Creating Your Company Culture
By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching at Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting and Design Success University
Photo Credit: @bakerbroductions
Your company culture includes a number of elements and defines the personality of your company. It includes your company’s mission, values and ethics as well as describing the environment in which your employees work and your expectations of them.
Your company culture can be effective in attracting and retaining employees that are a good “fit” for your company and can boost productivity and better client service. According to the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, employees who are happy are 12 percent more productive than the average worker. Happy, productive employees can be a positive asset in attracting ideal prospects and aid in turning those prospects into clients. It can also set your firm apart from the competition.
When defining a company culture, include your current team members in this exercise. Have them identify adjectives that describe your company. Ask your ideal clients how they would describe the culture of your company. Their input can help you identify the positive aspects of your culture and be able to more clearly define them – as well as identifying areas you need to address and change.
Assure that the company’s vision and goals are clearly understood by everyone in the firm as well as making sure the plan to reach those goals is also very clear. Create a sense of being part of a “team” rather than identifying as just individual employees so everyone in the firm knows they have a vested interest in the success of the company – it’s not just a “job”.
Create a culture with opportunities for growth within the company — where each team member realizes that when they help create success for the company, they will be rewarded for their contribution to the success of the company. If you create this kind of culture, you will have people lining up to work for your company.
Understand and practice work/life balance. You don’t want to lose great team members because of burn-out, so even if there are a few times that long hours may be needed, don’t let that become the norm. If your team is working overtime every day, then it’s time to step back and recognize that this will not create a positive work environment and then address this problem. And hopefully the culture of your company is such that the entire team addresses this challenge and brainstorms possible solutions.
Create a sense of empowerment and growth in your company by avoiding micromanaging. Rather, encourage your team to have the freedom to make decisions, find solutions, carry them out, be prepared to evaluate the results – and accept responsibility for possible failures while looking for ways to improve.
Finally, be sure to communicate your culture to attract ideal clients as well as ideal new team members. Showcase your culture through social media, via videos and photos on your website and through your firm’s involvement in the community.
Remember: “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”– Simon Sinek, author, Start with Why