This article was written by Upper Hand Founder & CEO Kevin MacCauley and originally published by Inside Indiana Business on June 5, 2019.
Importance of a Thriving Company Culture
In today’s world, a thriving company culture has become a new standard in today’s evolving workforce.
Company culture serves as the personality of your brand and defines the environment that employees work. More than 50 percent of executives believe maintaining a positive company culture is vital to running a successful business as it positively influences productivity, creativity, profitability, firm value and growth rates.
Culture has the power to turn employees into advocates. Values have the power to attract talent. Together, they hold the power to grow your business.
Whether you’re in the process of building a high-performing culture or identified an aspect to change, one thing is guaranteed: it will drastically impact the overall success of the company with the possibility of driving revenue up by 33 percent. But it won’t happen overtime. To better understand how company culture can influence a business, it’s necessary to first understand the key drivers that will help your company retain and maintain a successful company culture.
Key Steps on Implementing and Maintaining Company Culture
Start Building Company Culture by Identifying Core Values
The backbone of every company culture is its vision and mission, which describe how the business survives and remains relevant in the marketplace. However, these do not necessarily embody the values of the company’s employees. Many times, company leaders are too focused on the mission that they forget to establish values that serve as guidelines of how employees are expected to lead, behave and communicate. In addition, these values serve as major drivers in new business, talent acquisition and more.
Establishing values cannot be done by a founder and CEO alone. It needs to be created and cemented as group. To do this, brainstorm as a team to develop values – or mantras – that everyone firmly believes in and is committed to practicing daily to support each other, clients and the company as a system. Identifying these core values can transform employees into brand advocates who will promote and contribute to your company’s mission.
Spread Positive Culture by Implementing Value-Based Hiring
Once core values are established, companies can leverage them to help build a culture to be proud of by implementing value-based hiring practices. Gaining popularity amongst employers, value-based hiring focuses on identifying how well a candidate’s passions and competencies align with the organization’s values during the hiring process.
Let’s say your company’s values are trust, teamwork, passion, and commitment. By tailoring interview questions around those core values opposed to generic competency questions, employers can identify traits in candidates that are tied to long-term organizational success. In fact, research found 88% of the organizations with values-based recognition programs in place indicated they believed they were getting a strong return on investment in the form of employee retention and performance.
Practice Your Culture by Leveraging The “Coaching” Complex
For CEOs or C-Suite executives, this piece of the puzzle is absolutely crucial to maintaining a successful company culture. As a leader, you should strive to not only embody and cultivate the culture, but also guide others and offer support on their path. As a former baseball coach-turned-CEO, I quickly learned how to integrate skills I learned from coaching into my leadership style.
This practice focuses on leveraging communication practices that boost employee engagement, which has been found to be instrumental for today’s most successful workplaces. Whether communicating the organization’s mission, clarifying the business strategy or simply inquiring about an employee’s life, establishing two-way communication can make a tremendous impact on the company’s culture and drive employee engagement.
Instill Company Culture by Building a Community
Finally, fostering a thriving company culture entails building a community by breaking down departmental silos and cultivating communities amongst employees. This can be accomplished by ingraining creative, explorative and collaborative mindsets into daily or weekly workflows.
This can be as easy as incorporating weekly brainstorm sessions or creative workshops that encourage employees to break away from their normal day-to-day tasks to create something different. Employees feel supported with the encouragement to experiment, and it eliminates any potential destructive organizational barriers.
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