Company culture is what makes a company solid, since everyone is holding onto the same belief of what the organization is aiming for. Unfortunately, leaders often fail to recognize and maximize functional parts of an organization’s culture, despite the fact that culture is key to unlocking a company’s highest potential. So, how to actually develop and nurture an authentic company culture? Company culture often develops organically as the business grows, but there needs to be an emphasis on authentic culture, as it leads to a more positive vibe and happy employees.
Here are 7 keys on nurturing an authentic company culture that will make work both fun and rewarding, both for you and your employees.
If you are a leader, who you are at your core will lay the foundation of your company. If you are determined to be enthusiastic and are behaving that way, it is not surprising if your company culture follows suit. This is why instead of copying what your competitors have as their culture, you should build your own authentic one and the leader of your company, be it yourself or someone else, should be a good example. Emulating another company’s culture is a great way to wind up with one that you will not relate to — or like. It will also feel manufactured and fake to everyone around you. Remember, there’s no such thing as the “wrong” culture, but if you build one based on someone else’s ideals, you will lose your company’s identity in the long run.
A leader’s personality is not the sole factor that defines a company culture. You will eventually recruit people who are similar to you but not identical to you. That is a positive development. Some entrepreneurs make the mistake of hiring only those who look and speak like them, assuming that this will help maintain culture and continuity. In fact, a lack of variety, be it in terms of viewpoints, backgrounds, or skill sets, will impede growth.
So, how can you find people who strike the right balance between fitting in with the company culture and contributing something exceptional? You can get along with practically any personality over time as long as everyone is going in the same direction. To put it another way, you must have a similar goal.
When employee performance goals are unclear, even the best innovations may not have the potential to create a positive impact. This is why streamlined communication is key to building a good company culture. Supervisors and managers who connect with employees and promote a positive learning and workplace culture are critical to breaking down these obstacles. HR and training managers should ask themselves this question: “What in our company culture is getting in the way of employee development, and what can we do to overcome those barriers?”. The HR department plays a role by providing supervisors and managers a leadership training to guarantee that they are competent in managing the workforce. It is a combination of training, coaching, performance support, and employee assessment that goes into developing an innovation culture that is authentic to each company.
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Regardless of your intelligence or achievements, executives and managers don’t know everything and will never have the collective brainpower, knowledge and insights of each employee. It requires humility to recognise that great ideas come from everyone. As a leader, you need to take a closer look at what your employees have to say, including interns and new hires. Indeed, they may be young and new to the industry, but their ability to keep up with the latest trends and fresh ideas may just help to shape your company culture into a better one. Be open to improvement, change, innovation and then make sure to give credits where it belongs to. It is amazing how trust can be built by giving honest praise to the true sources of good things.
As companies grow bigger, it often makes sense for them to acquire other companies. Merger and acquisition happens then and now and you may be thinking of one. Any company you decide to acquire will have a different culture from yours, since no two cultures are exactly alike. Many businesses deal with this difference by instituting extensive onboarding and training programs that don’t do much to change culture and often instill resentment.
To avoid this, vet potential acquisitions based not just on their financials or human resources, but also on their shared values. If they are entirely dissimilar to your own, you will probably lose a lot of the value you are hoping to gain in the process of trying to stitch the two contradictory cultures together. On the other hand, if the company’s culture is different from yours in a way that seems harmonious, it is probably a good choice. Then, once the acquisition happens, instead of trying to force the new company’s culture to blend seamlessly with your own, embrace it and let it unfold naturally. Don’t go charging in, giving marching orders; let them continue to do what they do well and offer autonomy along with support.
Innovation is not necessarily changing the existing culture, but rather making it better. In order to provide a learning environment, innovation is equally important. Innovation must be ingrained in a company’s DNA, and if it is not, an innovation culture must be established. Creating an innovation culture entails encouraging employees to ask questions, exercise intellectual freedom, and seek new perspectives on existing problems and programs. Using the phrase “why not” rather than “why” to respond to a query is also an element of cultivating an innovation culture.
Everyone wants to be recognized for their efforts in achieving a positive company accomplishment. Rewards and recognition programs can motivate employees by serving as a token of appreciation for their hard work. Along with the financial incentive, it is anticipated that they continue to work and progress. Reward and recognition programs should be included into the workplace culture as part of the retention strategy. Companies must constantly redesign and reformulate how they value their people to keep up with changing business demands.
It will be unethical if employees put in a lot of effort to contribute to the company’s success but do not receive adequate recognition, particularly from their supervisors and peers. As a result, awards and recognition are a critical component of achieving a people-centered company culture, which will ultimately contribute to the overall success of the company.
Company culture is not the sort of thing that you can control the way you might be able to control your product pipeline, office location or employee salaries. However, it is surely something you can shape and nurture. Becoming authentic and staying true to what everyone in the company believes will get your business thriving in the long run. It will help the team come together to define a belief which everyone agrees to uphold. If you do this right, it will be well worth the effort you put in.