Company culture isn’t just quotes on the walls, or monthly team lunches. Company culture is the important DNA of a company, where what is expected is communicated and reinforced. While you as a business owner may try to wish or will a strong culture into effect, it takes effort and time to build it. Every business owner knows creating a winning culture is important to their company’s success, but do you know how to get started? The following tips will help you build your own winning culture.
1. Defined company values
Without a definite set of core values, your company lacks direction and is at a high risk of failure. Having a clearly defined set of guiding principles, or mission purpose, is critical to having everyone in your company ‘on the same page’. You, the business owner, must lead by example and live the values out, and in-turn you can expect every member of your team to do the same. When they do live your company values, publicly acknowledge them and reward your team for doing the right things.
2. Just terms, right?
How do you refer to the people who work in and for your business? Do you call them “your employees” or “the team” – we’ve had success in referring to our team, as team members and not employees. While it may be nothing more than a name change, the word member infers belonging and participation and as a result it has helped us create a team-oriented culture. A winning team-oriented culture consists of members striving together to achieve goals, with a clear focus on how each member contributes to the overall success of the company.
3. Trust, the overlooked linchpin
Does your team trust you to back them? Do they trust each other? The truth is that a lack of trust will slow down any work that you do and add increased costs as members feel less encouraged and less enthusiastic about the roles they play in the company’s success. Trust is the linchpin that keeps everyone moving in sync, and if you don’t trust your team or they don’t trust each other – every task becomes much harder. Trust is built over time with responsibility and communication. Even if trust doesn’t currently exist between your team it can be built or restored starting today. It will take time, but it is worth it!
4. Where are we going?
A clearly defined set of written goals will provide all team members with a path to follow for their own growth and how it ties to the success of the company. Goals should be both attainable and yet cause team members to stretch beyond their norm. Celebrating successes along the goal path is important, as well as making sure that everyone understands how the smaller goal successes fit into the larger goal plan. The more the team stretches towards the difficult goals the more competent they become, until the large goals become small. Ensure there are always tougher goals to conquer so that complacency does not become an issue.
With a strong focus on achieving results, every member of the team needs to be both accountable to themselves and hold each other accountable. A winning culture measures performance, learns from any mistakes made, rewards successes and is accountable, not only to themselves and each other but to the goals and the company as a whole.
Once you have all of these measures in place you, your team, and your company will have a winning culture that is unstoppable!