5 Ways To Build An Incredible Culture

Written by Andrew Nicholas on Apr 20, 2015

A winning culture is an elusive thing. While no one doubts the benefits a great culture has on employee morale, quality of work and business performance, defining exactly what a culture is and how to develop the right culture isn’t a simple task. Having company values is a good start but a culture is much more than a set of values. Unfortunately for a lot of companies this is where the development of their culture ends...

Company values need to be much more than just words, they need to translate into a set of beliefs. Values have to become behavioural patterns and leadership teams then have to adopt these behaviours, lead by example, and by doing so help stimulate a successful and thriving culture.

In previous blogs we’ve looked at how to communicate values and how destination employers like Google, Zappos and Salesforce all understand that culture trumps strategy and is THE most important driver for long-term sustainable success.

Your culture is your badge of honour and you should wear it with pride. To make sure you are on the right path, here are five simple ways you can translate your company values into a winning culture:

1. Live Your Values

‘Walk the talk’ – it might seem obvious but it’s one thing to say what your values are and it’s another to constantly emulate them. Leading by example is the most powerful communication tool any leader has access to, so use it to your advantage. In this interview, Simon Calver, CEO of LOVEFiLM talks about why it is essential for a company to live and breathe its corporate values.

2. Teach Your Values

Every training opportunity and process must educate and remind your employees of your core values – from hiring to on-boarding to performance reviews. Put together a programme that contains your complete corporate ideology and teach it on a regular basis. Try and make it very clear what you value and what you expect in terms of value-based behaviour.

3. Reward Your Values

Ensure all of your employees are empowered to demonstrate your core values to the best of their ability. Take note of when people are living your core values and reward them accordingly. Establishing a ‘Brand Ambassador of the Month’ award is a great way to do this and can be a powerful reinforcement tool to increase employee performance and retention. It won’t go unnoticed if you invest in creating recognition programmes that demonstrate acknowledgement, approval and genuine appreciation of your employees’ work.

4. Hire Using Your Values

Hire people who share your values. Look beyond previous competencies and commitments and at a candidate’s character, attitudes and goals when considering a new hire. If the prospective candidate does not echo your corporate values, they will struggle to fit inside your culture. That’s why it’s so important to test this behavioural fit up front using job specific psychometrics so that you can get a feel for whether the candidate’s behaviours and attitudes aligns with what your business expects. Believe me, it’s always better to find this out at the start of the hiring process rather than two months into a new role!

5. Fire For Ignoring Your Values

Creating a cohesive culture is essential – it’s easy to develop and educate new hires if they lack the sufficient knowledge or skills, but employees who have conflicting values can be detrimental to the performance of themselves, their peers and the business as a whole. Whether your employee is a high achiever or not – if someone consistently behaves contrary to your values – you have to show them the door.

What Next?

It’s always best to find out if a candidate will be a good fit for your company culture and emulates your core values before they have signed on the dotted line. Use science and technology to remove the guesswork out of your hiring process and eliminate the possibility of a bad hire. Find out how you can implement these strategies into your hiring process by downloading our e-book ‘Eliminating Deception to make Better Hires’.

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