Company culture is the essence of how a company is seen from the public eyes – including its employees.
Many people visualise extraordinary company culture as a “fun” or “cool” place to work. But it’s not all about the glamour and perks. Extraordinary company culture doesn’t magically happen at once. It’s ideas, trial and error, understanding what your employees need, and hiring people who’re serious in committing towards cultivating a company culture that fit with the company’s goals and values; attracting the right employees.
That’s right – company culture is no longer optional, it’s integrated as part of a company’s identity. It matters to employees whether they’re looking to join a new company or as part of retention. Especially with news of extravagant company cultures for the big companies: Google, Facebook, Twitter etc – people tend to have higher expectations when it comes to company cultures, even for start-ups – who may lack resources.
Again, it’s not about what you have – a packed pantry, open work space, sleeping pods, a mini bar or any other perks. Although it may seem attractive at first, employees will eventually leave if their goals and values don’t align with the company.
1) Identify & Establish Your Company Culture
With all this talk about company culture, how exactly are you going to do it?
Don’t just hop onto the bandwagon because others are doing it. What do you want your culture to be? You get to decide! Identify and establish the culture you want. Give it some serious thought. What do you want people to think and say about your company when they come across it? To get you started, think about when you were an employee for other companies before, what did you hope they had implement into their company culture but didn’t? Now’s your chance.
What you should do next is ask your employees what’s their definition of your company culture? Then, compare them with your definition and if it’s similar – everyone wins – especially your customers.
If your employees are having a different vision from you, it’s a sign to change things up. Start small. Think about how your customers might feel if your employees are having different opinions with you on the company culture. Identify the common problem at hand, and start with it.
2) Hiring = Company Culture
Most employers hire based on a candidate’s experience, knowledge, skill set and abilities for a position. These are important questions to ask during the interview but you don’t see employers paying much attention to culture. Yet, actively managing and developing company culture with hiring can improve employee retention and performance.
Are the candidates’ values and goals align with what your company does? Are they someone who you can see doing an exceptional job independently or with other team members? Are they proactive? Companies that give serious thought to company culture and actively stress the importance of it can eliminate candidates who’re better of elsewhere and identify those that can make a distinct difference here.
3) Assign Goals & Follow-up Closely
Goals don’t work without exceptional teamwork. Nothing beats team members who’re pleasant and cooperative to work with. Empower teams by letting them take responsibility and make their own decisions.
People achieve goals with constant progress and daily effort. When you give teams important projects, give them the resources and trust they’ll need, set a strict deadline and follow-up closely after that. Having the tendency to drag things on or develop a habit of only following up when you need something urgently results in disorganisation and unnecessary stress to employees.
To avoid this, make decision-making and giving insightful feedback a team effort where everyone pours their insights and share their honest opinion.
Employees yearn to be a part of a close-knit community who take pride in their work and is doing something that’s making a difference to the world.
4) Actively Cross-train Employees
These days, employees don’t solely do what’s mentioned on the job description anymore.
So, what do they do?
Now, it’s common to actively cross-train employees in several departments to perform a variety of tasks in multiple roles. Employees become an all-rounder and learn the ropes of how different departments and structures work hand in hand.
When employees learn a thing or two about the functions and job scope of those in other departments, they don’t make decisions subjectively. They spare a thought for others and are aware that any type of decision made affect the company and everyone altogether. By integrating this into your company culture, you save a massive amount a time and silly mistakes that’re avoidable from the beginning.
Involve employees in meetings; whether it’s a design meeting, product meeting, or marketing meeting – everyone should be involved and understand the concept of their colleagues’ jobs by giving an overall idea of a project workflow and technical know-how.
During cross-training, employees developed management and leadership skills by knowing their team’s role. Whereas, the company proves it’s genuinely keen in providing learning opportunities for its employees. Win-win.
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