Are you an entrepreneur that happens to be struggling with taking his/her company forward? Well, you’re certainly not alone. Thousands of startups emerge every single year, but only a few manage to expand their wings. The rest remain marinating in their mediocrity. Have you ever wondered why they fail to stand the test of time?
If you are able to identify with the latter, then chances are you too have paid little attention to an important aspect that plays a crucial role in the success of a startup. We are talking about one vital thing that entrepreneurs (and sometimes even big corporations) tend to overlook - the Work Culture.
Culture-driven companies put their employees as their priority. Your employees will only take care of your customers if you take care of them. However, most modern businesses are stuck with the product first, customer second and the employee last approach. This does more harm than what looks like on the surface. If a work culture like this is set, everything from your hiring to customer relations is jeopardized.
Don’t get us wrong though! Many entrepreneurs or for that matter, even managers are aware of the problem and have tried to improve it. The result is that they start acting like wordsmiths. They start ‘decorating’ the entire workplace by putting their values in sophisticated frames and hanging them on every wall they can find. This is incredibly unfortunate! We say that because these words keep echoing on company meetings and events, but the actions of the managers/CEOs fail to align with the same words.
We take a look at our 5-Step Guide to Build a Winning Company Culture:
1. Learn from the past
The most important thing that cannot go unmentioned is ‘Learning From Your Past’. This should serve as the basis when planning a work culture strategy. Factor in the experiences from your previous ventures and recall what went wrong. There isn’t a greater teacher than your own past mistakes.
However, if you happen to be on your maiden journey then take cues from the organizations you worked for in the past. What did the work culture there made you feel like? Did you feel appreciated? Did you even like going to work? These questions will help you get a better idea of what your company will be like.
2. A Work Culture Based On Your Core Values
It is imperative that you create a work culture that echoes your core values. Since you are the pilot that drives this plane, you get to choose what the core values of the company will be. If you fail to have people who share the same focus and enthusiasm, you’ll be preparing for it to crash.
Are you someone who identifies with the ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality? Or you’re perhaps someone who is more laid back. It is essential for your brand to echo your personality. It is the only way your employees will be able to resonate with it.
We strongly recommend taking some time to identify who you really are. Once you’re able to get in touch with your personality, your brand should reflect the same. After all, it is the vibe you radiate onto the people around you. This is the same vibe that your HRs need to be looking for when hiring a candidate. You will eventually be able to build a team of like-minded people that will be more compatible when working collectively for the same goals.
3. Realize The Importance Of Assessment
Almost everyone has ‘problem solver’, ‘team player’ or perhaps ‘people’s person’ on their resume. However, you do need to be certain of these qualities before you hire someone in your team. It is imperative for you to hire the candidates that will be compatible with the work culture that you’re trying to build.
It makes up for a wise choice to screen for candidates that naturally share the same values right in the interview process. An online assessment platform can immensely benefit you with that. These online assessment tests will help you get a deeper insight to the person. You will get a better idea of how the candidate is likely to perform when introduced to specific situations.
There are a plethora of such platforms that can help you to examine the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate precisely.
4. Work As A Team
We cannot emphasize the importance of this one enough! Like we mentioned earlier, your team should collectively work towards the same goal – the development of the company. If your employees/departments fail to synchronize when it comes to the core values, then a productive work culture will cease to exist. Additionally, it is imperative for you never to let your departments engage in an internal competition which will further bridge the gap between your team.
Encourage the collective effort whenever possible! Your company’s brand voice can be congruent only if the different departments are able to work collectively. Failing to do that will negatively impact your customer experience which could reflect in your revenues. Many CEOs/Managers have tried to address the issue by making it mandatory for different departments to meet once a week or sometimes a month. However, employees tend to see it more like a chore rather than an opportunity for the development of the company.
5. Emphasize The Principles In The Company’s Managing System
Lastly, do not keep yourself from introducing the company’s core values into how you manage the company. What we essentially mean by that is you need to reward the employees that are in alignment with your company’s principles. You might also want to discourage the ones defying the rules, if not punish them.
This is important because if an employee defying the guidelines is never questioned or perhaps even manages to get promoted regardless, it will end up negatively affecting the other employees. Once they see no consequences of failing to adhere to your rules, they are less likely to take the work culture seriously.
This 5-Step Guide to Build a Winning Company Culture will ensure that your startup is one of the only 10% of companies that manage to make it big. In all honesty, creating a positive work culture is a relatively easy job. The more complicated you make it, the more you will end up discouraging your employees from adhering to these principles. Remember, that you also need to unlock the cage if you want the bird to fly.
Prabhash Bachhuwan is a content marketer who is an active contributor for Mettl‘s blog. The one who believes there is no sharper sword than the pen. The one who flows with the wind, intricately lacing words with emotions. A yet to evolve person whose creativity culminates through writing and smiles.