4 Steps to Building a Great Company Culture from Ground Zero

Posted by Yen Phuong Nguyen on

Going to work every morning should not feel like a torture to any of your employees. Your employees should feel motivated and enjoy their time at work with their colleagues and their superiors. While the jobs can be daunting, the company culture should not add to the stress. In fact, it should be a powerful source of inspiration and motivation that makes the employees feel complete.

Read more: 4 elements to a motivating life

Company culture is an intangible and highly valuable asset to the organisation. It defines your employees’ behaviours, actions, and beliefs. Culture can make or break the company.

4 Steps to Building a Great Company Culture from Ground Zero

In the previous blog post, we have laid out the foundation of a strong culture and its impact on your recruitment process. However, how do you create an effective one if you have not gotten accustomed to the company culture concept?

4 steps to building a strong company culture

In a recent study conducted by Bain & Company on 365 companies across Europe, Asia, and North America, 81 percent of respondents agreed that poor company culture negatively impacts the organisation which leads to a generally low productivity. Among the 365 companies, less than 10 percent succeed in building one.

Tactics for building a company culture vary from region to region, but in general, it is about ensuring your employees are happy, and as a result, their productivity is improved and the company has lower employee turnover.

Read more: Are your organisational stars hard to satisfy?

Let’s dive into some of the most basic steps and essential factors a strong company culture must have.

Step 1: Lay down a foundation

As a leader, you should have a rough idea of how you want your company to be. Sit down with other leaders and have an in-depth discussion about laying down a solid foundation for your company culture that aligns with your business core values.

The following questions can be used in your process:

  • What does your organisation want to be known for?
  • How do the company’s business objectives align with the employee’s values?
  • How do you want your organisation to be perceived? As a source of inspiration, a culture that encourages new ideas, a culture that rewards hard-working employees, or your culture value a work-life balance?

By answering these questions, you’ll have a clearer vision of what values the organisation is looking for.

Read more: Which ingredient spices up the success recipe?

Step 2: Recruit people that complement each other

After outlining the rules of your company culture, you may want to acquire those who appreciate them and ensure the culture is well taken care of. There are difficult employees and those who have high performance but are also difficult to deal with, should you keep them or let them go?

You may be tempted to recruit candidates that have similar beliefs or have the same set of values like you, but having diverse backgrounds and perspectives will bring in a whole lot of new ideas that worth diving for.

Fill in the gaps in knowledge or skills and further enhance your corporate culture by hiring and grouping people that complement each other.

Read more: Unstructured interviews reflect the unfairness in hiring

Step 3: Define your company values and put them into action

Most companies struggle to identify their core values, or they just choose the generic ones. Many just skip them all together.

This task is not easy and there are no one-size-fits-all values either. Company’s core values, just like their culture, is unique and can become your competitive edge if done right.

The process of value identification is a good opportunity for you to boost employee engagement. By involving the entire organisation in the process, you are giving your employee a voice to shape the company’s identity.

Read more: Employer branding - Have you paid enough attention to your brand strategy?

Once you have listed out your values, you must ensure that they are embedded in the daily business activities. The hiring process, the decision-making process, and the leaders’ actions should be aligned with these set values.

For example, if your organisation values new ideas from the staff at all level then the managers should be easily accessible or the workplace was set up in a way that inspires the employees and their ideas can be easily recorded anytime, anywhere.

Read more: Creating a "team spirit" in your organisation

Step 4: Assess and adjust you culture regularly

Your company’s core values and culture needs constant nurturing and adjustment to suit the changes in staff, company’s policies or other external factors.

The most common method is the annual survey where employees give feedback on the company values, whether they are in line with the daily operations and the employee’s values. The surveys are also a great way to identify current/ potential issues within the organisation that need attention.

Read more: 5 principles of effective organisational coaching

Once you have laid out the foundation for your values and culture, you have to continuously nurture and maintain it. Do not afraid to change your culture if you deem necessary. There are cases where firms succeed in creating a culture while others failed. Be among the successful minority to create a competitive advantage for your firm by knowing your values and sustaining a strong culture.

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