Which characteristics do we value in our employees?
Communicate your values
Now you’ve nailed down your values, you must communicate them to your people. Only when this is done can they translate into company culture.
One way of doing this is to get your people together for an afternoon and communicate your values in an engaging and inspiring way. Invite them to participate - this way they’ll be more likely to engage with your vision and contribute towards building your new culture.
Going forward, ensure projects and initiatives are underpinned by these culture-relevant values. And be certain to communicate them at every employee onboarding.
Hire for cultural add
Hiring the right people is an important way of building a strong company culture.
Which makes hiring for culture fit seem like a great idea. You ask candidates what they value in a company and gauge if they align with your culture or not.
Instead, hire for culture add. Ask what candidates can bring to your SME that will move your culture in the right direction.
How does your culture define success?
The way a business defines, measures and rewards success says a lot about its culture.
Agree how you will measure company and individual performance. Think also about the way your definition of success reinforces your culture.
Will you reward employees for hitting targets, or award them bonuses for passing certain levels of turnover? What about customer satisfaction or cost-reduction? Each type of measurement sends a message of its own and affects the way your culture develops.
Transparency helps improve trust and satisfaction for your employees. It’s also an important component of a strong culture.
Running a business is not always plain sailing, so don’t try and hide the low points. Instead, celebrate the highs and analyse the lows, consulting with staff about where things have gone wrong and what can be done to improve them in the future.
Be transparent about your successes too; be sure to share any upturns in revenue, exciting achievements and business-growth.
Do what you say you're going to do
Building a strong company culture is about practicing what you preach. Company values are only worth something when you put them into practice.
If you say you're a 'people-first' company, demonstrate this by investing in your people. Failing to deliver on your promises creates a distrustful and disloyal culture.
Live up to your promises and you'll be rewarded with a strong culture and a happy, engaged and motivated team.