Today, the most sustainable businesses have a common denominator: they have a healthy corporate culture.
The modern employee expects more than just a paycheck from their employer. They expect their employer to meet their personal expectations and beliefs. They also expect the employer to create a great place for them to work in.
A healthy working environment is crucial for the modern-day employee and this is achieved by creating a positive work culture.
A study by LinkedIn showed that 65% of people would rather put up with low pay or forego a fancy title than deal with a bad working environment.
With this in mind, it is clear that it is in the best interest of employers to create a healthy working culture to maintain their best talent.
How can one build or develop a work culture?
START FROM THE TOP
The leader is the pacesetter of organizational culture.
The leader determines the kind of culture the organization adopts. It is up to the leader to set an example of the kind of culture to be emulated within the organization.
The leader should not just give instructions on what is to be done and is not doing the same.
Employees learn by observing their leader and therefore learn and behave accordingly.
START WITH THE FOUNDATION
When deciding the kind of culture to adopt, look into the mission and vision.
Study the beliefs and the principles that were important to the organization from the beginning. The mission and vision help define what the company is about and where they intend to be in the future.
For example, your mission and vision cannot be ‘people-centric’ yet you do little to focus on the people be it, employees or customers. A mission that refers to the people needs to lead to a people-focused culture.
DEFINE THE VALUES AND STANDARDS TO BE FOLLOWED
Employees cannot follow a culture that is not clear to them.
By defining a common language, values, and standards, you make the culture clear.
You create clear guidelines for employees to follow and also define your expectations.
A company’s culture is brought together by shared values. These are defined by the organization’s principles and a common set of standards.
HIRE THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Once you have defined what is right for your culture, you need to hire the right people.
When hiring, consider people that will fit into the culture you have created.
Hiring therefore will call for looking at more than the qualifications and experiences of the candidate, but their personalities, principles, and beliefs of the individual.
If your culture is people-oriented for example, you need to hire candidates that are good with people.
If your culture focuses on innovation, you need to look for proactive people that think outside the box.
Once you define a work culture that you need the organization to adopt, you need to be consistent.
Don’t ask employees to do something today and a whole different thing tomorrow.
Consistency will make your employees learn how to behave and stay consistent at it.
Remember, culture is the way of doing things.
This means that this ‘way of doing things is developed over a long time and it is only through consistency that it will become the norm.
CREATE POLICIES THAT SUPPORT THE WORK CULTURE
Internal policies that support the culture will ensure that people live up to it.
For example, a reward system that rewards certain behaviors that are consistent with the culture shows organizational commitment to the culture.
Other policies that can support the work culture are, such as Google, creating time each week for employees to work on their own projects so as to support the innovation culture.
This shows commitment to the culture and acts as a way to support employees to live up to the culture.
OPEN UP COMMUNICATION
The best way to create shared values within the organization is by communicating these values.
Opening up communication helps build open and honest relationships between management and employees.
When developing a culture, talk to each other. Let each person understand what is expected of them, and let them air their concerns if any.
This makes them feel good and as part of the team.
As a result, they take ownership and responsibility for the organization.
Conclusively, building and developing a work culture is a process. Organizational culture is not achieved overnight, and it needs to be fed with information, support, and the right attitude. Most importantly, a successful culture highly depends on support from leaders and set an example for employees.
The Destiny Team