How to Build Company Culture - 7 Steps for 2024
The concept of 'company culture' has transcended beyond mere buzzword status. Company culture has become a foundational element for organizational success.
This article explores the complex process of building and defining a company culture. It emphasizes the importance of culture as both an internal ethos and a strategic imperative. We also provide steps on how to create a strong company culture from the ground up, including:
- Establish Shared Values
- Create Consistent and Open Methods of Communication
- Curate Efficient Onboarding and Hiring Processes
- Promote Equity and Fair Treatment
- Implement Ways to Reinforce Culture
- Leverage Technology for Performance Management
- Monitor Your Culture
What is Company Culture?
The journey of cultivating a strong company culture begins with a clear understanding of what it entails. Company culture is not static rules or an abstract ethos. It is dynamic and multifaceted. An organization's identity is defined by its values, beliefs, behaviors, and practices.
These factors also shape its interactions both internally and externally. According to Forbes, a positive culture also benefits employers. It can attract top talent and improve a team’s performance overall. These aspects of company culture enable a company to succeed in its market.
Company culture is also the invisible yet palpable heartbeat of the organization that binds the main aspect of the company. According to Asana, these aspects are a business’s goals, its “people and touchpoints,” and a company’s values. Company culture is the way a company's traits affect its employees.
The need for top-tier talent is intensifying. Therefore, understanding and investing in company culture is essential. It is essential to create an environment that motivates employees through a shared sense of purpose and belonging. This helps retain talented team members.
To most effectively retain these talented individuals, here are some steps to take.
1. Establish Shared Values
Establishing shared values within a company can profoundly influence its culture. Shared values act as a compass, guiding decisions and behaviors and aligning the workforce toward common goals.
Google is a striking example of a company with a renowned culture. This culture emphasizes innovation and risk-taking. According to Builtin, Google's shared values of creativity and excellence are not just slogans. Its hiring practices, work environment, and daily operations reflect these principles. Google's alignment of values with company practices attracts top talent. This helps maintain Google's status as a leader in the tech industry.
Similarly, Omni says that Zappos, focuses on delivering happiness through service. This value is embedded into every aspect of its operations. Zappos emphasizes cultural fit and empowers employees to make autonomous decisions. Zappos has created a distinctive and enviable company culture. Zappos' success hinges on this approach: aligning company culture and values. This alignment leads to happier employees and improved customer experiences.
The synergy of internal culture and external perception drives engagement. It also drives business success.
2. Create Consistent and Open Methods of Communication
Consistent and open communication methods foster transparency. They build trust among team members and encourage creativity.
Adobe, according to Criterion, exemplifies this practice by actively promoting open dialogue across departments. This practice reduces siloed information. Additionally, it enhances overall efficiency and problem-solving within the company. This level of open communication ensures that all employees feel heard and valued.
Criterion adds that companies like Quora prioritize communication as a key cultural value. They help employees and senior management interact regularly. Feedback and ideas are shared and valued. This practice not only benefits employee development but also enhances the quality of their products and services.
Consistent and open communication channels can boost employee engagement and innovation. They also foster a stronger sense of community in the organization.
3. Curate Efficient Onboarding and Hiring Processes
The hiring process is the first interaction new employees have with a company. It sets the tone for their future engagement and integration into the workplace. They need to establish a positive company culture as soon as possible to show new team members they are valued and prioritized.
Criterion contends that HubSpot offers a prime example of this practice in action. Their onboarding process is designed to immerse new hires in the company culture right from the start. New employees understand and connect with the company's values. They use detailed materials and a personalized process for this. These practices help integrate new employees into the team smoothly.
Like HubSpot, organizations can foster belonging and commitment from the outset. This is done by carefully selecting candidates who align with company values. Additionally, providing a thorough introduction to workplace culture helps. The result is improved morale and productivity.
4. Promote Equity and Fair Treatment
Equity is acknowledging the individual needs and challenges of employees. It involves giving them the resources and opportunities to succeed. This approach boosts employee morale and job satisfaction. It also promotes diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.
According to Instride, an effective way to implement equity in the workplace includes prioritizing wage equity. It is crucial to guarantee fair compensation by ensuring transparency. Discussing correlations between employee performance, position, and rate of pay openly. Eliminating biases and wage disparities creates a fairer environment for employees.
Another important aspect is ensuring diverse cross-level representation. Empowering diverse employees is crucial. This can be done by offering equitable promotions. It is also important to maintain diverse representation in executive positions.
Furthermore, investing in workforce education can address systemic barriers that prevent marginalized groups. Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), as well as disabled individuals, should be given equitable access to education. Providing these opportunities can help close the diversity deficit. It can also enable employees to advance their careers within the company.
Companies can create an equitable working environment, benefiting both employees and the organization. Companies can foster a fair and inclusive culture by addressing equity issues. This can lead to a motivated and engaged workforce.
5. Implement Ways to Reinforce Culture
Implementing policies that reinforce a company's culture can significantly improve the work environment. Such policies ensure that the company's core values and beliefs are not just abstract ideas. These policies actively practice and integrate them into everyday work life. When policies align with a company's cultural values, it creates a cohesive experience for employees. Policies that align with cultural values also create a consistent experience.
A notable example is Patagonia. Atlassian states that Patagonia's policies include granting time off for environmental activism and using sustainable materials in its products. These values align directly with their mission statement: "We're here to save the planet." Aligning policies with company culture reinforces commitment to the environment. It also attracts and retains employees with shared values. This creates a strong, unified workforce dedicated to a common goal.
Companies like Patagonia show that a strong company culture involves living core values. They do this by implementing policies that reflect those values. The policies are concrete actions. This approach creates a workforce that is engaged and motivated. It positively impacts employee morale and the company's performance.
6. Leverage Technology for Performance Management
Using technology in performance management greatly improves company culture. It provides a fair and flexible way to assess and enhance employee performance. Performance management software allows for systematic tracking and assessment, aligning employee goals with organizational objectives.
The shift from yearly reviews to constant feedback improves communication. It encourages managers and employees to continuously improve and develop. Performance management software, like PerformYard, identifies skill gaps and training needs effectively. It supports data-informed decisions about employee development, ensuring personal growth aligns with company goals.
Moreover, it promotes fairness by focusing on measurable outcomes in evaluations. It also minimizes biases by focusing on competencies in evaluations. Employees recognize the objectivity and data-backed nature of their evaluations. This increases trust in the performance management process.
Integrating technology into performance management streamlines evaluation. This fosters a culture of continuous learning and fair assessments.
7. Monitor Your Culture
Continuous monitoring of company culture is essential for organizational growth and adaptability. This process is ongoing. It helps identify areas needing improvement. It ensures alignment with organizational goals and values.
No company culture is perfect when it is built. Refining and examining your culture is the only way to ensure its efficacy and optimization. Regular assessments provide insights into employee satisfaction and engagement, leading to strategies that boost morale and reduce turnover.
Maintaining a dynamic, inclusive environment is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. This proactive approach ensures that. Additionally, it ensures that policies and practices stay current and useful. This fosters a workplace where diversity is valued and all employees feel heard. Continuous culture monitoring is key to evolving the company in a positive way.