There's literally no better time to create company culture than right now. According to a survey done by Bloomberg, we’re all operating in a jobseeker's market now. With the pool of talent rapidly drying up, companies are fighting head on to show all the rockstars that theirs is the better company to grow in. And more than just offering a good salary package, good company culture has also become one of the key indicators of being the ideal company.
Whether your company's just a few months old or a couple of years in the industry, it's truly a must to prioritise culture to get better chances on the marketplace. There may be a few challenges, and it'll be different for every company, but it's doable. Just follow these steps:
Assess your existing company culture
Whether it’s apparent or not, your company should have some semblance of a certain work culture - an undefined rhythm that everyone naturally follows. If you’re lucky, it’s exactly how you want your company culture to be. But more often than not, it isn’t.
Do a head to toe look at this unofficial work culture, and see if it truly fits the environment you wish to promote inside the workplace. Do this by observing your employees behaviour and attitude towards work and their colleagues. This will help you identify the right way to culturally switch gears.
According to an article by Susan Heathfield, ‘It is difficult for people to assess and understand their own culture. When people are at work on a daily basis, many of the manifestations of culture become almost invisible. Assessing your organizational culture is a lot like trying to tell someone how to tie their shoes.’
Ask yourself these questions to help you assess your current culture, or the lack thereof:
- What does the company, as a whole, value?
- How do employees behave at work?
- Are workers encouraged to speak up and identify problems?
- Does the company address problems head on?
- Are employees rewarded for performance? How?
- What are the company hiring and firing processes? How do these affect the culture?
Take note of your answers and observations as you run each question in your mind. Use the information you have to determine exactly what culture your company currently has and assess if it’s the right one that will help you meet your business goals. If not, it’s probably time to do some restructuring.
Identify the path you want to follow
The next step is as crucial as the first because you won’t be able to determine the right thing to do if you, yourself, have no idea which road you want to take. As the CEO, do you want to establish a collaborative environment or a more closed-office setup? Which values do you prioritise and wish to share with your people?
HR Generalist and Culture Ambassador for Geotab Dale Miller said that in defining core values, ‘You need to have a clear vision of what you stand for. Keep it simple. You don’t need to have a long list of values. As long as you believe in them, and commit to living those values, you are already 50% ahead.
Re-evaluating your motivations and aspirations during your early days can also serve as a guide in identifying where you want to take your business. Look back and think of what made you start the business in the first place, and from there, create the right roadmap for you and your employees, and ensure that everyone gets a copy of that map so nobody gets lost!
Consistently reinforce your culture at the workplace
Send an email blast. Print copies and post them on all announcement boards. Gather your team in a meeting. There are many ways to evangelise your company culture. It’s of high importance to keep on reminding everyone of the core values you’re trying to instill at the workplace.
It might take more effort in your part and your HR team to promote it, so find creative ways to reinforce them. For example, Derek Flanzraich of Greatist shared, “Each morning, we get together for the only mandatory part of our schedule: the morning meeting. We go around answering first, what we're most excited about doing that day, and then second, a silly question. (Examples include favorite children's book, first pet's name and No. 1 Thanksgiving dinner staple.) It's a refreshing way to start the day and laugh a lot (one of our core values)."
In another company, adventur.es, Founder and CEO Brent Beshore goes an extra mile to show his employees his appreciation for doing a job well done. "I make a point of walking around the office every day and thanking people for their contributions. It could be something as small as, "I really appreciated the email announcement you crafted," or something more substantive like, "Thanks for handling that tough situation a few days ago." Thanking them reminds them to thank others and be appreciative of what we have."
For each business, there will be a different tactic to ensure that the company culture is being reinforced. You only have to find which strategy works for you and your team, and you’ll soon see a happier and healthier environment in your office.
Assign a culture ambassador
It’s everyone’s job to work and live in the office according to the company culture, but it won’t hurt to assign a person or two as your culture ambassador. Essentially, they know the ins and outs of the core culture and help in initiating it among colleagues. Having a culture ambassador will make the presence of a company culture more prominent and ensures the consistency in reinforcing it.
According to Careers 2030, culture ambassadors are part leadership guru, part therapist, and part event coordinator, company culture ambassadors play a big role in ensuring positive work cultures. They are tasked with routinely checking in with employees, addressing any concerns, developing training programs, and organizing fun perks for the staff, such as free lunches and yoga classes, to boost company morale.
For this strategy to be effective, make sure to get ambassadors who have good people skills and are willing to be the middlemen between the management and employees. Assign someone who is both a good listener and a good conversationalist so your employees will be at ease to approach him / her anytime.
Don’t be left behind and focus on establishing a positive company culture. Just make sure to do it with lots of careful planning and considerations so you and your whole team can reach your goal together.
We can help you find the perfect culture ambassadors to effectively promote your core values to have a happy and healthy workplace. Visit our website at www.BoltonRemote.com and we guarantee you a list of candidates within 3 days.
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