A great company culture runs so much deeper than perks and good times. Sure, a fun caring team and flexible working hours are great and appreciated, but it’s just not enough to keep some of the best employees. For a great culture to truly be great, it must have behaviours, practices, and systems running in alignment with the organisation’s values. If you’ve heard a ‘but’ after your great culture, then one of these elements needs improvement before you start to lose your shining stars.
Every organisation has values and it is up to the leaders to practice what they preach or else those values will not be respected down the chain. For example, if a company’s value is ‘trust’, but a leader tends to micro-manage or control his/her staff. Or if a value is ‘innovation’, but a leader is too worried to try anything new. Contradicting behaviours like these will confuse and demotivate staff hence why it is so important to set clear expectations for everyone and honour your values.
Whether it be consistent meetings or offsite company events, practices need to be actioned to connect your employees and help your culture grow. However, these practices need to be refreshed and reactive to the changes in your organisation. Even an annual meeting on a tropical island can become meaningless if it wasn’t thought out properly.
Poorly constructed processes can put a damper on your culture, but there’s a huge amount of evidence proving that well constructed processes and procedures actually improve team culture. By clarifying processes you can set clear outcomes and boundaries, this allows your team to be more productive and therefore improves morale. Quality systems include goal setting, feedback processes, development plans, and rewards. These systems cater to the well being and growth of your staff and aids in creating the culture you’re after.
Creating a culture is definitely something that requires time – it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes building trust and understanding the people in your organisation. Respond to their needs, and you’ll be more likely to keep them around.