Culture is a buzz word, and a term that everyone seems to be talking about these days. But have you ever stopped to think, really think, what culture is, why it is important and why it matters?
Well, culture is that important. In essence it is the personality of your company, who you are, what you stand for, what you value, and how you act.
It matters because it’s how employees, customers, partners, vendors decide if your company is a good fit for them, if they can succeed with your company, and if they believe in who you are and what you stand for. Your culture is what differentiates you from your competition.
It impacts productivity, efficiency, revenue and so much more. Putting the time and energy into developing and communicating your culture will bring a strong return on investment.
Because the truth is you have a culture whether you know it or not. Whether you define your culture or not, you are sending some sort of message to your customers, your employees, your partners and your vendors. And if you want your culture to reflect the right message, then you need to decide what your culture is, and create the structure to ensure it sends the right message.
4 Strategies To Build A Culture That Works
- Vision, Mission, Value – first you need to know who you are and what you stand for. In other words, define your vision, your mission and your values. Your vision is your dream for your company, what you hope to accomplish one day; you mission is how you choose to accomplish it, the products and services you offer; and your values are the guiding principles you use to deliver on your vision mission, in essence the how.
By defining your vision, mission and values you clearly communicate what your company believes in.
- Ownership – once you define the culture you need to ensure you have created an environment that invites everyone to participate in it. In other words, take ownership of your culture. People support what they help create, their ideas and their opinions. So, you have to make sure you create an environment that invites people to share their voices, and to be heard.
- Opportunities – once people buy into your culture, and they believe in your vision, they want to help you grow your company and you have to create the opportunity. You need to provide ways for people to learn and develop, both formal and informal. Everything from traditional training, to mentoring, to coaching. If you invest in your people, they will invest in you.
- Transparency – the more you share with your team, the more they will understand. The more they understand, the better decisions they will make, the more productive they will be. Think about what your team needs to know, what information would be helpful for them to have, and what details about the company you can share. Knowing the company history, the goals, the financials etc. will give employees a sense of belonging to the company which will transfer into increased performance.
Culture is critical to success. In fact, 95% of today’s Fortune 500 CEOs believe that culture is crucial in their ability to grow, yet less than fifteen percent of them feel they have a strong enough culture to deliver results. If you follow these steps, if you put these strategies in place, you will build a culture that delivers results.