The Importance of Company Culture

Company culture is more important than ever. Before I watched in awe as one of my colleagues celebrated 25 years in the company to be given a presentation, a cake and a handshake. Years ago it was a question of loyalty and how many years you spent working in the company.

Today, by contrast, we grew up in a time of the boom and rapid technology. A career means much more than a stable place to work and employees are looking at company values and culture.

Culture is key for every company regardless of size and without strong core values, the company will end up losing in the long term. Culture inspires and motivates employees. It helps achieve excellence. It is also responsible for attracting and attaining great talent, as well as creating a fun, happy and exciting work environment. It’s no longer about just having espresso machines, nice offices, lunches and exquisite benefits. Great places are all about culture.

This leads us to today’s office landscape, in which HR leaders consider culture their number-one challenge The company’s culture should be the core of the apple driving the growth and success of the business.

6 key points to note that should help assist in creating a great company culture:

Leadership

Good leaders must envision company culture, embody, empower it and send out a strong message to their colleagues. What is the mission? What are the company’s goals? What are we working towards? Where there is no vision there is no leadership. People will perish. Teams can become disjointed with a lot of people pursuing personal agendas as opposed to a common goal.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

Teamwork

Teams work together on all work related projects and help where necessary. It doesn’t matter who gets credit for what because you accomplish everything together. There comes a time in many companies that teams start competing against each other causing some discontent with employees. Whilst it can be healthy and motivating it can also result in negative consequences. Then we seem to forget what the whole vision was about and are out for ourselves rather than the goals of the company. Think of it like a football team You are not going to win with one person on the team. Have healthy competitions but remember the core common goals.

Happiness

People have moods, and emotions; and if they’re mistreated or belittled by their leader or colleague, their work will suffer. And when their work suffers, the company will suffer, no matter how big the company is. It only takes one employee to spread negative attitude to fellow colleagues and clients.

Happiness is contagious and wouldn’t it be wonderful to walk into a workplace where you are surrounded by happy smiling people. For HR and leaders it should be all about communication, and building one-to-one relationships with everyone in the business. Find out what their goals and visions are in life, and not just what they are going to do in the next month or quarter.

Office Policies – Employee Freedom

You don’t need policies and processes for everything. Review HR policy and ask do you really need this process.

For example try and abolish the 9-6 or clocking in process. Too often we see employees frowned on for being a few minutes late in the morning yet don’t track what time they leave at. It’s demoralizing and eventually employees get tired and frustrated of it. Try and stop tracking people’s time at coming into work. Rather track time on what they have accomplished. Too often this emphasis on “that’s just the way we do things” slows progress and stifles culture, rather than maximizing productivity.

It’s all about trust and learning and empowering. Give employees more freedom and responsibility and you can guarantee the company will also reap the rewards.

Learning and Development

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”

Many companies don’t equip their teams with the right tools. They give some training and then disappear. Training must be consistent, coaching must be consistent. A key to absolute success is to create a Learning and Development initiative just as ambitions and robust as its business strategy.

High performance people are generally self-improving through experience, observation, reading, and discussion Allow employees to manage their own career growth, and not rely on a corporation
for “planning” their careers. Give them guidance but also help them drive their own growth.

Feedback

Encourage employees for feedback. Getting valid and useful feedback is essential to learning. And learning is the master skill. Take constructive feedback from employees and suggestions on what one can change in the organization. Believe in openness and communication and organizations will prevail.

Something magical happens when company leaders begin to understand and appreciate the most valuable asset of any organization. The people. Remember you grow a company by growing people.