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 How To Build A Company Culture The Right Way 

You have probably noticed that there is a lot of news about the company's culture today. In a candidate's market, jobseekers place more value on the employee experience and work environment. In fact, finding an excellent company culture is the major reason why 47% of candidates start looking for a job.

A strong culture has been proven to improve retention and involvement, so it is your advantage to build a company culture that excites potential employees and candidates. Read this guide to get started, get the right people involved, and monitor your progress.

Before You Start

Culture is a natural phenomenon, but building a successful company culture requires effort. When building your company culture, it's imperative to involve the right people from the start. Hire members of your human resources department, middle and senior management, long-term employees, and C-suite executives. Please make sure everyone is aligned with the high-level goals and is prepared to take the time to fulfill their responsibilities.

Phase One: Prepare

The first phase of this plan is vital to the success of your team. Here you will lay the groundwork for building a company culture that the entire team can be proud of.

Whether you are starting your own business or have been for some time, training is essential. Neglecting this work now only means that you will have to come back later. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "If you don't prepare, you prepare to fail."

Steps To Building a Company Culture

  • Communicate your intentions

  • Evaluate your existing company culture

  • Define your company

  • Create a mission statement

  • Define your core values

  • Communicate the results and obtain feedback

  • Set company-wide and departmental goals

  • Build a roadmap

  • Setup a culture committee

  • Communicate your plan with all teams

  • Train your team

  • Hire for cultural addition

  • Continuously evaluate your progress

Communicate Your Intentions

Before doing anything else, talk to your team. Tell them what you see, whether it’s an unwanted change in culture, structural pain points, or expected challenges as your company expands.

Then explain why you need a change and what you intend to achieve. Don't worry about being hyper-specific with your data and observations; the purpose of this step is to get your team up and running. Use this opportunity to obtain employee feedback. 

Evaluate Your Existing Company Culture

To build a company culture successfully, you must first understand your starting point. Whether you have 10 people or 1000, there is a culture, whether you built it intentionally or not.

Involving employees is a strong indicator of the company's culture; the stronger the organizational culture, the more likely you are to involve your team. Use an employee engagement survey to capture a precise picture of engagement levels. This will help you understand your company's perception internally.

Define Your Company

Ask and answer these questions: Who are we? Why our work? What do we intend to achieve? These questions are at the heart of your company, and your answers will affect the next steps. In fact, the who-what-why of your company should be the driving force for every decision you want to make. Your inability to consistently answer these questions will allow irrelevant subcultures to shape and undermine your efforts. Keep your answers simple and concise, and make sure key players agree.

Draft Your Mission Statement

Use the previous answers to create your mission statement. This should be a precise summary of the company’s objectives and purpose.  Be very clear about why your company exists and why it matters. Studies reveal that having a purpose that transcends profit margins helps keep employees engaged and boost retention by 27%.

Much like your answers, your mission statement should be concise. Agreement across all levels and departments is crucial to building a company culture properly, so create a statement that’s easy to remember and revisit. Ensure that every member of the team understands the mission to work toward a wider goal.

Define Your Core Values

This should be a list of attitudes that support your organization's mission. Think about how you will describe your culture and company - innovative, trustworthy, fun, bold, passionate, fearless. These may apply to your team today, as well as the new standards you aspire to.

Phase Two: Plan

Once you have prepared, you are ready for the next presentations. However, it should be noted that you are not guaranteed a smooth process. If you receive feedback from your team members that something is not working, it is recommended that you go back one step. Bear in mind, every decision you make should depend on your mission statement and core values. If something feels abnormal in your company, you may need to review and rebuild your core values.

Set Company-Wide And Departmental Goals

After analyzing your results, set solid and realistic goals for improving the company's culture. For instance, if revenue is an issue for your organization, look to "reduce revenue by 15% this time next year." Being specific about what you want to accomplish will make it simpler to track your progress, which you can do by conducting feedback sessions and using additional employee engagement surveys. However, in the case of turnover, you can easily measure your progress by analyzing the number of employees left.

Build A Road map

Assign roles and responsibilities to key players, including human resources representatives, managers, and long-term employees you want to involve. You will also need to set a timeline, so you know when to recheck your progress. Never forget to be realistic - the change will not occur overnight. Building a great company culture will definitely benefit your company for years to come — plan to address your most important goals right away. Not only is this a logical strategy, but it will portray your commitment to your employees and increase their confidence in your leadership.

Setup A Culture Committee

Your employees are the propelling force behind your culture, so tailor your efforts by setting up a culture committee. This group should consist of one or two representatives from each department and all levels of the company. Look for your company's ambassadors - people who are excited to be part of your company and are truly concerned about the team's success. Highly involved employees are the best culture catalysts, so make sure they are part of your local efforts.

Phase 3: Implement

Since you've laid the groundwork, you can start implementing your plan. Keep lines of communication open to promote a transparency culture. This is also the time to launch the employer's branding strategy as an additional impetus to raise the company's culture.

Communicate Your Plan With All Teams

Inform your employees by narrating your timeline and goals. Failure to do so will discredit your team - employees cannot buy into your plan if they do not know what you are trying to accomplish and when. Let employees know that you will regularly evaluate your progress so that they can expect more frequent evaluations.

Train Your Team

Ensure every employee - from the most recent to the most permanent managers - is trained on your core values. Without this, you can't consciously expect your team to support the values you've revealed.

Besides, you can't expect employees to abide by these values if you don't. Employees are looking for leadership guidance, so lead by example. Modeling your values will encourage the same for your staff. Conversely, if employees sense that executives and C-suite management are exempt from these rules, they will begin to distrust management and break away from the company.

Hire For Cultural Addition

Your preparation work is extremely critical to your recruiting strategy. Simply defining who you are and your values will help you identify those who are passionate about your company's mission. Remember that you can train for skills, but you cannot fully instill the values, attitudes, and personality in future employees.

Continuously Evaluate Your Progress

Your company culture is the essence and personality of your organization. Choosing to be unintentional with it breeds negativity to grow and disengaged employees to hinder your top talent success. Use the steps above to build a company culture carefully. If you find that you are not in love with the culture you have created, you know that there is always the option to adjust your company culture.

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