Whether you’re a start-up or a midsize firm or even a giant, you need to be proactive in implementing a company culture based on what you want your employees to value. Every company/firm has a culture; cultures not based on values might not be the culture you want.
Start by asking the honest question, how do we build a company culture that will keep our top performers engaged, excited and driven and push our low performers out the door?
First understand that although it’s a big piece of the puzzle, culture is not just all the touchy feely fun stuff. There needs to be a partnership built between managers, employees and HR. As business leaders you need to think of culture like any other key success driver in your business, and like many drivers there are components, that when put together, formulate a strong structure for success.
So how do you break down culture into a structured and systematic piece of the success pie?
To make your culture a driver to your company’s success you need to:
– Create a culture of discipline
– Live your core values
– Communicate with your employees while reinforcing the company culture
– Encourage personal connections
Part 1 of the Culture Post will focus on the first 2 elements of the success pie, creating a culture of discipline and staying true to your core values.
- Create a culture of discipline. This starts with your standard policies, processes and performance expectations…..huh? Your strong performers, the ones you want to keep, are the ones that will respect and promote company policies and performance standards, the low performers, the ones you don’t want, will stick out like a sore thumb and be weeded out (voluntarily or involuntarily). Setting the right tone is crucial to the behaviours you will get in return. Think about how lax or how rigid your policies need to be as they will define a type of culture. For example, if employees can work from home, can they decide to work from home when they want or need prior approval.
- Live your core values. Every company has a set of core values, what is unique and different, is how you live those values on a consistent basis in order to convert them into behavioural characteristics you want in your company. If your employees value a client experience then they will provide clients with a high level of customer service. If your employees value integrity then they will demonstrate an open and honest communication style. Do you know what values you want driving your employees behaviour? Not sure about that? Hold focus groups to identify the core values. Then develop workshops and activities around your company values to create a sense of shared commitment and understanding.
Next week we will cover Part 2, communication and engaging with your workforce on a personal level.