LEADERSHIP

A positive company culture: vital for your business

Harley Weeda, Ninja Expert

16 January 2019

People spend long hours in the office nowadays. Still, many employees have difficulties to see value in their work. This results in underperforming employees, which can be very costly for your company.  How can you make their work valuable? And most importantly: how do you create a  company culture in which they can thrive?


Company culture 101

The culture of a company defines the environment in which employees work. We could see it as the personality of a company.

Company culture includes a variety of elements, including the company’s mission, values, ethics, expectations and goals.

In my opinion, it is very important to work for a company that shares my personal values.  I truly believe that my job is a reflection of who I am as a person.

Therefore, it’s essential for me to work for a company with a positive company culture. I would like to work in a culture where I can flourish. A culture where there is room to learn new tasks, transparency among colleagues and open communication.

In this Insight, I will explain why having a positive company culture is vital for your business.

“Culture is the soul of your organization”

Why a great leader invests heavily in its company culture

Research confirms that having a positive company culture results in various outcomes that are beneficial for your organization.  


Employee engagement
One of the results of having a positive company culture is a higher employee engagement. When employees are more engaged, they are less likely to leave your company. It is always pleasant to see familiar faces in your team, people who don’t have intentions to leave.

I’ll try to give you an idea of have this works. Let’s suggest you are providing different offers to keep me in your company. You could offer me a very high salary. Would be nice… However, it’s probably not enough to ensure my stay. Because what I really want, is being appreciated by the whole team. If you create an environment in which that’s the case, the risk that I’ll leave your company is minimal.


Embracing new ideas
This is another effect of having a positive company culture. If everyone in your team feels cherished, employees are not afraid to come up with new ideas. This leads to innovation for the company, which is really needed in our constantly changing world.


Teamwork
The last effect of having a positive company culture is better teamwork. 

In my opinion, a good team takes each player into account. By making every team member visible as a leader, employees won’t shy away from taking responsibilities.

When you create a positive company culture, there is always room for discussion and you will help each other grow whenever possible. This is beneficial for creating an engaged team in which employees can trust each and everyone. Even if there are big cultural differences between the different employees.

All the outcomes I’ve mentioned above serve a higher purpose for your organization: a higher overall productivity and a leading position in our rapidly-changing world.

The impact of a positive company culture: a closer bond between your employees

Photograph by Rawpixel via Pexels

How to turn your company culture into a success ?

The starting point for turning culture into a success is the same for every leader: identify those aspects that are unique for your company. This should be a short list with just a couple of things that form the core of your company’s DNA, which must align for success. You have to ask yourself questions like: what is the vision of our company, why do we exist, where do we believe in, do we have the right people for the job? Based on an action plan, I will tell you how to turn your company culture into a success.


Identify your current company culture

As you have been reading above: the first step is to identify your current company culture. Is the current company culture still right for your organization or is it time for a change? And when do you change it? Are there certain signs to look for?

Sometimes it’s not very clear whether the company culture is still right for you and your team. In that case, you should look for certain signs. If, as a leader, you’re purely focused on results, it may be time to change your culture. Because something may have worked in the past, doesn’t mean it’s still suitable in todays society.

Lastly, it’s always good to check up on your company culture, when your company has grown a lot in a short amount of time. For example, as a start- up you probably had way different thoughts about which culture was right for your team.  For instance, you created a culture based on fun. But if you look at it now, you will see it’s affecting your leadership position in a bad way. 

 

“Identify those aspects that form the core of your organization”

Select the right people

Since it’s vital for you as a leader to have a team that appreciates your culture, the second step is to select the right people. Therefore, you have to take a critical look at your current team and keep asking yourself these questions: do I have the right people? Do I need to hire new people? How can I improve my current team?

When you decide to hire new people, I recommend you to prioritize attitude above skills. It’s easier to learn new things, than to change someones attitude. If you want to know why, read this Insight.

Personally, I find it very irritating to work with people that always complain about their leaders. Especially when the leaders are genuinely trying to create a positive company culture. These people will have a negative effect on the rest of your team and they will hinder the progress you made so far.

To summarize: it’s always good to be critical and to evaluate your team on a
regular basis.


Make your employees aware of the company’s culture
The third step for you as a leader is to create awareness among your employees. One way to do that is to teach your company values through orientation/training. Hereby your employees get a better understanding of your company culture. Beside that, keep having regular talks with them about the company culture to trigger their awareness.


Measure the results
The last step is to measure the results. If you want to know if your efforts are paying off, how can you measure this?

There are several ways to do that. For instance: employee engagement surveys, employee ratings and review sites. These measures tell you whether you’re on the right track. Because for you as a leader, it’s important to know whether your employees like working for you or not.

One critical note here is to point out clearly to your employees what you want to achieve with the outcomes of the measurements. Always update them in the process, otherwise your measurements will be useless.

 

Are you working together towards your goals?

Photograph by Kaboompics via pexels

Final thoughts

A negative company culture can be a disaster for your business. Luckily, there are many warning signs to be seen. Given that a negative culture can force great employees to leave your company, this must be taken very seriously. But still, even if your  culture is affecting your business, be aware of the fact that you can change it. If you do that, you’ll be surprised about how well your company can perform.

To me, the most valuable lesson for leaders would be to constantly evaluate their company culture. How to do this? By having regular talks with your team, you can identify the values, patterns and behaviour inside your company. This will provide you with valuable information, which you can use to initiate action.

After all, as a leader you have to be aware of how your company’s culture impacts your employees. Even the smallest changes can make a huge difference on a employees performance.

Thanks a lot for reading my Insight. The best of luck with turning your company culture into a success!

 

Harley is Marketing Ninja at Ninjafy and is enthusiastic about exploring other cultures, working out and helping others. Connect with him on LinkedIn. 

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