms first. If a child is sick, he stays at home; if there is a school play in the middle of the day, they go; if a mom is having a bad morning, a mental health day is allowed.
“A lot of people told me it wasn’t going to work,” Wirt said. “No one has abused it yet.”
Takeaway key: When a company culture is aligned with the company’s mission, it is more likely to succeed.
How to Build a Great Company Culture
Creating a great company culture takes time and commitment, and it needs to be built on solid foundations. Follow these seven steps to ensure the success of your company culture:
1. Define your goal.
Successful corporate cultures are based on a mission, vision and core values, which should guide all of your decisions.
For example, are you going to be socially conscious? What are you doing to embody your core values and goals? Ask yourself these kinds of questions, said Angela Simpson, human resources adviser at the Society for Human Resource Management.
2. Conduct research.
To create a great company culture, you need to understand what motivates your employees and what matters most to them. For example, a flexible work schedule is only ideal if that’s what your staff wants.
You also need to consider the impact any action will have on your company’s bottom line. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to offer free meals if it would put the company out of business.
3. Get employee feedback.
Whether you’re creating a company culture from scratch or trying to reinvent an existing one, employee voices need to be heard. If employees aren’t happy at work, their productivity will suffer.
Survey employees to get a sense of how they feel. Here are some examples of questions to ask:
- Do you think your opinion is valued?
- How many times have you spoken to your supervisor in the past three months?
- Do you have the necessary resources and tools to do your job?
- Do you think your manager listens to you?
4. Create your plan.
Armed with your research and employee survey results, start creating a company culture. This means crafting your mission, listing company values, and planning how the company will achieve its goals.
When developing your plan, remember that in addition to focusing on your business as a whole, your company culture should consider the individual circumstances of employees, says resource consultant Torin Ellis. people and brand founder Torin Ellis. “Culture starts in the community,” Ellis said, and a company culture should be able to meet the unique needs of employees.
5. Get feedback on the plan.
Before implementing your plan, seek input from management and employees. You don’t want to create a corporate culture that everyone despises. Listen to feedback and be prepared to make adjustments. A corporate culture evolves with the company and its employees.
6. Implement your plan.
Once you’ve finalized your plan and everyone is in agreement, it’s time to start implementing it. This does not mean changing the entire organizational structure overnight. Instead, make changes slowly, such as hiring employees who share common values or adjusting management requirements.
7. Monitor progress.
Assess what works and what doesn’t. Communication and transparency are key elements of a successful corporate culture. If changes are needed, don’t be afraid to make them.
Building a great company culture takes time, but if you stick to your plan and tweak it along the way, you’ll have a vibrant, thriving business that’s a coveted place to work.
Takeaway key: To create a fantastic company culture, define your mission, vision and goals; obtain employee feedback; monitor progress; and implement the necessary changes.