If your business is looking to hire and retain the most talented employees, differentiate your brand, and attract desirable clients, you must develop the right business culture. Your culture is simply the set of beliefs and behaviors within your company that determine how it is run. Three crucial components of any business culture are:
Your company mission should impact every decision that your employees make, and your mission statement is a simple – yet crucial – element of your culture. Formalize and document it to ensure that all of your employees and new hires fully understand what you are trying to accomplish. In this article, Hubspot provides 12 outstanding examples of inspirational mission statements.
Your company’s values are at the core of its culture, providing a set of guidelines regarding the behaviors and mindsets needed to achieve your mission. Values define what your company stands for, establish the workplace climate, and help to determine how success is defined and measured.
Values don’t amount to much unless they are enshrined in your company’s practices. For instance, if you claim that your employees are your company’s most valuable asset, you must be prepared to visibly invest in them. Your values should be reflected in the daily operating principles of your business.
While culture is somewhat intangible and subjective, there are a few metrics that you can use to track it. These metrics will help you determine if your culture contributes to an effective, engaged workforce.
- Communication. In organizations with effective communication, employees are able to easily engage in discussions with management. Do your current communication channels allow everyone to send, receive, and digest new information?
- Agility. While management may be capable of adapting to internal and external changes, these adjustments can be frustrating for many employees. Enhance your company’s agility by frequently seeking feedback from employees at every level of your organization, to ensure that they are adapting to business changes.
- Environment. It’s difficult to control your company’s culture on a daily basis, but you can certainly influence your organization’s environment. You need a workplace that provides for comfortable, productive employees. Building trust in your staff is essential, as Simon Sinek explains in this TED Talk.
- Performance. Top performers seek out organizations with values that are compatible with their own. Ensure that your employees feel appreciated, and determine how they wish to be recognized. Listening to employee comments about the workplace will help you discover some of the fastest, easiest ways to improve their performance.
- Accountability. Everyone is responsible for their own actions, and for the decisions made about their work. Though it may seem like an individual metric, these behaviors should be assessed on a company-wide level, and employees are typically very willing to report on their experiences in this area.
Talk with your employees about what drives them every day. Invest in their growth, and keep your culture aligned with your stated values. Holding true to your beliefs is how you’ll transform your good company into a truly great one.