Simply put, your companies culture is the 'personality' of the company. Organisational culture refers to a variety of elements, such as: workplace environment, company mission, company values, the companies ethical views, the expectations of both the leaders and the employees, and finally the companies goals and objectives.
Culture matters because employees are more likely to enjoy working in the company if it promotes a positive culture, and what that they fit into. For instance, employees in a culture that promotes group work when they prefer to work independently will never be a good match.
1. Start at the top - with the leader.
To fix your cultural problem, rethink your leadership style as this will have a massive influence on the culture of your company.
The leader of the team, or the organisation, is the stepping stone between what each team or individual employee wants, and what the organisational as a whole wants and needs. The leaders quite literally shape the companies culture through their own behaviour, so if the leader isn't onboard - then the culture will not change to a positive one.
The leader must understand and promote the culture with their own behaviour, they must believe in what the rest of the company wants, they must have a transparent leadership style and be good a communicating and listing to build a sense of trust and cohesion.
## 2. Set Clear Goals, Values and Missions
Firstly, establishing clear goals and defining values should be an involving process in which ALL employees have some input, and are fully briefed so that they fully understand what is expected of them.
Typically, when setting goals and defining values there are four key attributes that each one should have:
Agility: As companies change, their consumers change and the world of business is vastly ever changing, goals and values should be easily adaptable and flexible - not suited just for the current organisational goal.
Transparency: One of the biggest culprits of poor company culture is that employees do not fully understand what is expected of them, or are given little context of the goals, which leads to frustration and a high turnover rate. So, make your goals and values transparent. Set them with your employees in mind, involve your employees in the discussions and allow them to voice their opinion on what they think the companies values, goals and/or next steps should be. This will also allow for more meaningful goals to be set, meaning a higher chance that they will be met.
Sociability: Goals will be more likely to be met when others know about them. Encourage social goal sharing to keep employees more accountable for each goal and meeting each value. This will also improve workplace relations, and goals will me more likely to be met, and values more likely to be followed, when people are working collaboratively together.
Simplicity: In short - keep the whole process simple. Simplest way to set goals and define values? Through intuitive employee engagement platforms where they can set their own goals, manage them and change the timing of them at any point.
A final note on setting goals and defining values; sometimes its the best solution to give the employees the power to create their own goals. Perhaps, each employee could set their own unique small goal within the bigger company milestones. This will have many benefits for employee engagement and satisfaction.
3. Hire employees who share these goals, values and missions
In order to keep the culture that you will work so hard for high, start by only employing people that will fit your company's culture.
By doing this you'll find that your new recruits will: become part of your team faster, contribute to your team quickly, are happier in their new roles, will stay in the team for longer and will excel more in their roles.
If a candidate doesn't fit, you may find that they become quickly dissatisfied, do not adhere to the behaviours expected of them and may leave their role faster than those who do fit.
Here are the best ways to ensure that you are hiring for cultural fit, as well as on skill and experience:
Ensure you have a clear and defined set of values and goals and outline how they translate to the role
Have a page on your website that highlights your companies values
Reference company values, and perhaps the overall goal, in your job advertisements
Discuss values and goals with the candidates during their first interview, ask questions that directly relate to the values, and the candidates views on them.
Ensure that the induction process involves a cultural induction
By doing this, you will be doing everything possible to ensure that the candidates understand your culture and want to work in a company that promotes this culture. This will actually save you tonnes of money in the long run as it will reduce turnover rate and increase productivity.
## 4. Write a Manifesto
This will basically be a simplified and catchy version of your outlined goals and values that define your company's culture.
Perhaps try making a clear and eye catching poster that outlines these values and goals in a simplistic way and then put this manifesto wherever you can (without making it too over the top) - for instance on your website, in meeting rooms, in offices etc.
On top of this, create a catchy company slogan that clearly shows your values and goals. You could also include this slogan on your website, on the walls of meeting rooms or office, and you could even consider investing some money into company merchandise (water bottles and coffee flasks are really popular at the moment!) and putting the slogan on these.
5. Invest time and money into it
Building an effective and positive culture may look simple, but it really is no short term easy fix. Creating a strong culture will require patience, effort and time. The best way to think about culture building is as an investment of time, energy and money.
Invest in team building activities. These are targeted at building trust, cohesion and just generally creating a better company culture. Most of these exercise can be really inexpensive and actually fun, and really really really beneficial to producing a strong, trusting and cohesive culture.
You should also consider invest time and money into other activities that create cohesion. For instance, if your culture is based around fun and being more relaxed, introduce team away days to do something exciting such as go karting or going to a panic room.
Lastly, in building this strong culture, your biggest investment and focus should always be on the employees. You need to invest time, effort and money into developing them as workers, improving their skills and getting them to a level where they completely understand the companies culture and what is expected of them.
Overall, when it comes to culture building you really do get out what you put in. If you totally invest your energy into producing a strong culture, you will, overtime, get a strong and positive workplace culture.