What is company culture and how can we elevate it effectively?
To effectively change something, we must first define our terms. Moreover, we must accomplish within that definition the exact components that we can identify and proactively change. “Company culture” can be thrown around so easily in such a glib manner, that we fail to grasp how vitally important it is to the success of any company.
Company culture is seen by many small business people as an esoteric concept that only fits the organizational requirements for large and well established corporations. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I am quite sure that your favorite eatery or coffee house has a culture, albeit one that is quaint and simple.
One of the most important aspects to consider when proactively creating a great company culture is that it will inevitably increase productivity and morale among your employees. This goes a long way in retaining your best talent, while also elevating the standards of those who would otherwise move slow or treat customers indifferently. Company culture, when given due attention and prudently groomed, can become the “X factor” in customer service and your branding.
What is Company Culture, Really?
“Corporate culture refers to the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature. Corporate culture is rooted in an organization’s goals, strategies, structure, and approaches to labor, customers, investors, and the greater community. As such, it is an essential component in any business’s ultimate success or failure.” – Inc.
Changing Your Company Culture Begins With a Humble Observation
Change begins with observation and humility. If one is unwilling to look, particularly at one’s own shortcomings, then changing the culture of a company is impossible. In fact, those who see nothing wrong with their current culture (although it may be starting them in the face with bad online reviews), they will not seek to change or elevate their cultural standards. Your first step is to observe and even survey your team and customers on how they view the current state of affairs. This should give you a foundation on where to start.
Elevating Company Culture: The Factors to Address
Your company culture, good, bad or indifferent, will reveal itself to the world. Due to the internet, our lives and our brands are more transparent than ever. This includes your company’s culture, or the lack of it. Your company culture is as valuable as gold.
“Many business leaders are coming to realize that if a company’s internal culture isn’t healthy—if it isn’t focused on the right values and goals, and if it isn’t behaving in the right way—then ultimately, that will become apparent to the outside world.” – Forbes
These are few of the most important factors to address when you wish to elevate your company’s culture.
- Develop and enforce an official “Code of Conduct” for your executives and employees
- Ensure that you have employee training programs, courses and material
- Engage in public relations activities that compliment your customers and employees values
- Develop and promote your Mission Statement
- Publish you written goals, strategies and company structure
- Follow established business processes
- Become Customer-Centric
- Serve a greater purpose for your community
- Engage others on social media with a “human” voice
What Is Company Culture, to You?
I love working with businesses, startups and entrepreneurs that want to build amazing businesses, founded on a strong and service centric culture. Feel free to contact me on how we can work together to achieve greatness. Image courtesy of Culture links © Scott Beale/Laughing Squid (http://laughingsquid.com/)