When you look at successful companies, the fruits of their labor are usually pretty obvious. You can see it in their stock price, profits, acquisitions, and many other ways. Although understanding why a company is successful might be difficult to ascertain, there are a few things that almost always contribute to that success. Successful companies employ individuals who effectively allocate their time, effort, and resources to propel their companies to the top. It's not just great people, though, it's their environment as well.Smart business leaders understand that a culture enjoyable for both employees and clients alike can take a company from good to great. They work hard to create a strong, successful culture and ensure it is consistent across the entire company. Here’s how you can do the same for your team and clients:
As a business leader, the vision of your company culture begins with you. You start to formulate ideas of what sort of work environment you would like to have, how you want your team to interact with you and with each other, and everyone’s general attitude as they work together on a daily basis. Whatever you may envision for the culture of your company, you need to make sure it aligns with what your employees envision. That is why it is important to seek their input and figure out their goals and expectations regarding the company culture. After all, your employees are going to be the ones directly benefiting (or suffering) from the culture that you create, so it is best to hear their thoughts and take them into consideration. It can also be helpful to seek input from your clients. Being an unbiased third party, they can be a great source of useful information. A good company culture begins with the thought of just one person, but it does not come to fruition without the collaboration of the entire team.
You may have come up with perfect culture to fit your company, but it will only work as planned if everybody is aware of it. Because of this, you must explicitly lay out the aspects of your company culture for all employees. You should create a formal document that outlines your company’s culture and values and issue it to all employees. This is an effort not only to educate employees on the desired company culture but to hold them accountable for any violations. A good example of such a document would be the Zappos culture book.Additionally, this document should be made available to all of your clients. It is important for them to fully understand what your company values so they can get a better idea of who they are doing business with. Once they understand your culture business meetings are bound to run smoother because they understand where you and your company are coming from. Formally documenting your company culture will convey the idea that you are transparent and trustworthy across the board.
Establishing a culture and communicating it to others is vital to the success of any company. It is equally as important to make sure that nobody’s commitment to the culture deteriorates over time. For that reason, you should make it a part of everyone’s daily work life. Paint your walls to reflect the culture, reference it in emails, include elements of it in your marketing, etc. Subtle daily reminders such as these will help reinforce your company’s culture and ensure that the values you have worked so hard to instill in all of your employees do not fade away.
While it is important to have a firm foundation of core beliefs and values upon which to build your company culture, the culture itself must not be too rigid. Circumstances change, and so should your culture. The culture that you create must be flexible enough to adapt to the new circumstances, but stable enough that employees and clients do not get lost in the constant change. While the manifestations of your core values may alter as time progresses, the values themselves should never waver. Indeed, building a company culture takes a concerted effort across many fronts. Bringing the vision of your company culture to life is an arduous but necessary process because an energetic and uplifting work environment rarely (if ever) occurs naturally. While the process is difficult and requires painstaking attention to detail, you will find that the end result will yield great dividends throughout the life of your company.