Company culture is a hot topic, and it has become a significant factor new hires consider when deciding where to work. As a business owner, it can feel daunting to hear about how important company culture is, but left to wonder what exactly it is, and how it affects your business.
Company culture is formed by many different factors, and includes company vision, values, norms, beliefs, assumptions, habits, and more. It’s a pre-existing condition that each company has, and yet it is also something that is continuously evolving. Each employee brings their own culture to contribute to the existing culture, whether good or bad. Here are a few important elements that make up company culture:
Vision, Values & Mission Statement
One of the easiest ways to get your employees on the same page is to have a clear vision, company values, and a mission statement. What is more important than having these, however, is to actually demonstrate these things each day. It is important to have these easily accessible to employees and ensure managers often discuss how each team can implement these into their work. Once established, the company values are also easy to apply to the hiring process. Knowing clearly what the company’s vision, values, and mission statement are will help hiring managers identify individuals that have similar values and vision. Hiring employees who are a good culture fit will make the onboarding process easier, and empower them to add value to the existing culture.
Trust is essential when it comes to company culture. Trust is a critical part of building healthy professional relationships and culture in a company. We all want to have reliable co-workers that will pull their weight; what’s even better are co-workers that you can work collaboratively with. After all, you see your co-workers as much as you see your friends and family, if not more. Trust helps build those relationships and makes work a fun, accepting environment where employees can feel safe and have the desire to be present and productive. In the end, trust can help companies build a culture that empowers employees to perform at their best, ultimately generating more profit.
Education & Learning
Continued education and learning is another critical part of a positive culture. John C. Maxwell, an American author who primarily focuses on leadership, has said, “Growth is the greatest separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it’s almost always due to a personal growth.” It doesn’t matter if it is professional development, on-the-job education, or any other kind of learning, if employees are learning they are improving themselves. By doing so, employees feel more fulfilled because of their ownership and growth, which helps the company to retain more skilled people to contribute to the mission. It’s a win-win scenario that supports an important part of company culture. Because of this, many companies are offering more and more incentives for continued learning, including tuition reimbursement, online libraries with a variety of books, and incentives for certain job-specific certificates. Investing in your employees is investing in your company.
A healthy, impactful company culture won’t be sustainable without employee engagement. Employee engagement can range from involvement with important decisions, team building activities, employee reviews, diversity and team belonging, and more. These are important ways to help each employee feel valued for who they are within the company, and to be able to take ownership of building the company together. As employees contribute their ideas and see their ideas being implemented, they become more invested in the company and its success.
Many companies offer similar perks and benefits, including competitive salary, health insurance coverage, paid time off, and so forth, but that isn’t the only thing that can set them apart. Having a strong, positive company culture is something that can make all the difference with their employees. A culture where employees can feel safe, happy, and free to express themselves is one perk that not all companies can offer. As Idaho Central’s CEO, Kent Oram, has said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Having great strategies to execute is important, but having the right people that will execute them is even more important. After all, a strategy without someone invested to execute it is just a dream. That said, it might be time to take a step back and assess your company culture to see what you can do to create an amazing culture that attracts top talent.