Like most business owners, you’ve probably heard (or learned from experience) that positive workplace culture leads to high performance.
That’s why you only hire competent, trustworthy, and enthusiastic people who share your values and vision in the first place. You understand that a healthy and strong company culture largely depends on the right mix of talents.
Everyone you employ contributes to forming your unique company culture. Culture is a result of the beliefs, values, interaction, and commitment among the people in a group. It develops as members collaborate and work together to meet their common goals and needs.
Gym stipend, game consoles at work, free lunch on Friday, and mobile bills coverage – all these are great perks workers would be overjoyed to have. Many believe these visible aspects of office culture are the most effective way to attract the best talents and ensure their satisfaction and retention.
But that’s a common misconception many entrepreneurs are led to believe.
Although perks or rewards as such boost employee morale, engagement, and productivity – fringe benefits are not the same as company culture. Culture means more than these tangible privileges so try to look beyond these external motivations and rewards.
For instance, look at the top-notch employers locally and globally. What makes their organisation so successful? Why do they have low or zero staff turnover? How do they develop a great workplace atmosphere many aspiring job candidates wish to be part of?
The answer is simple but the data you need will not be easy to obtain.
You should know the sharpest skills, the deepest motivations, and the diverse personalities of each of your employees and find out how to align them to your company’s vision.
Great company culture, therefore, starts with the leader – that may be you or a group of executives making major decisions for the company.
Not surprisingly, founders and leaders in happy companies pay a great deal of attention to work-life balance. Some of these companies even offer telecommuting privileges to employees who need them most. Other employers discourage their staff from taking overtime work t0 prevent burnout, stress or fatigue.
Business is not pure science; it’s also an art of managing group dynamics. When your employees take pride in the work that they do and enjoy working with like-minded smart people, you’ve found the perfect mix.
As you continue to observe the interaction and operation of the team, you’ll notice that some may not be a good fit to the culture you envision to build. Thus, you have to decide whether to fire or coach (if possible) that person. Perceptive business leaders can manage this tough call.
When staff at happy companies were surveyed what they love most about their job, the usual answer is ‘fun working environment’. Who wouldn’t want to work in such a place? Many workers have quit their high-paying job to get out of toxic work environment.
Now, the question is, how do you create and maintain a fun, productive, safe, and caring work environment?
The Recipe of a Great Company Culture
There are many ingredients to what constitutes an effective company culture.
Edgar Papke, author of the book “True Alignment: Linking Company Culture with Customer Needs for Extraordinary Results”, suggested that you can assess your current company culture by looking into these cultural keys: hiring, role definition, customer interface, teamwork, structure, aligned values, power and influence, planning and goal setting, problem solving, decision-making, conflict management, as well as incentive and reward. You may expand these keys as you see fit.
As the leader of your company, your ongoing responsibility is to do everything you can to engage your staff in a collective action to achieve your shared goals and vision. As long as every employee is on board about working hard and being accountable to each other, a positive company culture will begin to take shape.