Culture is a vital tool for success in any organisation. It is what identifies a business, its values and its people. A culture is not just defined by a value proposition printed on the wall or a great office, it is defined by its people. The successful organisations have it nailed because you can feel the culture as soon as you walk into the door. It is a buzz that everyone thrives off, a sense of collegiate attitude and a defined psychological environment.
Why is company culture so important?
Having a strong culture is the most crucial element of success for any type of business and is arguably one of the key contributors to employee engagement, work standards and overall business stability- so it is crucial you get it right.
For an organisation to succeed in building a strong culture, everyone needs to buy-into the values, which is why culture is essential when making your next hire. If an employee is not the right cultural fit, they will fail to thrive and excel in performance, which in time will bring down the rest of your team.
How do you achieve this?
Culture is complicated and there is no set way of establishing one, but if you want to entice top talent and be a ‘great organisation’ to work for, you will need advocates who feel valued. Employees that feel valued will naturally contribute to the culture of a business and will attract the right people.
It is important to remember that you cannot build a culture over night. It takes work but will be a valuable long term investment.
Below we share the key steps you can take to build a culture:
1. Lead by example
Leading by example will be the key to success for any business leader. If you portray a positive and professional image, living by the business values, your employees will follow. As a leader it is your responsibility to be a strong representative of the brand and encourage everyone else to do the same.
In 2016, a study Deloitte study found that 73% of employees believed that organisations perform both productively and financially better when the management teams and leaders behaviour align with the businesses core values.
2. Become a brand advocate
We have already mentioned that employees will perform better if they feel valued, but as a leader you need to communicate the benefits of collaborative team work. If your employees feel like they are contributing something crucial to the business, they are bound to feel more motivated and engaged.
You should also allow for employees to contribute and voice the challenges they are facing, as well as key achievements and learnings. This will create collaboration, respect and trust between managers and their employees. Leading onto the next point…
3. Share success
Employees do not need to be praised for every success, but recognition from their direct reports will aid in increasing motivation and employee satisfaction. After all, when someone has had a great achievement it is nice to be noticed and this often encourages people to work harder to achieve more.
Remember, it is equally important to show recognition to employees that are excellent brand advocates, who live by the company’s core values and culture. Showing separate recognition for this will aid in boosting overall employee moral and your employees will be proud of where they work.
4. Values are crucial
If an employee does not buy into the company values they are unlikely to show an appetite for success or be focused on progressing within the business. For both parties to excel, your employees need to believe their contributions will make a difference and buying into values is crucial for this.
To ensure your employees align with your values they will need to be the right cultural and behavioural fit. You can easily identify this by including psychometric/ behavioural testing in the interview process.
When it comes to existing employees it is equally important that they believe in the company values. Even if they have the right skills, they will still need to have the right attitude towards the business and its values. Without this attitude they will not be set up for success.
We have only covered the above points at an elevated level, so if you would like to understand more please watch our 'Building an Award Winning Culture' below. In the meantime, we would be keen to hear from you. What do you believe makes a strong organisational culture? Let us know in the comments below!