You may have come across the term company culture or read about it in blogs or books on management.
You may have also wondered what the term means. This refers to the personality of a company and the environment of a workplace. It could include various factors like the values and ethics of a company, its goals, and expectations, the environment in which the employees work etc.
What is the importance of company culture? Company culture is relevant because the workplace should not be something the employees dread. On the contrary, it should be a place where they enjoy the challenges, the company of their co-workers and the atmosphere. Workers feel more at ease at the workplace when they fit into the company culture.
So what makes a great company culture you would ask.
Company owners would probably use clichéd words like ambitious, talented, driven and dedicated. But these terms are redundant in today’s times. Instead, an employer should focus more on how much fun his employees are having. Because that means they are better engaged, and a more engaged workforce will definitely be more productive.
Most companies talk of transparency but how many actually practice it? In our opinion one of the ideal company culture characteristics should be how transparent the workings of a company are to its employees. Be it salaries, access to corporate e-mails, breakdown of expenses, or even the profit or loss they incur. Transparency inculcates a sense of trust among workers and they are better equipped to handle any unpleasant surprises the company faces.
This is a word that works on different levels. It is an acknowledgment of the contribution at work by your employees and also their pursuit of personal goals and interests. Providing opportunities to learn on the job or even training programs are what encourage the potential of your workers. It also helps to connect co-workers based on shared interests.
Another ideal company culture characteristic a company needs to have is empathy. A workforce cannot be successful until it can understand its customers’ needs. It also needs to recognize the concerns and preferences of its employees if it expects good work results from them. A company should assess this trait when interviewing candidates for a job.
Listed below are some ideas to improve company culture. But before you embark on this process you need to first assess and understand what the current culture is at your company.
Once you understand your current organizational culture you will need to decide which direction the company needs to go and which organizational culture would best suit the success that follows. Keeping in mind the vision you have for the company, make the requisite changes that will support the achievement of that vision.
After assessing and evaluating the current culture, develop a framework of what future you have perceived for the company. Employees need to be explained the goals and the values you want inculcated at the workplace and what makes a great company culture in your view.
Rather than agreeing with co-workers’ decisions, encourage your employees to challenge incorrect decisions. The management team members should be advised to promote the company as a whole instead of building a rapport with team members individually.
Executives in the company need to support the cultural change not just verbally but through their own actions and behavioral changes. They will need to set the example for others to follow.
Another idea to improve company culture could be through behavioral change. Once the guidelines have been defined, explain to the team what behavior is expected from them. Mentor and communicate effectively so employees can learn and adapt accordingly.
If one team is not able to work and adjust with each other, it may be time to shuffle the pack so that it creates a sense of camaraderie among the specific group.
To encourage the kind of behavioral and cultural change you have visualized at the workplace you will need to recognize and reward those that are contributing to the desired cultural organizational change.
Changing the culture in your organization will not be accomplished in a day or month. It is a gradual and slow process that requires time, patience, effort, and planning. You will need to introduce culture building activities and execute them with clear precision in order to support the accomplishment goals you have set for your business or organization. The above-mentioned points should be able to guide you towards building an ideal company culture.
Anuja is the Co-founder and CEO of RedAlkemi Online Pvt. Ltd., a digital marketing agency helping clients with their end to end online presence. Anuja has 30 years of work experience as a successful entrepreneur and has co-founded several ventures since 1986. She and her team are passionate about helping SMEs achieve measurable online success for their business. Anuja holds a Bachelors degree in Advertising from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chandigarh, India.