Sep 26, 2019
It can be easy to dismiss company culture as a buzzword, but it is actually a definitive piece of your business. It reflects your organization's values, goals, and standards, and can attract and retain key personalities in the workplace.
A common and unfortunate misconception of company culture is that it requires no effort to maintain and create. In actuality, the subtle dynamic is anything but organic; it needs to be thoughtfully influenced through consistent attitudes and habits.
If you haven't paid much attention to your company culture before, you might not know how best to describe it. We recommend enlisting a department manager to evaluate their team members' interactions, behaviors, and goals. These insights can show you if employees see themselves as individuals or as part of a collective, and how you can help them migrate towards the latter. Companies with shared visions and close relationships are 3-5 times more productive than companies that do not.
Building a sense of unity within your team requires clear values that everyone can identify with and work towards. Figuring out what exactly these priorities should be involves a little psychology. For example, if you value education and continual learning then you should consider initiating a tuition assistance/reimbursement program for your team. Other methods can include behavior changes from management, such as encouraging new ideas to build a more flexible and innovative culture. Direction has to come from the top and when employees see changes from their leaders, they will follow.
It is difficult to create a culture without people, and long term people are key to maintaining lasting change. A big reason why people search for new jobs is because they feel there is no room for growth in their current job or they feel underappreciated. An employee survey can help you find what is appreciated most by your team and learn how you can help them grow. Think of ways to keep your team engaged within the company, not just their departments, through meaningful team building activities such as charity drives or sponsored events.
Hiring the same types of people can stagnant your company and give the impression to your clients that your business is inflexible. Be sure to look at more than basic skill level when considering an applicant, be sure not to overlook personality, background, and values of the potential employee. Filling positions, especially management positions, with varying types of people can help your business move forward, be more flexible in the marketplace, and identify creative solutions to problems. All of these attributes will give you a big advantage over your competitors.
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