High Growth companies know that in order to attract and retain top talent, they have to create an environment where people actually want to work. Over the past few years, what used to be motivators for employees – pay, benefits, perks – have simply become satisfiers. Now employees want to feel like their job matters and work for a company with values similar to their own.
Although focusing on a businesses culture as a differentiator has become a more common practice in the business world, there are still many misconceptions about what culture really means and how to make it successful
Here are a five tips about creating a great culture:
1. It takes more than a pool table and free food.
A lot of companies mistakenly associate culture solely with fun. Don’t get me wrong, having fun at work is important to your employees’ engagement and can help stem burnout. Like most companies with great cultures, have spaces for employees to unwind and build friendships with coworkers. However, fun rooms, free food, and pool tables are just a small part of the equation
While it’s important to have a good time at work, fun has to be combined with an atmosphere of trust, caring and support. Employees should be free to be themselves and feel comfortable sharing their opinions and ideas without fear of retribution. Fun, in and of itself, is not enough to sustain a culture.
2. Culture impacts business success.
Culture and business go hand in hand. Employees who are actively engaged in their job produce better results. In fact, 30 years of research has found that companies who invest in creating people-centric cultures average 50 percent less turnover and grow their profits as much as two times faster than the competition. But the return doesn’t stop there. These companies also experience increased customer loyalty, higher quality job candidates, more brand recognition and increased innovation.
3. Culture doesn’t cost too much.
Let’s be clear, over the long-term you’ll need to invest money into your culture. There’s no way to sustain it without investing in more listening, more communication and more training. But you can start small.
Try sending out surveys and holding focus groups to get a pulse on what employees like and dislike about your company. Listening, being transparent and making changes based on feedback not only ensures you’re making meaningful improvements, but it also helps you build trust more quickly.
4. Leaders are not the only owners of culture.
There’s no way around it, culture has to start at the top. Leadership shapes and sets the tone for what the culture should be within the business. If leaders aren’t invested in creating and maintaining a strong culture, it will become hollow and meaningless and employees will never believe in it.
However, ownership of your culture does not lie exclusively with leaders. It’s true that leaders are essential role models for a company’s culture, but real success comes when you also empower employees to take ownership. By doing so, they become invested in seeing it succeed. When everyone takes an active role in driving the culture it gets even stronger.
5. Culture isn’t created overnight.
People ask us for tips about creating a strong culture and I always remind them that this will not happen overnight. Approach your culture plans the same way you do fir long-term business plans – make goals, develop strategies and tactics, monitor results and hold yourselves accountable. Then every year make changes to stay on track and get better.
Check out our free ebook: How to build a Scale Up Culture Click here to download