One of the problems faced by firms and organisations is how to create a healthy company culture. This article provides an insightful guide on how to create and maintain healthy company culture when the company is growing.
Every business wants to scale up. Scaling up means growth. It also means increased opportunities, not only for your business but for its team members.
However, if the growth or expansion comes fast and sudden, it might give the feeling that you are losing the values and spirit of your company, especially if you didn't have it together from the unset.
Most times, it easier to maintain cultures, values and work intimacy when the company is smaller, perhaps because it is easier to manage a smaller group of people. But who says you can't maintain culture and values even with a larger firm?
Growth and expansion shouldn't have you sweep your values and culture under the carpet. It is very much possible to hold on to what you have always been known for.
Here, we will look at helpful tips for creating and maintaining a healthy company culture as a growing firm. But, before we delve into that, let's look at what company culture is. Later in the article, we will also discuss the features of good company culture.
What is company culture?
Company culture is the values and attributes shared amongst the employer and employees of an organisation. It is the characteristics of an organisation.
We define culture as "the way of life of people". Company culture might as well be defined as the way of life of a company. It is the way a company does its things. It is what a company is known for.
A company's culture will always be evident in how the employer interacts with the employees and how the employees interact with each other. It would show in the values they hold dear as well as the decisions they make. Generally, it would show in the way they carry out their business.
Company culture is made up of different things, which include:
- the company mission
- work environment
- values and ethics
- leadership style
- company goals and expectations
Company cultures are sometimes cultivated deliberately; at other times, they are culminations of decisions and actions taken over time. They are also a product of the company's mission, goals and values.
If you are a job applicant seeking a job in a company, there are different ways you can find out more about the company's culture. You can run some research into the company, check the company website, use Linkedln and other social media platforms to ask questions.
How to create and maintain company culture and values
As a CEO or company owner, how do you create an ideal work culture for your company? Also, how do you ensure that your company maintains its awesome culture and grows with it?
Let's see some tips on how to create and maintain a healthy company culture.
1. Create core values and have your team live up to them
As the leader, it is up to you to define your company's core values. You have to highlight what is important to your company and the attributes you value.
Also, it is vital that you reiterate those values constantly at work. It is not enough to put them down on a document and have them stored in a drawer.
Your team should be constantly reminded of the values and should be encouraged to uphold them. Remember, there should be more to your business goals than just profit-making; maintaining company values too is essential.
2. Hire the right candidates
Think twice before you hire people. Asides, skills, personal traits and values are also important factors to consider when hiring people.
Does the candidate's values and attitude align with your company values? It is often easier to train someone with certain skills than to have them change their attitude.
Please don't make the mistake of hiring the wrong people and later try forcing them to fit into your company culture and values.
3. Get your employees involved
You can't handle it alone. It would be hard for you to have your company culture ingrained into your company processes if you don't involve your staff.
It would help to have them understand why you do the things you do. Why do you make the decisions you make? Why do you put customers satisfaction first? Why do you insist on corporate attires for workers? Your staff should see reasons with you and understand the basis for the company culture.
Getting your employees involved will help shape the company culture and help make it evolve into a better one while ensuring that it is maintained.
4. Keep communicating
The point where you stop giving and getting feedback from your employees is when you start losing your company culture and that tight-knit feeling.
You must keep that line of communication open. Some employers look down at the junior staff. Get off that high horse! Engage everyone if you can, from your senior staff down to the lowest staff.
Getting to know your staff is one way to keep close ties. You'd be surprised at the valuable things you can learn from them. Communication is one of the qualities of a good leader.
5. Recognize employee efforts and achievements
Giving credit to whom it is due should be an inherent part of your company culture. This helps foster employee loyalty and satisfaction and spurs them even to do better.
Remembering and celebrating things like employee birthdays, work anniversaries etc. goes a long way to show that you care. It enhances team spirit and, in turn, will make team members more inclined to uphold company values.
6. Make the work environment conducive and fun
Nothing beats a conducive work environment. This is part of what makes the top 10 best companies in the world stand out from others.
Employees will thrive to uphold your company value if you treat them well. Being a corporate organisation doesn't mean you have to be uptight. Loosen up.
It is okay to crack jokes sometimes. Make your team laugh. Make the workplace lively and not gloomy!
You might want to host group seminars, group meals and even dates. The idea is to create professional and personal bonds so that your team members get to know each other even beyond the work setting at the end of the day.
7. Lead by example
In order to maintain those core values you have put in place for your company, you have to lead by example. You can tell others about your value if you do not understand those values yourself.
Humans tend to look up to their leader and do as he does. If they get the notion that you do not place value on the set company culture, they are likely not to take it seriously.
If one of your company values is punctuality, make it a point of duty to be punctual yourself- punctual at work, punctual to meetings. You show them the way, and they follow.
How to identify organizations with good company culture
The workplace culture is one of the most important aspects of professional life for every employee. So before applying or accepting that job offer, it is vital that while the company interviews you to know whether you are a good fit, you also check out their culture to see if it aligns with your values.
But then, how do you know a company that has good work culture? Here are some indications of good company culture.
1. Employee turnover
You can use employee turnover to know if a company culture supports its workers or not.
If a workplace is conducive for workers, keeps them engaged and happy, gives room for their growth, then the workers are likely to stay put with the company for a longer period.
However, a company that is constantly losing its employees and rarely have long-term employees might be an indicator of bad company culture.
2. Employees work as a team
Check how the company employees interact with each other. Do you see that team spirit? A company that works with a goal and upholds its value will have its employees working as a team.
The fact that everyone shares common values for genuine friendships and professional relationships. A company with unnecessarily competition and strife amongst colleagues might not have a healthy culture.
3. A company with clear missions and values
A company's culture is mostly derived from the company's mission and values. So, you might want to check out the company mission and goals to get a glimpse of what the culture might look like.
The missions and values are typically communicated throughout every level and department in the organisation. A great and positive company culture will comprise great values that every employee knows and strives to maintain.
4. Accessibility of company leaders
When a leader or leaders of an organisation make themselves visible and accessible to those working under them, it promotes togetherness. It gives the energy to work together to uphold the company values.
When company leaders don't communicate with employees, it could mean there is no value the company is working with in the first place, or the leaders don't place much value on the company culture.
Employees will support leaders in maintaining company culture, especially if the leaders are accessible, transparent and honest.
5. Employee growth and professional development
A great company culture also shows in employees' satisfaction with their professional life. A good workplace culture will support employees self-growth and professional development.
Companies with structures that support workers' learning, growth, advancement, and promotion usually have a strong sense of culture.
The structures are validations of their commitments to their employees, and in return, their employees are happy to work with them to achieve company missions and goals.
We provided you with some ideas on how to create and maintain a great company culture at your company. Company culture is important both for employers and employees.
For a company CEO, your company culture is what your company is known for, how it is perceived, and it is important that your company is seen in a good light.
Keeping your company culture intact, especially during a growth phase, might seem difficult, but it is doable. You only need to put in the effort and do things right.