How to Define Your Company Culture: A Comprehensive Guide
A lot has been written about company culture, and it may be something you know about and have disregarded in the past. After all, if you have customers who love your products/services, your staff seem relatively happy, and you’re making money, what else matters?
On the face of it, that’s a fair statement. But only if you look at the short-term. Businesses ebb and flow, so while everything may be rosy at the moment, it can all go wrong pretty quickly.
And that’s when your company culture comes to the fore. It’s the thing that will either make or break your company when times get tough. So, it’s worth taking the time to define and cultivate a strong culture within your organisation.
What is Company Culture?
First things first, let’s define what we mean by “company culture”. Put simply, it is the collective values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of your employees. In a nutshell, it’s “how we do things around here”. It’s the unspoken rules and expectations that govern your workplace.
Why is Company Culture Important?
So, why should you care about company culture? Well, as mentioned earlier, it can be the difference between success and failure when trading conditions change (remember Covid?). But that’s not the only reason. A strong company culture also has numerous benefits, such as:
- Attracting top talent: People want to work for companies with a positive and inclusive culture.
- Retaining employees: A strong company culture increases employee satisfaction, reducing turnover rates and recruitment costs.
- Boosting productivity: Employees who are happy and motivated are more productive at work.
- Improving customer experience: A positive company culture can result in better customer service and, ultimately, happier customers.
- Setting your company apart: In today’s competitive business landscape, having a unique and strong company culture can help you stand out from the rest.
How to Define Your Company Culture
Step 1: Identify Your Core Values
Your core values are the fundamental beliefs that guide your behaviours and decision-making as a company. These values should reflect what your business stands for and the unique things it does to achieve its objectives. It’s crucial to involve your employees in identifying these core values since they are the ones who will embody them daily. Once you define your core values, you can use them to create a company culture that aligns with your values.
Step 2: Define Your Vision
Your company vision is a statement that describes where you want your business to go. It should be clear and aligned with your core values. Defining your vision will help you align your company culture with your business strategy and goals. Plus, it will act as a guide for employees on what it means to work for your company and the contribution they make towards the overall vision.
Step 3: Establish the Behaviours That Align With Your Values and Vision
Once you have identified your core values and defined your vision, you must establish the right behaviours that align with them. Your employees should exhibit behaviours that are in line with the company’s values and vision. For example, if your company values teamwork, you should create opportunities for team-building activities and reward employees for collaboration. A culture that promotes positive behaviours reinforces values and vision, driving positive change throughout the organisation.
Step 4: Make Your Company Culture Visible
Once you have established your company culture, you should make it visible. Doing so will enable you to attract, recruit, and retain employees who share your company’s beliefs and values. You can achieve this by incorporating your company culture into your processes, such as recruitment, onboarding, training, and performance management. You can also showcase your company culture through branding, social media, and community involvement.
Step 5: Continuously Monitor and Adapt Your Culture
Company culture is not set in stone and can change due to various factors, such as shifts in the business environment and workforce demographics. So, it is crucial to continuously monitor and adapt your culture to reflect the changing realities of your business. Regular employee feedback surveys are a great way to get insights into how your employees perceive your culture and identify areas where improvements are necessary.
Defining your company culture is an ongoing process that requires your attention and effort. By following these practical steps, you can create a positive and vibrant culture that aligns with your values and vision and drives employee engagement and productivity. Remember, your company culture is unique to your business, and it is your responsibility as a business leader to champion it.
Need some help defining your company’s culture? Contact us for a chat.