Contributed by Lisa Michaels
A strong company culture is an important factor in your business success. It makes a better impression on clients and partners, creates a more productive and professional atmosphere, and makes it easier to recruit and retain top talent for your workforce.
A cohesive, mission-centric culture will help you improve employee engagement and spot functional problems more quickly. An effective company culture is the foundation for making and sustaining improvements.
Here are some of the key factors in building a strong culture within your company.
Mission and Vision
Your corporate culture begins with establishing a mission statement that aligns with your corporate vision. It should define what your company wants to accomplish, how this should be done, who your market is, and the value you provide to them. This gives everyone on staff a purpose and perspective in keeping on-message.
Having a clearly-defined mission helps to align every business decision to core values. An effective and inspirational mission statement can also inform customers, contractors and supply chains what your needs and expectations are and how you deliver on your promise.
For your mission statement to be effective, it needs to be followed in all aspects of the business every single day. It does your company more harm than good to proclaim a culture of customer satisfaction and then provide minimal or inaccessible customer service or avoid accountability. Word of mouth, especially online, travels fast so that lack of conviction in your own practices is a betrayal of trust.
The most fundamental aspect of a positive company culture is a declaration of the principles you strive for. Both your employees and customers will be relying on your faithful observance of qualities like integrity, honesty, and respect.
Honesty is crucial to building trust. Open communication and transparency of corporate policy helps to prevent misunderstandings. Organizations that make promises they don’t keep, engage in misleading advertising, illegal activity, or don’t honor their own policies will appear dishonest.
Part of a strong company culture is making thoughtful decisions, and then sticking by every deal and promise you make to workers, clients, or partners. Knowing that your promises are guarantees inspires confidence and appreciation in everyone connected to your organization.
Your employees will feel more loyalty and motivation within a culture that represents a pleasant and nurturing environment. Employees need incentive, inspiration, and a work environment where they feel secure and comfortable.
However, wages and other monetary rewards are not always the strongest motivators. Your incentive plan needs to be customized to your workforce on a personal level. Recognize and reward exceptional performance and dedication.
When the team exceeds goals and earns notable successes, take the time to celebrate and express gratitude for their achievements. Give feedback on performance, provide additional training as needed and focus on making work an enjoyable experience. This will keep employees engaged and encourage them to meet higher standards.
Open communication across departments and command chains is one of the staples in business success. There should be effective dialog between managers and employees for making suggestions and providing mutual support. Your staff needs to feel that they’re valued team members before they can feel content in their roles.
Employee handbooks and internal policies should be well-documented and enforced objectively and consistently. Performance reviews, disciplinary actions, hiring procedures, and other standard practices need to be transparent and fair. Otherwise, allegations of discrimination, harassment, or preferential treatment can surface to damage reputations and undermine the positive culture you’re trying to build.
You should also provide transparency by sharing business information with employees, such as organizational changes, technology upgrades, or important new clients. This helps your workers feel a stronger connection to the company overall, and take an interest in corporate strategy and outcomes. They are able to develop an appreciation of overall operations beyond their own needs and activities.
It boosts employee performance and dedication when they know that they have the backing of their managers. Managers who can communicate that they respect their teams as individuals as well as employees command greater loyalty. Your workforce needs to feel that their employer is committed to their well-being in return for their hard work and perseverance.
Your concern for your employee’s futures can be expressed through practices like advancement opportunities and no-layoff policies. Management should also relate to employees, invite their ideas and feedback, and step in to help out with difficult situations. Employees experience greater trust, gratitude, and productivity toward a company that cares about their future.
In summary, a well-defined company culture provides more appeal in all aspects of business. It helps you establish confidence with customers and partners as well as draw and retain talented employees. A culture that practices strong principles, provides a good working environment, and cares about its employees will be able to count on greater performance and loyalty.
About the Author
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.
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