“Corporate culture” is a buzz phrase that has been going around for more than a decade now, though the actual meaning behind this hot topic is often lost. A company’s culture goes far beyond celebrations, perks, and the office layout. In fact, it reaches the very core of a business.
Here are six factors that comprise a company’s culture.
Heritage and vision
Every business has an origin story, and this narrative has the potential to be a driving force for success. It’s important to incorporate your organization’s heritage into your culture. Sharing your business’s unique history connects your employees to the “why” behind your organization’s conception. By celebrating your business’s roots, you connect your staff to the company’s original purpose and encourage them to embody it in their work.
Values and practices
Companies often define their core values for their employees, but those mean very little if accepted corporate practices don’t align. It’s important to ensure that communication standards, leadership structure, workplace environment, etc. all promote your company values.
Contribution and recognition
Sometimes it’s hard for employees to see how the work they do affects the big picture. You never want a member of your staff to feel small or insignificant. Celebrate individuals’ accomplishments, hard work, or great ideas. Make a habit of telling your employees how much you appreciate them and how important their contributions are to the overall success of the company.
No one wants to stick around at a job they feel is stagnant. It’s important to encourage professional growth so employees feel they are improving themselves and their lives while working for you. This can be through continuing-education courses, seminars, a book club, or even just built-in flexibility to explore new topics.
Positive work environment
This may seem like a no-brainer, but in order to keep employees happy, they have to want to come to work. Take steps to create a positive workplace that’s fun to come to every day.
After you have decided on the elements that make up your company’s culture, enstate them across the board. Consistency helps build employee trust. If your staff sees inconsistency in your culture, they’ll know it isn’t genuine.
Remember, each company’s culture is unique, and the perfect culture doesn’t always come right away. Don’t be afraid to reflect and revise as you go.
Joel Patterson (www.JoelPatterson.com) is a workplace culture expert and founder of The Vested Group, a business technology consulting firm. He is the ForbesBooks author of “The Big Commitment: Solving The Mysteries Of Your ERP Implementation.”