Investing energy in your employees’ well-being produces employees who are more willing to invest in your company.
Creating a sustainable and enjoyable company culture is not only crucial for your employees’ morale, it’s also necessary for attracting new talent and creating business longevity.
Google is often heralded as an organization that businesses should emulate when shaping their own company culture. From Austin, Texas, where Google has a “Geek Chic” collaborative room to London, where the company has a “walk in the park” space, each working space is curated to the specific geographic and cultural preferences of the area.
So, how is a company culture created, and where do you begin?
1. Assign an owner
Without someone who is directly focused on setting the tone of the office culture, the responsibility will inevitably fall to no one. An individual should be hired specifically for the purpose of being the lead on creating and instilling a sense of company culture.
2. Make it personal
Without the input of management and leaders from within the organization, efforts to mold company culture will fall flat. Nicole Sandford, partner and national practice leader at Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Enterprise Compliance Services, said, “The tone at the top sets an organization’s guiding values and ethical climate.” For example, if leadership engages illicitly or explicitly in illegal or immoral business practices, those behaviors are implied as acceptable for all team members.
3. Communicate your mission
What is the point or purpose of the company? For example, on the Incorporate Massage website, recruiters let prospective job candidates know from their first sentence exactly what they want and what the company represents:
“You’re looking for something exceptional. So are we. Corporate chair massage is what we do. We’re not your typical massage therapists. And yes, that’s a good thing. Fun, energetic, and passionate about what we do, we’ve started a company by massage therapists and for massage therapists.”
4. Empowerment and a sense of freedom
Let your employees know that their opinions and suggestions about the company matter. If employees believe they can and should contribute to the company’s purpose, they will help build and sustain a healthy company culture. For example, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg holds weekly Friday company meetings where any employee is invited to ask him a question.
5. Prioritize and focus
Set consistent goals for the company: Weekly, monthly, quarterly, and/or yearly. Where do you want your company to be at the end of the year? Communicate these goals to your employees clearly, and they can help you get there. Without a well-thought-out goal or endgame in mind, employees struggle to know what they are working for and what their purpose is, hindering not only the success of the business but their personal success as well.
Whether you want to create a company “lifestyle” around the organic cuisine and gym perks you offer, or build a culture around an established traditional narrative like The Walt Disney Company does, it is up to you and your team to pick a vision and run with it.
Check out the infographic link below for both action steps to create a company culture and examples of companies that have succeeded in doing it.
Dana Manciagli has been a corporate executive for more than 30 years and has leveraged her employee hiring and management experience into that of author, blogger, keynote speaker, career coach, and global career expert. She is the author of Cut the Crap™, Get a Job! A New Job Search Process for a New Era.