I’ve written a lot about company culture in my 10-plus years at Commercial Integrator and in my pervious trade publication work. Every company says their culture is the best and inevitably tell me that’s the real secret of their success.
But what really goes into having a better company culture? Is it something that just happens organically or can it actually be improved and tweaked if there are areas of the culture that aren’t quite as strong as the leadership team says they are?
Joel Patterson, the founder of The Vested Group in the Dallas area and author of “The Big Commitment: Solving the Mysteries Of Your ERP Implementation,” has worked in the consulting field for more than 20 years. He recently highlighted six elements that go into having an unparalleled company culture.
Heritage and Vision
Every business has an origin story, and this narrative has the potential to be a driving force for success. It’s important to incorporate your organization’s heritage into your culture. Sharing your business’s unique history connects your employees to the “why” behind your organization’s conception.
By celebrating your business’s roots, you connect your staff to the company’s original purpose and encourage them to embody it in their work.
Values and Practices
Companies often define their core values for their employees, but those mean very little if accepted corporate practices don’t align. It’s important to ensure that communication standards, leadership structure, workplace environment, etc. all promote your company values.
Contribution and Recognition
Sometimes it’s hard for employees to see how the work they do affects the big picture. You never want a member of your staff to feel small or insignificant. Celebrate individuals’ accomplishments, hard work, or great ideas.
Make a habit of telling your employees how much you appreciate them and how important their contribution is to the overall success of the company.
No one wants to stick around at a job they feel is stagnant. It’s important to encourage professional growth so employees feel they are improving themselves and their lives while working for you.
This can be through continuing education courses, seminars, a book club, or even just built-in flexibility to explore new topics.
Positive Work Environment
This may seem like a no-brainer, but in order to keep employees happy, they have to want to come to work. Take steps to create a positive workplace that’s fun to come to every day.
After you’ve decided on the elements that make up your company’s culture, enstate them across the board. Consistency helps build employee trust. If your staff sees inconsistency in your culture, they’ll know it isn’t genuine.
“Remember, each company’s culture is unique, and the perfect culture doesn’t always come right away,” says Patterson. “Don’t be afraid to reflect and revise as you go.”
How many of these six elements do you feel particularly strongly about at your company? Which ones need the most work in your office?
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