Recruiting top talent to your company is a goal for many businesses. However, not all businesses know what it takes to actually do that. It is not always easy to figure out the right and wrong thing to do, but one major part of the equation is having an amazing company culture. This is not something that will happen overnight, and it will also not happen on its own. It is something that you should work at on a regular basis to not only ensure that your current employees are happy, but also to continue to build the attractive company culture that you desire.
Why Company Culture Is Important
During this process, one of the first questions you may have is why your company culture is so important. This has been a buzz word for the past few years, but not everyone is fully catching on to the importance of the concept. The reason it is something that is so important is because it is what defines your company. You may not even realize how heavily it impacts your company, and you may not even realize that you already have one. However, it is something that everyone else notices. It is noticed by current employees, customers, and potential employees and customers. Your company culture is something that is very unique in nature. The values that make up your company create the company culture.
It can also be seen as the personality of the business. There are things that can be replicated, such as your services or products; however, your company personality is what makes you stand out. Whether or not you stand out in a positive way really depends on what defines your company culture and how it is seen by everyone.
How Is Company Culture Defined and How Does it Define Your Company?
Company culture can be defined by many things depending on who your audience is. There are a few key things that will come through no matter who is examining your business. Your company culture encompasses things such as how you treat your employees, how you interact with the outside world and your clients, how your teams interact with each other, and more. Your company culture is something that you can use to guide how people interact with each other.
However, company culture goes beyond that in many ways. It is also the part of your company that serves as an inspiration to do great work and the motivation to go above and beyond basic tasks. It is the thing that essentially will attract great talent to your company and ensures that they will stay with the company for some time. It is responsible for creating the work environment that will help with these tasks. The right company culture can make work inspiring, happy, fun, creative, and entertaining. The wrong one can make it unbearable for your employees. People want to work with companies that have great company cultures because it is easy for them to see how happy the customers and employees are. It can help you turn your business into a success.
Steps to Creating a Positive Company Culture
Whether you currently have a company culture that just needs some tweaking or you need to create an entirely new company culture, the good news is that you can take some steps that will ensure that your company culture becomes exactly what you want it to be. Use these steps to work toward your attractive company culture. All of these steps are critical to ensuring your company culture is positive and remains that way. Taking the time to fully understand and adapt to them will ensure that your company culture is solid.
- Step 1 – Develop and Understand Your Purpose: At the heart of a great company culture is your purpose. You want to create something that will last and that is seen as great. The two go hand in hand. If you have not thoroughly defined your purpose for the company, now is the time to do so. If your business is still rather small, such as a team of fewer than ten people, you should bring everyone together to have a brainstorming session and discuss how everyone perceives the purpose. Your purpose is not just how you see it, but how your employees see it too. That is the key difference between the creation of a strong and attractive company culture and one that is negative. You need to understand how everyone perceives the purpose so you can integrate that into your plan. If your company is larger than that, you should think of another method that works best for communication and the gathering of information. Ideally, these ideas should come together so a consensus can be reached. It can be difficult as a company gets bigger, so it is best to do this when your company is smaller, but that does not mean it cannot be done. During these sessions, you should ask why people do what they do for the business. You want to know why you are in business in the first place. You should ask for authentic answers and not just what you want to hear. From there, you can create an inspirational and aspirational purpose for your business. It should be strong and stand out from your competitors. Think about what inspires your company specifically so you can ensure that it is shown through the company culture.
- Step 2 – Develop Common Standards, Values, and Language for Your Company: Now that you have your purpose defined, your next step is to ensure that everyone in your company carries the same values and standards, and that they speak the same language. This is a key component of your company culture to make sure that it lasts. Everyone should be on the same page, and all members of your staff should understand these things. Not only should you take the time to communicate these things, but you should also write them down. They should be tangible if you want them to stand the test of time. To do this, you need to take the time to create the company's values with your employees. You may also want to make them visible throughout your office so they are always at the top of your mind. Your standards should also be examined and can be used to ensure that your values are being met at all times. At this point, once everyone is on the same page, you will have created a culture that is cohesive, which is the goal.
- Step 3 – Lead by Example: Once you have defined your culture, the next step is to start living it. At the core of all of this, your leaders need to live and breathe the culture in order for it to be adopted by all other employees, even if they are part of the process of developing the culture. The culture will continue to be shaped by the leaders and how they act, which makes it extremely important that the values of the company are internalized by the leaders and then shown externally. Essentially, the leaders in the company need to live the company values at all times and show what the company stands for. They do not need to recite the values at all times, but let these live through their actions for the company. In addition, you have to be transparent. Your employees must not only see you showcasing the company culture, but they also need to trust you, which makes this a big part of the equation. If your employees trust their leaders and the leaders showcase hard work, inspiration, and a positive outlook, that will be emulated through your employees' actions.
- Step 4 – Choose and Identify Cultural Ambassadors: Now that you have started showcasing your company culture, it is time to hire the employees who showcase it the best. There will definitely be a few that do this for your company and will live and breathe the company culture. These ambassadors will best help you to educate other employees about the culture, your company, and what you stand for; they will be the best advocates for your company and your culture. They are one of your most valuable assets. Once you are able to identify these employees, you should take some time to ask them how they feel about the culture, find out what matters most to them, and see if there is anything that they do not particularly like about the current company culture. They can help you further define your culture and make changes, if needed. As your company continues to grow, these employees will become more and more important and can give you a competitive edge when you are hiring people as well as with your customers.
- Step 5 – Continue to Communicate Truthfully: Integrity is a major component of ensuring that your culture remains honest and true. You should focus on ensuring that everyone within the company remains truthful in all actions, and approaches everything they do with integrity. This is not just something for leaders to do, but for everyone in your company. This means that the leaders and all other employees should be honest about their strengths and weaknesses. Being able to accept both allows you to improve upon your weaknesses, which should be a goal not only for your employees but also for your company. There is a lot to say about self-awareness and communication. As previously mentioned, your employees must trust you, and this is a big component of that. However, it cannot stop with your leaders. You must make it clear that this is something that is expected of all employees. Additionally, when your culture has a moment where it wavers, this is the component that will keep it all together so that your company can come out the other side with the culture still intact.
- Step 6 – Treat Your Employees Right: The last main component of your company culture is to continue treating everyone right. This means that you should treat your employees fairly and do things to ensure that they feel valued. If you fail to do this, you will likely experience a lot of company turnover and your culture will not last very long. You will not gain a positive cultural outlook because people will be leaving your company as they were not happy and did not feel cared for. This is one reason why it is important to offer a great benefits package, but it is not the only thing to consider. Additionally, when you are looking to recruit new people into your company, you should not only see if they have the basic skills for the job, but you should also focus on finding the right character and cultural fit for your company. At the end of the day, this is more important than having the right skills because you can take the time to teach these things. If they are not a good fit for the company, you cannot teach that or create it later. You should focus on hiring the right people from a cultural perspective. You do not want to bring someone on with a great resume only to find they have a terrible attitude and will put a damper on your culture that you have worked so hard for. Instead, find the right people and treat them right so that they want to stay with your company, and help them continue to improve so they can work their way up in the company.
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