Corporate culture is something that is difficult to define, yet we all know it when we experience it – both good and bad. An enterprise that is rich in culture will likely have high-performing individuals who accomplish extraordinary things. Conversely, a company that has a broken culture will struggle mightily to reach even the most attainable of goals.
Culture is either an organization’s greatest asset or most glaring liability. While we all recognize the importance of establishing a strong corporate culture, many still struggle to create it. Here are six ways to ensure the culture you create will be one that underscores and augments the vision of the organization:
1. Hire Right: When bringing new people into the organization, passion always trumps experience. Job skills – and even the promotional products industry itself – can be taught, but caring and passion can’t.
2. Always Communicate: Sit regularly with your team and discuss what is going right and, more importantly, what isn’t. Give your associates the freedom to share in an environment without fear of judgement or repercussion. Great cultures grow around people who listen.
3. Transparency: Share all key initiatives, milestones, and goals with the every person at every level of your organization. Associates want to feel part of something bigger, and by ensuring they understand the strategies and goals of the overall organization, this is accomplished.
4. Celebrate: Take every opportunity to celebrate. While it is important for people to be recognized by leadership, it’s much more important and compelling for them to hear from their peers. Allow coworkers to celebrate each other for supporting the core values of the organization. This is especially important if you have a remote work force.
5. Embrace Differences: Truly great cultures are built on diverse foundations where differences in background, experiences, and interests exist. These differences create the energy for growth.
6. The Long Road: Don’t be handicapped by short-term thinking such as the current month’s sales numbers. Instead, take the long and winding road and look ahead in months or even years. We tend to overestimate what can be accomplished in one year, but underestimate what can be done in three years.
As an organization grows, a strong culture will help keep it on track and in alignment with established core values. By following the above guidelines, you will create an environment where ideas flourish, associates are empowered, and success will be celebrated.