It is perhaps surprising that many companies do not really understand the real meaning of “company culture.” A great company culture can transform an average or mediocre company into a top performer in its category. So, what does creating a company culture mean? Company culture embraces the attitudes, values, beliefs and standards that define the purpose and goals of the company. Company culture in marketing agencies is embodied in the values and vision of the founders and the employees. A great company culture can lead to business growth by positively impacting upon the company’s levels of productivity and profit. Given the importance of a great company culture there is a related question that springs to mind, how do you create a great company culture?
Below are five lessons for creating a great company culture from five of the world’s best companies.
1. Only hiring people who fit the culture
Undoubtedly, the employees represent the image of the company. Employees can easily create a negative impression of the company in the eyes of the public. A single bad hire can affect the entire company and possibly the entire chain of the company. Zappos is best known for adopting a culture that ensures the people hired are precisely the right ones. When recruiting, the managers mostly focus on the person’s fit to the organization’s culture. New employees are well compensated if they decide to quit early if the feel that they are unfit for the job. As a result employees are always happy with what they are doing and feel that they ‘fit in’ at the company. This has greatly contributed to the great recognition and productivity of the company.
2. Ensuring that staff know the mission and values
Before making the decision to employ a new member of staff you should ask them the following question, “Exactly why do you want to work for this company?” Their answer will tell you whether they really know what the company stands for. For example, Facebook has ensured that their employees share the same goals; to connect people everywhere and ensure the world is open. An employee who is committed to the mission and values of the company will remain happy, loyal and productive.
3. Being open to good suggestions from all staff
Employees feel most appreciated when they know that their voices can be heard. A ‘Senior-Management-versus-the-Staff’ mentality is not conducive to a positive company culture. As founder or managing director you should engage your staff in meaningful debates that may yield better decisions; this will not only make them feel appreciated, it will also heighten their morale as well. Google execute this strategy well. Google openly publicised the fact that Google News Tools were created by a scientist in the company rather than being the result of a management initiative. This openness to employee suggestions is one of the reasons why Google is still dominant in the marketplace.
4. Creating teamwork – all staff must know that you are a team
It will be necessary to have a few boundaries between the senior management and junior employees but you must always acknowledge that you are one team and not a collection of individuals. This inclusive approach will elevate the employees’ motivation and improve their productivity. Apple has created and maintained a team-based approach as part of their company culture and this contributed to their continued success.
5. Open communication for a better company design
A culture that freely allows for communication is proven to be conducive for organisational growth. Every employee wishes for a working environment where they are not denied the freedom to air their grievances or raise their opinions. Building a good company design together with your staff will mean that the culture of the company becomes more entrenched and is projected externally to the public. The Virgin Group has been very successful in building a culture strong enough and flexible enough to appeal to its 50,000 employees in over 400 companies worldwide.
A good company culture should also include rules, processes and procedures designed to benefit the company and the employees and should be consistent with the mission and values of the company.
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