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As entrepreneurs and business leaders build or revamp their businesses, one of the most important things they need to put in place is workplace culture – it’s the foundation for all aspects of operations. business and is a powerful driver of business success.
Every company has a corporate culture – by design or default – which is the unique personality of an organization, setting the tone for a company and defining how it treats employees and how employees should treat each other. each other, customers, suppliers and stakeholders.
With culture playing such a central role in the workplace and entrepreneurs usually putting everything on the line, it is important to design this culture in a strategic and purposeful way, rather than leaving it to chance and letting it evolve on its own.
Below are six steps business owners should consider.
1. Understand the dynamics
Culture is a two-way street, and although leaders design it, employees define and shape culture through their personalities and daily interactions based on trust, shared values, demonstrated behaviors and shared goals.
Culture is not something a company dictates and imposes on a workforce; it is an ongoing process of building relationships between a company and its employees. Moreover, culture is an extension of the brand and serves as a vital link between the internal environment and the external presence of a company, which can affect its reputation.
With the emergence of more remote/hybrid work environments, entrepreneurs with a clean slate have a unique opportunity to rethink traditional cultures and implement innovative ways to stay connected that promote culture. However, the conventional steps used to design a culture should remain the backbone for planning and implementation purposes.
Related: How to Better Manage Company Culture During Times of Transition
2. Develop Mission Statements and Core Values
Business leaders should work with their leadership team to develop a mission statement and a list of core values that reflect their vision for the business and embody their principles. A company’s mission and core values should pave the way for creating an environment that encourages mutual trust between the company and its employees, enables a high level of employee engagement, and facilitates team collaboration. effective that leads to long-term success.
With careful thought and reflection, a company’s mission and core values should be able to stand the test of time, allowing for minor adjustments along the way, helping to ensure a consistent culture with high standards and commitment. towards excellence.
3. Solicit employee feedback and feedback
It’s a good idea to solicit feedback from a focus group made up of employees with varying levels of experience and seniority from different parts of the organization. Since employees are the ones who will be impacted the most on a day-to-day basis, their insights can be hugely beneficial, especially in remote/hybrid environments where employers continue to look for ways to optimize the culture.
There may be issues that leaders thought were insignificant, but employees see as a matter of concern. Conversely, employees might think something exciting wasn’t even on the radar. In addition, the support of the management is essential because it will have to live these values on a daily basis and set an example for its teams and the company.
Related: A Great Company Culture Isn’t Magic – Follow These Steps to Create It
4. Incorporate core values into the culture
Once the mission and core values are established, it’s not enough to post them in key places and hope that employees will take notice; they should be incorporated into the culture. Leading by example is a great way for leaders to demonstrate company values, which should be reflected in their day-to-day communications, meetings and interactions with employees. Following the word will encourage others to emulate similar behaviors and habits that help reinforce and internalize the culture.
When corporate values are woven into a company’s DNA and institutionalized through ongoing programs and initiatives such as recruiting, hiring, onboarding, employee surveys, training and performance reviews, this helps to further solidify the culture and secure it in the long term.
5. Demonstrate culture
Companies must develop ways to demonstrate culture through actions, which can have a meaningful impact on employees and provide proof that the company is living its values. Moreover, the implementation of programs that correlate with specific values speaks volumes about the company and its culture.
Some approaches may include demonstrating integrity by keeping promises, practicing servant leadership by working for the benefit of others, providing a strong work-life balance program that includes flexibility, offering paid time to volunteer in the community to make a difference in the lives of others, showing care and empathy by taking the time to listen to employee needs and concerns and creating a program of recognition that rewards employees who embody certain company values.
6. Conduct climate surveys
To ensure the culture stays on track, it’s important to gauge how employees feel about the company and how it maintains its values by conducting annual, anonymous climate surveys. This helps employers learn more about how employees feel about their jobs, their workplace, their colleagues, and their managers. The insights could also uncover new ways for the company to align with the culture and its core values in remote/hybrid workplaces.
Conducting climate surveys helps build trust with employees, which is essential in company culture, as it demonstrates that the company truly cares about the feelings, needs and concerns of employees. However, employers must commit to acting on the results, so that employees understand that the company sincerely wants to learn more and make the necessary improvements and/or changes.
Entrepreneurs and business leaders who are in the exciting stages of starting or reorganizing their business need to take the right steps to craft a strong corporate culture that will serve as the foundation for their business operations. It is not only the key to a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining top talent, but it is also essential for the company’s reputation and longevity in the market.
Related: How to Create a Company Culture That Retains Loyal Employees