Business owners must be proactive in building a positive company culture. When many entrepreneurs think of company culture, it conjures up thoughts of playing pool in the break room and napping in a conference room. While fun and comfort are important components for building a thriving company culture, there's much more to it than that.
- Hire the Right Employees
It is essential to hire employees that fit in and get along with others. Just because someone is qualified for the job according to their resume doesn't necessarily mean they are going to be a good fit. Hiring for skill alone puts your organization at risk for failure. Choose employees who:
- are team players
- have a proven work ethic
- are creative
- have a personality that is aligned with the company's culture
Although skill is important, it is not the single most important factor to take your organization to the top. A person who is difficult to get along with or doesn't share the company's vision can negatively affect other employees, customers, and the entire organization.
- Welcome Employee Input
Employees value an environment in which their ideas and suggestions are welcomed and cultivated. Employees should be encouraged to share their thoughts and bring their ideas to the table. Collaboration between employees and management allows the business to grow and thrive. If an employee introduces an idea, consider putting them in charge of it. If an employee wants to learn new skills and advance from their current position, make that possible for them. Most employees don't stay in the same job indefinitely. They want to innovate and advance the future of the company, which is a win-win for everyone.
- Create a Comfortable Work Space
A room full of desks and boring workspaces will reduce productivity because employees will simply be sick of the drab surroundings. To avoid this sluggish scenario, it's important to create a comfortable workspace. You want your employees to be productive all day long. In order to accomplish this goal, you could put some bean bag chairs in a corner for employees to take a comfortable break. Pay attention to the lighting and let in natural light when possible. Green plants can also liven up the environment and energize the work area. If you can afford it, an interior designer can arrange an office to maximize space and create a welcoming environment in which employees will look forward to working.
- Make the Company's Vision Clear
A company's vision outlines its values and defines its purpose. Employees must understand the vision because this understanding will guide every decision they make. A good vision statement not only directs employees, but it can also help orient customers, suppliers, and shareholders. A company’s vision statement is a simple, but foundational component of company culture.
- Allow Employees to Become Acquainted
A great way to encourage teamwork and cultivate professional relationships is to provide opportunities for employees to become acquainted. If employees are expected to value and trust one another, they must get to know each other. This goes beyond having an occasional party or get-together. These opportunities need to be incorporated and made a regular part of the work routine. Some ideas to engage employees and provide opportunities to build interpersonal relationships are:
- Hold little rituals at company meetings that encourage socializing
- Have themes for certain days of the week or holidays
- Engage in community projects together
- Hold friendly competitions
Employees can also get acquainted when you celebrate their successes. Recognizing employees for their accomplishments can boost morale and encourage employees to work hard and innovate. This also puts accomplished employees in the spotlight, allowing others to get to know them better.
Running a company is a challenging job. Not only do you have to manage the day-to-day operations, but you must manage a team of employees, resolve conflicts, and make sure everyone is happy at the end of the day. Cultivating a good company culture can be difficult at best. However, if you ignore your company's culture, it will build itself—and you probably won't like the results. Focus on building a good company culture and you will have a greater chance of seeing your business thrive. As your organization grows, your employees will advance and bring fresh ideas to the table that will ultimately lead to continued success and company growth.