All of the soft and hard skills in the world will not make you successful if your attitude and approach are out of sync from your organization as a whole. That said, how do you build an organization without first building a culture? It’s easy – you can’t.
More and more, employees are not hired based on skill as much as how they will fit into the company culture. That is not to say that skill is no longer important – it just means that culture plays a larger role than before. If your employees do not mesh well with one another, or if they do not align with your values, what good are their skills if they have a poor attitude?
So what is a company culture and how do you go about building one?
First and foremost, there is a careful distinction to be made when laying the groundwork for a valuable company culture. Company culture is often confused with benefits and perks. It is often assumed that by loading up on benefits and perks that a good culture will be the result. While benefits and perks can foster employee happiness, culture is built upon values and purpose. When you coordinate your values throughout all of your work processes, creating a work environment where your team thrives comes naturally.
Establish Your Values Realistically
When defining what you want your company’s values to be, don’t choose them simply based on the premise that they sound good. Instead, choose values based on the importance of how you want your business to run. Look at the people around you – friends, family, peers, existing team members – with whom you find bring value to the table and take note. Whether it be positivity, diligence, or attention to detail that you find most admirable, choose the values that will set your culture up for success.
Bring Your Values Into The Hiring Process
During the hiring process, you do not want to hire based on the idea of “cultural fit” alone. Though your goal is to hire a team that will thrive in the work environment you have created, hiring based on personality and like-mindedness alone will end up stifling your team’s creative ability and insight through a lack of diversity in thinking. Success is often the result of being challenged to think outside-of-the-box; however, there isn’t much room for out-of-the-box thinking if everyone thinks the same. Use your values as the litmus test that will differentiate those who will flourish in your culture and those who will not.
Have Your Values Be The Cornerstone Of On-boarding And Everyday Practice
From day one, there should be no doubt in your employees’ minds what your company values are. Help your team understand how your values align with your vision for your company. Your employees cannot know what is expected of them if you don’t tell them. Share stories with your team. Stories will help your team understand your values, taking them in more quickly. “Your purpose is to make your audience see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. Relevant detail, couched in concrete, colorful language is the best way to recreate the incident as it happened and to picture it for the audience.” -Dale Carnegie
Make Sure You Are Leading From Your Values
One of the most important things about instilling a culture of value is remembering that it begins with you. Management has the immense ability to influence work culture, the more mindful you are of leading from your values, the greater the influence you will have.
Your company culture will require you to tend to it as you would a garden. Sometimes it will be necessary to pull some weeds. Other times it will be necessary to nourish your sprouts so they can grow. With care and communication, your culture will surely flourish.
“You never achieve success unless you like what you are doing.” – Dale Carnegie