It’s the rave – corporate culture – a term that is regularly thrown around as one of the most important elements that your company should be focused on. But, what exactly does it mean, why does it matter, and how do you actually approach instilling corporate culture in your company?
It starts on top, with your CEO, your executives, your managers. Corporate culture is a defined set of values that your company focuses on. Once they are truly lived out by the “top” people, it will then progress to everyone else.
Corporate culture, while frequently talked about, is only an idea in many companies. It is an easy term to throw around to create a front of unity; however, it quickly becomes clear which companies actually rank it above money, sales, and other “numbers”.
Why does corporate culture matter?
You might be asking why corporate culture matters when those “numbers” seem to hold the key to the future. However, it is valuable to recognize the people who make the business function properly.
When the focus is on the people and the culture, the game changes. First, a solid corporate culture decreases stress. Simply working in an upbeat environment also increases employee morale, and therefore, also employee retention and work performance.
The reasons tie together. Happy employees perform in a way that creates happy executives. Happy executives foster environments that create happy employees. Of course, there will be days when business is less than ideal and not everyone is “happy,” but it is about the way those situations are handled that matters – and that’s corporate culture.
What are 5 main corporate culture goals?
In order to reach this ideal corporate culture, focus on these five main goals.
1. Set clear goals and have open communication
Clear goals and open communication are vital to success. Employees want to know where business is, both on the good days and the bad. Keep your employees informed on product updates, sales numbers, and new goals.
This open communication allows everyone in the company to streamline their processes and center their priorities.
“At OMT-Veyhl, we are working to meet our employees’ desires through creating new corporate communication tactics that allow us to share decisions as they are made and provide updates on business,” said Lars Reuter, CEO of OMT-Veyhl.
“It is important to us, as a company, that we are transparent with our employees, so they know that what they do matters and that we appreciate each individual’s hard work.”
2. Listen to understand
Rather than simply listening, managers should truly hear their employees and recognize their concerns. Everyone is human, and everyone’s concerns are valid. An article in a The Business of Future magazine recognized top leaderships traits, especially in this undoubtedly difficult COVID-19 time. It names “soft skills” as the most valuable traits, using empathy, vulnerability, accountability, and integrity as examples.
People are more likely to respect the leader with the soft skills, rather than the bosses who plow change and earn success through various dictatorial methods. When people know and feel that they are equals, no matter the title, that’s when culture begins to form.
3. Create a community
It’s exciting when we are able to celebrate and support each other. People working toward a common goal and achieving it is a moment of victory for the entire team. However, corporate culture is about recognizing the small victories as well as the large.
It is about helping people reach their individual goals in addition to reaching company goals. Create a community where people are cared about individually and support each other mutually. When that’s the case, employees will be bold and proud of their company and its culture.
4. Drive passion with purpose
Tell employees why you are asking them to do something, tell them why you are changing something, and tell them why you are making the decision you are. The key word – “why.” When people are aware of the reasons, the purpose, for doing something it also provides motivation and passion behind the task.
It helps employees want to be at work when everyone recognizes the importance of their individual roles.
5. Take Action
Accountability is key to long term reliability. It is important that each employee and manager reminds and holds accountable one another until the vision is met and new goals are set.
It’s easy to list the steps you want to take or name a few goals; however, corporate culture begins when action is taken. How can you follow through with the above steps? Action is what people will see and remember.
Corporate culture won’t form in a week, and ultimately, it will always be an ongoing process. The company will grow, and priorities will change with it. However, keeping the people first, the people who make everything possible, is the most important priority a company can have.