Company culture is a significant aspect of the functioning of a business. They are not merely empty words or vague, distant principles, but the reflection of the ways in which you work, how your employees interact with each other, and whether you are still aligned with the goals you set out to accomplish. The internal identity of an organization’s workplace and employee engagement will impact its output and brand value. A strong organization culture can not only attract the right talent, but keep your employees committed to your organization. It transforms what is a formal structure of people into a true team that ensures the well-being of all its members. So, what can you do to translate your company’s core values into the culture that you practice?
Start From the Top
It is hard to get your employees to commit to your company’s culture if you don’t lead from the front. Your commitment is what would set the tone for your employees to acknowledge and immerse themselves in the culture you wish to establish. Sometimes, this could mean some difficult decisions that may require short-term sacrifices. However, these can go a long way in solidifying the ways in which you wish to work and how your organization maintains its brand image and interacts with customers. If employees don’t feel the need to associate themselves with the culture (or are not motivated to do so because senior employees or the leadership do not do so adequately), they will not.
At CtrlS and Cloud4C, the Leadership Circle (CLC), Leadership-in-a-box, and Leadership Dialogues are initiatives that foster a spirit of collaboration, transparency, and trust amongst leaders and between the management and other employees. This includes holding leaders accountable for their decisions and behaviour as much as, if not more, than employees with a zero-tolerance policy.
Some Skin in the Game
Don’t be afraid to spend on initiatives that keep your core values at the front. If you want your company to be known for something, you need to invest in it. For instance, when your brand image is built on quality, it would not make sense to skimp on crucial expenditure. Similarly, when you are looking to establish a certain culture, you need to make decisions that embrace that culture, some of which may require investments greater than alternatives. For instance, you could maintain a positive culture even by spending money on good office furniture to make employees comfortable, or good laptop computers that increase the ease of working at home.
To uphold our values of teamwork and people-centric environment, we conduct many team building activities and reward employees with gifts and recognition for good work done. On-the-spot recognition is one of the initiatives that we employ to make our employees feel valued and have spent huge amounts on it. Additionally, we often encourage and enable our employees to engage in sports and go on team outings to improve the camaraderie between employees. This team spirit then translates to an increase in productivity and better output, which is of much greater value than the expenditure involved in maintaining the culture.
Work For Your Team
As much as your employees commit to your organization’s goal, you must be willing to give back to them. To nurture their goals and aspirations while supporting their short-term needs is a requisite to build their loyalty to your organization and to your aim to make them a cultural fit. Additionally, company culture is not merely a matter of executing a vision and training employees to behave in a certain way, but to inculcate a way of working that accommodates the differences and capabilities of your diverse body of employees. Sometimes, these interests clash and create conflicts, and it is necessary for you to ensure that they are resolved as soon as possible.
Actively Reinforce Your Culture
This may be the most obvious and the least subtle of all the thoughts put forth in this blog. Nevertheless, it is a crucial one. To actively make your employees aware of the company culture and letting them know how they are expected to behave or respond to situations or solve certain problems can simply direct them towards doing so. It would also give them a sense of confidence in the steps they are taking when they know what is expected of them and accepted in your organization. Since they might not agree all the time, it is necessary to keep them updated and aligned with the big picture, or the larger vision that the organization has.
All these steps have helped us stay true to our culture and values. What about you?