A company’s culture is perhaps the single most important factor that influences its success. However, it is also one of the hardest for CIOs, CEOs, and other business leaders to build and develop. This is because every company culture is unique, and there are a number of characteristics that shape it. For instance, some of the factors that shape it include: benefits and perks, wellness programs, office space and technology, behaviors, work hours, values, and mission.
With so many variables to address, building your own company culture may seem like a daunting task. However, it can influence whether or not your business grows to success or plummets to failure.
Company Culture Matters
A positive company culture can motivate employees, cultivate loyal customer relationships, and increase business success. In a recent survey by Bain & Company, 68 percent of business leaders responded that their culture gives them a competitive edge. Furthermore, 81 percent believed that a business that does not have a high-performing culture will not excel. In a recent Careerealism survey, 66 percent of respondents said that a strong culture is more important to them than a company’s values or beliefs.
Some of the top companies have attributed their success to their culture. Netflix, is one of the biggest proponents for it. For instance, the video streaming giant gives its employees unlimited vacation and doesn’t care how many hours they work. As long as they meet the high-performance demands that the business sets, employees have a large amount of control and flexibility. The model seems to be working for them, but for other businesses, it may not.
Creating a Culture That Works for Your Business
It’s crucial for companies to assess what type of culture they want, and then plan a strategy and structure that can help them achieve it. Every business may be different, but there are some key factors that each should address to build a strong culture.
Organizations can show that they are invested in their employees while also encouraging high-performance. For example, companies can incentivize sales or client retention by giving employees an extra vacation day or a bonus for exceeding established goals. If you want to build a culture that values employee development, offer tuition assistance or training programs.
Give them options
Flexibility is becoming more and more important in today’s workplaces. With advanced technologies like mobile devices, video conferencing, online collaboration tools and wireless presentation software, it is easier than ever for employees to work remotely.
Employees may have children, medical appointments, and other worries that sometimes do not work well with the typical 9-5 workday. Creating a culture of flexibility shows that an organization understands that workers have a life outside of the workplace. It also can alleviate some worker stress by allowing them to flex their schedules when needed.
Model culture with leadership
The leadership team is key to building and fostering a new company culture. If you initiate a wellness program or community charity event, it is important that members of the executive team help organize or participate in it.
Hire talented people that complement your culture
A highly talented individual that clashes with an organization’s culture can be detrimental to its success. If someone doesn’t seem to fit with a work environment, they will most likely start to disengage and become a negative worker.
On the other hand, an individual that complements your company culture is more likely to become an invaluable member of your team. When hiring new employees, it is important to investigate what type of workplace they would work best in. Ask questions like: Would you rather work alone or collaborate in a team? Where do you see yourself in five years? These questions can help reveal how they work and what motivates them.
Communication is one of the most important tools to create a winning company culture. Benefits and other perks do not matter if no one knows that they exist or how to take advantage of them. It is important to ask employees what they value on a recurring basis. Instead of doing an annual performance review, chat with workers more frequently and let them know what growth opportunities are available within the company.
Assessing your culture can be as simple as sending an online employee satisfaction survey every few months or having a leadership meeting to reflect on performance. Building a strong company culture may not be an easy task to undergo. However, it is often the key to employee well-being, customer retention, business growth and long-term sustainability.