As business leaders, our focus tends to be on our bottom line. After all, many of us went into business to bring our products and services to the world.
But without our employees, we have little hope of reaching those goals, and we sabotage ourselves when we don’t consider their needs or align them with our vision. That’s why finding ways to create a positive company culture is so essential.
Establish a Mission, Vision, and Values
A company with no identity can’t have a culture. The best way to establish a company’s identity is to establish its goals and values. This is where creating mission, vision, and value statements becomes valuable to a company.
- A mission statement establishes a company’s goals and how it wants to achieve them. (Example: Google’s mission statement is, “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”)
- A vision statement looks ahead to where the company wants to be in the future (Example: Google’s vision statement is, “To provide access to the world’s information in one click.”)
- A values statement establishes standards that a company wants to emphasize, such as inclusivity, transparency, equality, etc.
Knowing where your company stands on each of these three things will inform how you interact with employees and give everyone a mutual direction.
Create Engagement Opportunities
As an employee, the expectations of those above you dictate your workday. If they only expect you to perform, you might not see as great a need to engage in a company’s culture.
This is why your company’s expectations should lead the way toward creating a positive environment. The best way to do this is to create opportunities for employees to engage with the larger company. Here are a few ideas:
- Emphasize working in teams.
- Have company-wide events and activities.
- Create after-work socialization opportunities.
- Open doors to employee feedback.
- Publicly recognize employee work.
- Establish an open-door policy with leadership.
- Encourage employees to recognize others’ work.
Not all engagement opportunities have to be social. Even practical policies like employee-wide equipment training can have benefits for company culture by giving employees shared experiences.
Emphasize Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance has been getting more emphasis in recent years. And this is good news for company culture. Creating healthy boundaries between one’s work and personal life allows a business to treat employees not as working automatons but as human beings with wants and needs. Having worker needs at the forefront of managers’ minds opens the door to a more positive work culture.
Start at the Top
A company’s culture should center around its employees, but that doesn’t mean that owners should be aloof from it. As a leader, you set the tone for your company.
Therefore, one of the best ways to establish a positive company culture is to exhibit the values you want your business to reflect. Standing with your employees will make them love working for you.
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