5 Steps to Start Building your Company Culture

Every business develops its culture whether intentionally or unintentionally – and it goes without saying that company culture has a lot to do with what type of employees that are attracted to your business, their job satisfaction levels and how well they will satisfy your customers. If your company is not deliberating working on developing and strengthening its company culture, you are missing a golden opportunity to engage with employees in a deliberate manner in order to drive higher results. Leadership certainly sets the tone on culture and supports it financially, but your human resources practices (beyond compliance and cost containment) can be a primary driver of culture and employee engagement. A Harvard study examined businesses that made company culture a key aspect of their business strategy and determined that those companies that focused on culture achieved:

  • 4 times the revenue growth
  • Higher profits (climbed 750% greater)
  • Doubling of customer satisfaction
  • Reduced turnover (by as much as 34%)

HR can develop and implement employee-centric practices for recruiting, onboarding, training programs, performance feedback and employee benefits that connect with your workforce. Here are 5 steps to start your new focus on developing a deliberate company culture.

  1. What about your product or service gets employees inspired? Not what you do, but the impact of the work you do. Write it down, and share with employees. Add this message to your recruiting and employee messages.
  2. Are company values prominently displayed for employees? in the Employee Handbook? posted in the office? If you do not have a mission statement and a vision, work on developing them.
  3. What activities does the company do (or support) that support these values? Identify activities and events that visibly show support for your company mission so that employees can also rally around them.
  4. Add these values to your recruiting list – and hire employees that display support for these value. Also, develop a structured onboarding process that will teach new employees about the company culture, values and behaviors that are necessary to support the culture. For example, if teamwork is a key value, how are employees expected to be good team members – are these actions reinforced and rewarded?  How can you use behavioral questions to learn more about applicant’s past support and experience with teams.
  5. Communicate company values often and make sure employees know what your company is all about, the achievement goals and how each employee can connect and support the goals and objectives.

It’s never too late to start, even if your company has been in business for years.  Can you use company culture as a strategic advantage against competitors?  What type of employees do you want to attract – and why should they come to join your team? Once you have your vision for culture and determine your commitment to it (including proper resourcing and willingness to role model these behaviors) let human resources help you create a roadmap to implement impactful actions that support your desired company culture. If you are not sure about your existing culture, consider an employee opinion survey to determine how employees currently view the company and if company activities are supporting the desired company culture.  Our next blog post will focus on creating an onboarding process that reinforces your company culture.

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