Great company culture has helped many businesses break through and reach new levels of success.
From the early days of Nike when Phil Knight was building it from the ground up, to Google building a culture that gets its employees excited and revved up to go to work every day…
Culture has even helped sports teams go from bottom of the barrel to top of the foodchain. Look no further than the rock-solid “Do your job” culture that Bill Belichick has built with the New England Patriots in the NFL, which has been a huge reason why they’ve won 5 Super Bowls and become a dynasty.
Culture is important. The question is, will you take a purposeful approach to building your company culture, or will you simply let it build itself?
If you’re choosing the latter, don’t expect a great company culture with established values, strong relationships, and teamwork. Culture hardly ever successfully develops on its own.
It’s far better to take a purposeful approach to building company culture, so you can create an environment that represents the values of your company and gives it the best chance of continued success.
Here are 4 ways to get started today!
1. Know Your Values
Values are the traits and qualities you consider worthwhile. For example, truth, honesty, community, integrity are all values that can contribute to a rich company culture. You can find an extensive list of values here.
Go through the list and select 20 values that you most want your company to embody. Then, reflect on those traits and narrow your list down to 10. Start with these values, and assess how your company currently performs within the scope of each one. Values are the foundation of your company culture. You need to consider and choose them carefully.
2. Know Your Principles
According to Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life.
Having strong principles give you a framework for running your business, and they give your employees a framework for working within it.
Dalio credits his success and the success of his business to strong principles. So much so, in fact, that he wrote a book detailing the principles he’s put in place to make his company function so well. You can get an instant PDF copy of the book right here.
Here are some examples of strong company principles from Dalio’s book:
- Don’t try to please everyone
- Understand that problems are the fuel for improvement
- Teach your people to fish rather than give them fish
- Train and test people through experiences
3. Lead by Example
It’s one thing to lay out and discuss the important values and principles. But in order to make it a part of your company culture, you can’t just talk the talk: you need to lead by example.
As your employees see you embody your values and principles, they’ll learn to do so as well. But if they see you slack off, they’ll follow your example and as a result the company culture will suffer.
So, be aware of your own actions and make decisions within the framework of your values and principles. In doing so, you’ll showcase the importance of integrity, and your employees will follow suit.
4. Ingrain it In Your Training
As your culture strengthens, new employees will get the hint more and more quickly. They’ll feel it as soon as they step on the scene.
But don’t count on that alone. Make it a point to ingrain the values and principles into your training, so new employees understand the framework and can fit right in. Make it a point as well to screen candidates based on culture, and ask questions that help reveal whether or not they can embody the values and work according to the principles.
Wrap Up Ways to Build Company Culture
Company culture can either make or break your business. By taking a purposeful approach to building the culture, you can sculpt it according to the right values, and get buy-in from your current and future employees.
Remember: culture is not something you build overnight. It’s a constant process of doing the right things, adhering to the right values, and leading by example. But as you continue to follow the right processes and stay patient, the culture will blossom, and it may just transform your business.