A great company culture is imperative to building a lasting and successful business. Happy employees and a vibrant workplace ensure higher productivity, better quality work and that everyday spent in the office is more enjoyable. Your team should look forward to coming to work every morning and it should be a very hard place for them to leave. Essentially it is just as important as happy home! Here are a few simple steps you can follow to build a great company culture:
1. Know your company mission and values
First things first you need to know what makes your company tick, what your values are and what is crucial to you? What sort of company do you want to be and how do you propose to get there? With these questions answered you can draw up your guiding principles. Once your employees are onboard with these they are more engaged and invested in the company’s success.
2. Hire people to fit your culture
Your culture is defined ultimately by your people so make sure you actively hire people who suit and compliment it. It’s an ongoing cycle – hire people to grow the culture and then the culture eventually becomes a hiring tool in itself and becomes the reason that you attract talented people. The more your employees share your company values the better, as they represent your company everyday outside the workplace.
3. Lead by example
You cannot expect your employees to follow the guiding principles of your company culture if you don’t lead by example. Great leadership is key to fostering a lasting and unique company culture. So make sure your leadership team embody your culture and that they make time for and take an interest in each and every staff member.
4. Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork
You’re a team and not a bunch of individual employees. Teams work together, help each other and it doesn’t matter who gets credit for what. Teams allow employees to form relationships, to feed off each other, to have fun and to foster a community within the workplace.
5. Freedom in the workplace
Employees should feel both a sense of freedom and responsibility within their jobs. They should feel trusted and empowered to speak up and have ownership over departments, projects or teams. Good decisions and great ideas can come from anywhere! Freedom inside the company is vital to its success on the outside.
6. Communication is key
Get your team talking and ensure that there are always open lines of communication. Discussions and debates are where brilliant ideas thrive and where solid working relationships are developed. Always communicate too much rather than too little.
7. Be Honest and transparent
Transparency is imperative to ensuring that everyone feels a considered and valued. Sharing company goals, difficulties and achievements with employees is fundamental to making them aware of what’s going on and ensuring they feel part of something bigger. Ask them for help, get them involved and make sure they know they can always come to you for anything.
8. Don’t forget the fun stuff
Work shouldn’t all be about work! Like a relationship you have to keep the spark going, you have to keep a sense of humour and you have to make it fun. Have a yearly calendar where you plan cool team outings, parties, sporting events, internal competitions and other non-work stuff. These activities can be just as essential to your end result as hard work. A balanced team is a happy team.
9. Facilitate continual learning
Continual learning is key to a progressive culture so make sure you foster a knowledge-sharing environment. Share studies, trends, insights etc. with your team and get them to share amongst themselves too. If you can facilitate additional education in the form of external learning, interesting speakers or career guidance this is always a bonus.
10. Appreciation and recognition
Acknowledgement and appreciation of your team members is helpful in keeping them engaged and motivated. Whether its peer-to-peer recognition, thank you notes, congratulatory emails, spot prizes or service awards… these go a long way in making your employees feel valued. Appreciated employees are then more likely to actively engage in fostering a great company culture and therefore the cycle continues!