Company culture is a huge factor that differentiates a business that struggles and one that thrives. Several management experts provided a variety of definitions about it.
In simple terms, it means the way a company does its business.
Businesses with a strong culture can have a better employee retention rate, growth, and reputation. Also, it goes without saying that they can have a lot of happy customers as well as employees.
In this article, let’s discuss company culture in detail and how to build it.
Company Culture: Meaning
Company culture simply means how a company conducts its business.
Basically, it is a system of shared values and attitudes that develop within a company and lead the behavior of its members. It includes:
- Norms, values, and unwritten rules for the functioning of an organization.
- Beliefs, priorities, interpersonal behaviors, and leadership/management styles that succeed.
It is also known as corporate or organizational culture.
Types of Company Culture
There are mainly four types of corporate culture. They are:
Actually, it is focused on teamwork and cooperation. Here employees work together as a family, and there will be trust, morale, engagement, etc. Likewise, the leaders or managers simply act as a mentor rather than a boss. So, they give enough freedom to their staff.
Here the focus is on results, so employees are goal-driven and will be competing against each other. Also, the leaders will be tough in order to achieve the company goals. Typically, rewards are given to employees based on their achievements.
Here the emphasis is on innovation. Actually, it is quite common in startups. Here the employees can go outside of their comfort zone, take risks and bring out the best in themselves. In addition to that, leaders will be open to new ideas and their whole focus will be on overall growth.
This is something that has been followed traditionally. Here the decisions are made at the top level and passed down to the bottom. Also, there will be strict rules or policies that every employee should follow. Here the leaders set the standards or procedures and employees blindly follow them. So, there is no room for free thinking or innovation.
Examples of Company Culture
The world’s best search engine, Google, has a unique culture based on ‘employee happiness’.
- They consider their employees’ needs and wants seriously. So, they provide their staff with enough freedom, a flexible schedule, good remuneration, and lots of bonuses.
- Another respectful thing about Google is that they are committed to hiring people with disabilities, thereby empowering the disabled communities.
- Google is a fun place, so individuals who work there don’t feel like they are at work. Moreover, they offer their staff lots of opportunities to be creative and productive.
The leading IT company, Microsoft reveals that it has a ‘growth mindset’ culture.
- They always focus on the growth and development of their employees, products, and services. So, they promote risk-taking and are not afraid of making mistakes.
- Microsoft is the best example of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Not only do they value differences, but they also search for and invite differences. As a result, their ideas, products, and customer service are better.
The greatest streaming service company, Netflix has the core philosophy – people over process.
- For Netflix, employees are the key. So, they strive to hire the best talent and value collaboration, excellence, inclusion, integrity, and respect.
- Netflix is the best example for the involvement of employees in decision-making. They encourage their staff to make independent decisions.
- Additionally, they focus on establishing values instead of setting rules. So, they give more freedom and responsibility to their staff.
How to Build Company Culture?
Now, let’s discuss 6 practical ideas that you can try in order to build a strong company culture.
#1. Define Your Purpose and Core Values
First off, you need to understand why your business exists in the first place. What kind of business do you have and what are your mission and vision? Also, what message your business is giving to your employees, customers, and society?
Once you’ve identified these, the next thing to do is define your values. What are the core values of your business that you want others to follow? Remember, a strong corporate culture is built upon strong values.
#2. Establish Admirable Leadership
There is a saying in Sanskrit – “Yatha Raja Tatha Praja”. It means “As the ruler, So the people” and it holds true in the workplace. If you make wrong decisions as a leader, then your employees won’t make the right decisions.
As a leader, if you want to preach something to your staff, you must be following it first. When you lead by example, you’re showing your staff what they need to do. Also, it goes without saying that you must be true and transparent to them. So, be an admirable leader. Moreover, treat your employees right with proper compensation and praise, so they will treat your business right.
#3. Embrace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The big buzzword in modern-day business is “diversity”. So, it’s important to embrace diversity and equity in your company.
In a workplace, there may be people who belong to different genders and backgrounds. A great leader should direct his diverse workforce towards a common goal. When your colleagues are united by some shared values or a common goal, they will be inclusive. Eventually, this will attract more good employees to your company.
#4. Promote Autonomy, Engagement, and Bond
Autonomy is part of a positive corporate culture. So, make sure that you involve your staff in the decision-making process. If you do so, they will feel valued.
If you want some ideas on how to involve your staff in decision making, you can read this article for inspiration: How to Involve Employees in Decision Making? 12 Ideas for Leaders.
Likewise, promoting engagement in the workplace is also important. When your coworkers are highly engaged, they will become self-motivated and more productive. Moreover, trust and consequently, good relationships will form. For this reason, investing your time in conducting team building activities would be great.
#5. Recognize Your Cultural Superfans
You might have some employees who are completely aligned with your business culture. That means people who stick to your core values and exactly follow your organization’s mission. These people can be termed as your “cultural superfans”.
Make sure that you identify such members and honor them well. So, always ask for their feedback about your current business settings. Definitely, they can help you figure out the pitfalls if there are any. In the long run, these superfans will win the game for you be it building your brand or standing out from your competition.
#6. Make Your Team Adaptable to Change
A good corporate culture always welcomes change. So, you and your staff must be adaptable to change. Typically, businesses that say “yes” to change will thrive.
With the arrival of Covid, many large companies had to make some changes in their business settings. Of course, they succeeded in that because their workforce too responded positively to change. An example is Amazon. For this reason, make sure that you have a proper system for change management.
Just in case you need help with some change management exercises to improve adaptability, you can read this article: 10 Change Management Exercises to Improve Adaptability (For Teams).
Now that you know what company culture is and how to build it. Having a sound culture can define how good your business is. Additionally, it can be a strong force that directs your employees to work towards achieving your business goals.