Company culture is now recognized as one of the most important components of a business. It wasn't always so. But during the past two decades, perhaps in part due to employees' increasing demand for more than a wage, but also an enhancement of their lifestyle, a firm's culture is recognized as a key asset and challenge. Although there are myriad strategies and theories about what the key components of a company's culture are, the concept can be simplified to a readily understandable three clear functions:
- Identity – How do your employees view your firm? Deadline-oriented, lackadaisical, punitive, fair-minded, etc.? An employee entering the office feels these attitudes every day, and it matters.
- Retention – Employees of a company with a known creative and positive culture will both want to work there and reduce turnover by sticking around longer.
- Brand development – Culture spreads. If employees are happy, customers will notice. Southwest Airlines and Google are noticeably positive examples of this phenomenon.
- Take the serious time necessary to define or revise your company's mission and values.
- Put team recognition and employee events at the top of your list.
- Open the door wide for feedback.
- In the end, the CEO and the Board are responsible for cultural success.
ConclusionThere are always valid reasons why companies noted as a Best Place to Work seem to find consistent success. Most of these companies follow the guidelines above to build and continually improve their company cultures. As mentioned, strong cultures enable their employees to perform their best and to feel good about themselves at work. There is no magic pill, but a whole set of instruction manuals, and a lot more common sense, for building a strong culture. Pick one and give it a go.
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