Tips to Create the Company Culture You Want
Establishing a company culture may sound like a very broad statement and a big task. However, in most cases it’s something that already exists and just needs nurturing. You may feel that you need to redefine the culture and behaviours you expect from your employees. This will help you ensure that you culture and behaviour standards are in line with the overall business vision.
As your business moves from being a small start-up to an SME with more employees, you’ve nailed what you do. You can now start focusing on the company culture and the methods of operations. Many companies are needing to re-visit their culture following the impact of Covid. Covid created significant changes to working practices and also in the expectations of employees. These areas will have a direct impact on what it feels like to work for your business. You may very well be feeling that your company culture has changed.
1. What is Company Culture?
All companies whether small or large have a culture. Culture is reflected in the way individuals behave at work whether consciously or unconsciously. It affects the way in which the business operates, recruits, and retains employees. It also influences the image that you project externally.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) neatly summarises an organisation’s culture as something that “affects every aspect of how the organisation operates and how work gets done”.
2. Why Do You Need To Think About Your Company Culture?
As we’ve just said, it affects everything that you do. You may not see it directly impacting the bottom line but if you look closely you will see how your employees’ behaviours, your HR strategy, or your company procedures affect your profitability or the quality of what you do or produce.
You may have never even considered what your company culture is. However, if you feel like there are some repeated performance niggles or that your overall output has plateaued, you might want to take the time to question whether the way you do things has changed or if it hasn’t, does it need to change for the business to move on?
3. How To Develop The Culture and Behaviours You Want
There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to developing culture. The nature of culture is individual to each organisation, however it’s worth considering these pointers:
- Plan Ahead – Whether you’re happy with your existing culture or want to make changes, there must be a reason for beginning to look more closely at it. More often than not it’s about where you want the business to be in the coming years. Define a business plan and then consider what behaviours and outputs you need from your employees to see this plan come to fruition.
- Focus – If you want to see changes happen it’s worth having someone take responsibility for culture in the company. You should have someone who regularly monitors what is going on in the business and identifies where changes need to be made.
- Leadership – Although culture runs throughout the business, it is shaped by the leadership team. Ensure that your senior management team reflects the principles you want your employees to work by. Make sure to take a do as we do, rather than a do as we say approach!
- Communication – It always comes up in HR one way or another! But it’s really important when you’re looking for people to buy into something that they understand what and why. Make sure everyone understands the values crucial to your business and reflects them to your stakeholders externally. It’s worth considering linking benefits and rewards to the realisation of these values. This will help you to emphasise how intrinsic they are to your organisation.
- Flexibility – Understand that you may not always get it bang on every time. You may nurture an inherent culture but you may still have to adopt variations to your ‘usual way of working’ for certain projects or pieces of work. In a way, try not to let the culture define what your business is but do make sure what you want your business to be is generally reflected in your day to day working practices.
If you’re thinking that you need to focus on your company culture and would like to get some ideas around what that would involve then do get in touch using the methods set out below.