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.