While most companies go to great lengths to create clear and effective branding, many fall short when it comes to crafting a concise and impactful company culture. But whether you're an entrepreneur embarking on a new start-up or the CEO of a major international corporation, a rewarding and motivating company culture is essential for acquiring and retaining the best talent and increasing your business's chances of success.
But what exactly is company culture? It's a broad, all-encompassing term, so let's break it down into its core elements and explore how to craft a culture relevant to your business.
Creating an effective company culture means drawing upon a set of shared values and behaviours, contributing to a workplace environment where employees are best able to realise their talents. A clear vision which brings the company together can have a powerful impact upon both individual and corporate performance, giving you a distinct advantage over your competitors.
While each company has its own unique set of qualities and objectives, there are several crucial ingredients to a successful company culture which can be universally applied, whatever the purpose or size of your company.
Core Elements of an Effective Company Culture
Creating an effective company culture is all about building an environment where employees are motivated to overcome challenges, work effectively as a team and provide innovative solutions. Some of the key elements of a company culture to consider are:
Creating a Culture Manifesto
Creating a Culture Manifesto is not dissimilar to crafting Mission Statement; clear and concise, it needs to be relevant to your company while inspiring current and prospective employees. An effective way to communicate your company's manifesto is in a slide deck – for example, HubSpot founder Dharmesh Shah created a culture code slide deck answering the questions, “What do we believe? What makes us tick?”
Outlining core values in a simple statement provides a useful road map for your employees.
Comprehensive Workplace Benefits
Bonuses, take-aways for working overtime and free beer are obvious ways to encourage commitment from your employees, but treats alone aren't enough to entice the best people to commit to your company. Workplace benefits need to be aligned with the core values of the company while offering something to enhance the happiness of your team members.
Comprehensive leave, flexible schedules and reimbursement for tuition and other training all combines to attract and retain the best talent available.
A successful and innovative company culture only occurs when the team members are working in synch with one another, so creating a fun, engaging and rewarding environment for everyone is essential for strengthening relationships between your employees.
Offering a diverse range of team-building exercises – from outdoor activities and charity fundraising, to informal evenings relaxing with a few drinks – works towards building a workplace culture where employees feel connected and engaged with one another.
Health and Well-being
Providing employees with health, dental and life insurance policies is just one step towards demonstrating your company is committed to their health and well-being, but it doesn't stop there. Investing in an on-site gym or offering discounted gym memberships, providing healthy food alternatives in the cafeteria or offering classes in pass-times such as yoga, meditation and other wellness programs will ensure your employees are healthier, while reassuring them that your company cares about their well-being.
Commitment to Learning
Demonstrating a commitment to the professional growth of your employees by providing them with the necessary training tools is a clear indication you care about the future of their careers, both within your company and beyond.
Access to the resources required for them to enhance their skills or develop new ones, whether it's online programs, internally maintained tutorials or management training courses, will ensure your team members don't stagnate and stay on top of the latest industry trends.
Supporting the Community
A successful company should strive to be a part of a successful wider community, in touch with the local issues concerning its employees and actively involved in providing solutions. Hosting charity events, providing grants for charitable foundations and other philanthropic endeavours helps to boost employee morale while improving your business's profile and core values.
Over 70% of Millennials believe the company they work for should focus on societal problems, making a focus on community and charity an attractive component of your company culture for prospective employees.
Positive Employee Feedback
It doesn't matter what measures you put in place to implement a workplace culture if you don't listen to your employees – a truly effective workplace culture need to dynamically reflect the requirements of your staff, and regular, effective feedback is the only way to guarantee you're adapting to changes.
Creating an environment where employee feedback is highly valued and encourage means your company culture will flag any potential problems before they become serious, while providing employees with a clear sense of engagement with your company's core values and objectives.
Why Culture Matters
Brian Halligan, Chairman and CEO of HubSpot, said, “Great employees are drawn to a strong culture and a worthy mission – people don't want to work for companies where the end goal is nothing loftier than making two more cents per share this quarter … Giving your partners the tools to succeed and flourish will lead to a long and healthy relationship, and guard against your competition.”