The companies that are thriving all have one thing in common—they have a strong company culture. What do these companies know that others don’t?
They know that culture is a critical piece of their foundation as an organization. Every organization has a culture, but too few prioritize it highly enough to spend the time to use it as a strategic advantage. The reason? Company culture is tough to dissect and fully understand.
It’s relatively easy to see the results of company culture. These show up as impacts to morale, business performance, employee retention…the list goes on. The tough part is determining how those results are connected to culture.
We define company culture as the sum of your employees’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors regarding the workplace. Examining culture across many varied organizations, our research has consistently identified eight elements that you should be focusing on as you strategically build your culture.
Help employees find meaning in their work. How does what they do contribute to a larger purpose or a greater good?
Think about your company’s brand. Does your brand highlight the positive impact that the organization is having on the world?
At the end of the day, employees want to be proud of their company. You can create pride by highlighting your company story, a narrative that explains what they stand for.
Ask yourself, do your employees proactively talk to their friends, families, and networks about how great it is to work for their employer?
2. Trust & Accountability
Trust your employees to do their jobs by giving them autonomy. Create an environment where employees are given opportunities to lead themselves and rise to the level of trust you’ve extended to them.
Recognize that each moment presents an opportunity for you as an employer to hold up the deal that your employees are expecting.
Treat all of your employees fairly. Fairness means being honest and just and weeding out any destructive bias from your organization. However, remember that treating your employees fairly does not mean treating them all the same.
Help employees identify the impact that they make to the organization. Provide meaningful feedback continuously, and make sure to recognize and reward their work.
Truly value the strengths that each employee brings to the organization. Reach out to every employee and create opportunities for them to utilize their strengths.
5. Growth & Agility
The strong have learned to keep up with the pace of change. The best businesses are highly innovative and agile, able to reinvent themselves quickly and pivot on a dime. In order to stay with the pack, you must help your employees find ways to constantly learn and grow.
Provide opportunities to stretch or challenge your employees to progress. Give your employees the resources they need to learn.
Do they have the time they need to learn? How are you investing in learning programs like mentoring and other development programs? How are you incentivizing innovation in your organization?
Think about physical space and technology that your employees have access to. What can you do differently to help them learn most effectively?
We humans have a psychological need to connect with others. Build an environment where your employees feel like they’re part of a team, like they belong to the group. Feeling like you’re part of a team of people working on a task makes people more motivated as they take on challenges.
Would your employees consider their coworkers as friends?
Create a culture where your leaders are mentors and coaches. Ensure leaders are given the opportunity to constantly be accessible and visible to others by providing time and space to help them maintain regular communication and build strong relationships with individuals.
The line between work and life is getting more and more blurry. An engaged employee is mindful, resilient, and happy both on and off the job. Create ways for your employees to have a healthy integration of their work and their personal lives. Support them as people. Understand their emotional circumstances and provide means for your employees to be well in all aspects of their lives.
Remember, building and maintaining your company culture is no easy task. Humans are the most complex beings on the planet, which makes it challenging to come up with solutions that succeed in the long run. So long as your spend quality time continuously cultivating your culture, you’ll be positioning your organization to reap the rewards!