Company culture isn’t just for Silicon Valley start-ups; in fact, I personally believe it’s something that’s all too often overlooked by smaller businesses. It sets the standard of how you and your employees work, communicate and even socialise. Not only will having a strong company culture create an enjoyable work environment, it will also mean higher staff retention and an all-round happier team.
read below for five tips that I feel will get you on track to creating a great company culture.
Learn from Past Experiences
Before putting pen to paper, reflect on your past experiences. Whether you’ve previously owned businesses or worked for others, outline some pros and cons for each. Ask yourself what made working there special, and consider the factors around why you, your colleagues, or employees decided to leave. These points will give you the foundations of what you admire in a company, and what characteristics you don’t want to be a part of yours.
Defining your Core Values and Standards
A shared company culture doesn’t mean that all employees have to think the same, rather it provides a set of standards and approaches that the company as a whole operates by. Nobody can tell you what your personal values are, but if you’re struggling to put them into words, think of traits you admire in colleagues, as well as how you want employees to approach their work day and interact with their peers.
Leadership Sets the Tone
From my experience, this is the most important step. Leadership comes from the top, and there’s no use in preaching the importance of work-life balance if you don’t encourage it yourself. If you want new rules to be followed, make sure to take the lead and encourage your employees to do the same. As a leader, you need to reflect your culture and values, both internally and externally!
One of the simplest ways to create a great working atmosphere is by encouraging transparency and open communication. I find it important for leaders to be open, not only about their strengths and achievements, but their weaknesses too. As the founder of your company culture, you should communicate its importance continuously. Make sure it’s etched in the minds of your employees and that all new recruits are clear on your values.
Spend time with your Team
Never underestimate the the importance of spending time with your team, both in work and outside office hours. Setting time aside to engage in team-building activities or enjoying a fun night out will encourage comradery within your team. Remember, if you want your employees to love their job, their job has to love them back!