In honor of Small Business Week, I’m posting about small companies with BIG culture! We’ll also take a look at a few questions such organizations can ask internally to help grow that culture.
Sometimes culture, culture, culture can feel like “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” With so many voices chiming in on the same dialogue, it can be difficult to know where to begin. That’s where I come in, as Premier Rapport, to help coach, identify, and guide your company’s culture—yes, you do have one, whether intentional or not.
Let’s work together to shape it into something tangible of which you (and your employees) can be proud.
- What is Company Culture?
Company culture is a set of ideals, practices, and beliefs defined by the group of people working within, or directly associated with, your organization. Individual values, skills, and behaviors come together to form one cohesive ideal, not unlike puzzle pieces uniting to display a single image.
When all of the pieces are fitted into place, the image is clear and so is the goal; everything and everyone is aligned. When the pieces are scattered, the image is jumbled, incomplete, and directionless. See where I’m going with this?
Defining company culture within a group of individuals provides a common milestone for all to work towards. Sit down with the members of your team and ask everyone to outline what they perceive as a major characteristic of the organization, even if just in a single word. You may be surprised by what you learn.
- Why Does Company Culture Matter?
Company culture may not rise to the top levels frequently, but it is the native habitat of your employees. How do you view your workforce, as a line item expense or an investment? Typically the intention behind an investment is growth and profit. Regardless of which stance you take your employees will be able to sense your perception, so I know which one I’d choose.
Your employees are the hands which perform tasks and deliver results, they are the mouths speaking about your company in the world, and they are the driving force behind any and all progress. Invest in them, and they will return the favor by investing themselves in the work, in turn driving results and profit.
- How do I shape my company culture?
Strategy is the key when it comes to actively cultivating culture. Employees need to feel valued, included, and engaged—not like just another cog in the wheel—in order to take more pride in their work, resulting in a superior product or service.
Think of it this way: instead of putting in hours to get it done, they are pouring themselves into the project and owning it. There’s a big difference, and both conditions are contagious. Which would you rather have infecting your company?
- How do I maintain my course?
Once you’ve defined your culture, pointed everyone down the same path to success, and proven to your employees that they are valued and respected, what’s left? Maintenance, of course. Just like a diet, it’ll only work as long as you keep at it. Make it a lifestyle, and it’ll stay around (along with your top performers).
- What if I need help?
Lucky you, that’s my job! Premier Rapport offers Cultural Inquiries to help you get started, and Predictive Index Behavioral & Cognitive tests moving forward to ensure you hire the right talent and personalities for the job and the culture you’ve defined. My name is Shelley Smith, and I’d be honored to be your company’s culture consultant.
I look forward to collaborating with you soon.