Corporate culture isn’t just for big, recognized brands like Apple, Ikea, and Google. The employee dynamic that defines a company’s culture is equally important for small businesses and startups. Some small business owners shy away from building a corporate culture, feeling that they’re too busy working on the company, managing payroll, and seeking financing like a business credit line. However, just a few small steps can cultivate a lasting corporate culture. Doing so can help reduce employee turnover, increase productivity, and create an environment where employees feel encouraged to bring their best ideas to the table.
Start with a Meaningful Mission
Understanding the “why” of your company defines your mission and purpose. As the business owner, your personality and core values will inform how you want your company to function and the culture that best fits your brand.
Consider questions like: Who or what was your business created to serve? What principles or standards does your company want to uphold? Employees are more motivated when they feel like their work does something important and what they do aligns with their values.
Hire the Right People
If you interview someone with impressive skills but a poor attitude, you’re setting the stage to hurt your corporate culture. Just because someone is qualified for a job on paper doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right fit for the company. Attitude and character should be prominent factors in your hiring decisions. Skills can be taught, but the right employee should fit within your company’s core values.
You should also seek out hires who complement you, rather than being carbon copies of you. Identify where your strengths and weaknesses are, and hire employees who fill those gaps.
Encourage Growth and Development
Once you’ve hired the right people, how you treat them is a reflection of company culture. Keep staff motivated and decrease turnover by providing opportunities for skill development and professional growth. Define clear avenues for career progression, and support highly motivated employees in their quest to grow within the company. Leadership development programs, additional training, educational seminars, or helping employees pay for tuition or certification are all great ideas for supporting your employees.
In addition to providing opportunities for career growth, you should also actively encourage staff members to bring their ideas to the table. It’s important to remember that you can get everyone’s insights and opinions without having to follow the consensus. Even if every idea isn’t implemented, employees feel valued and more loyal when they’re involved in decision making and encouraged to share their ideas. If the ideas are practical or helpful, take steps to implement them. Showing appreciation when employees offer insight will encourage them to share in the future.
Having fun and encouraging a good work-life balance goes a long way to building a winning corporate culture. Even small perks increase employee happiness, which in turn makes them more loyal and productive. You can spruce up the workspace with donuts at the morning meeting, free snacks in the breakroom, or plants and other thoughtful, visual features added throughout the workspace.
Team-building events like bowling nights, breakout rooms, or scavenger hunts give coworkers and supervisors the opportunity to get on the same level. Find ways to engage employees in activities outside of work, and they’ll be more motivated to work hard for your business.
Lead by Example
A winning corporate culture comes from the top down. Find ways to interact, communicate, and work alongside the team you’ve built, knowing that your words and actions have a profound impact on the work environment.
Building and sustaining your corporate culture takes time. Having access to the business financing you need can help you achieve goals like providing employee perks and training opportunities. To learn more about your options, contact the experts at Value One or call 855-248-5050 today.