“A company’s culture is the foundation for future innovation. An entrepreneur’s job is to build the foundation.”
— Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb
When we say “culture,” we think about a specific group of people sharing common values, beliefs, language, manner of speaking, attitude, and many more. This includes daily approaches to living and mechanisms in order to survive that thrive.
Companies too have specific internal practices, work attitudes (also pertaining to work ethics), external branding, and many more. Considering these and the people it comprised of, culture in the workplace is dynamic and every-changing. Given these, how do you achieve a company culture that thrives? Here are the 7 ways to drive great work culture:
1. What is your why?
Ask yourself: Why is your company established in the first place? Who do you want to serve? How do you view your employees? From zero to one thousand, what are your goals to achieve within and outside the company?
Your why is important because it affects your company, your employees, and the actions and projects you make. Everything should be long-term here, because with great values established, your people will transcend these to one another and eventually be efficient and reliable.
2. Hire the right people
In this competitive job market, there is not shortage of talented candidates out there, but you should aim to hire people who are genuinely interested to be part of the team. You don’t want to be a halfway house for an employee’s journey toward his or her own career goals. During the interview, make sure you ask the right questions. Find out what they are truly passionate about, what inspires them, and why they chose to be in this field.
3. Listen, understand, and react
Once you have the right people, it’s important to encourage open communication frequently and find out what is working and what isn’t. Your company can only go far without learning from mistakes and analyze your losses. A healthy company culture is one that acknowledges problems and react to them fast before things get worse. In addition, you should create a safe space for your employees to feel comfortable with sharing their honest feedback without fear of repercussion.
Learn to listen to others, especially if they’re working for you. Great cultures thrive around people who listen, not just to their clients or shareholders but more importantly, listen to those who keep the company running smoothly.
4. Reject negativity
Don’t let your culture be ruined by negative people. One of the most destructive type of people is the complainer. Complainers aren’t necessarily verbal with their dissatisfaction. They don’t voice out their concern as constructive feedback in a meeting and try to solve the issue for good. Instead, they spread negative rumours around, causing doubt, and eventually hurt the company’s morale.
It’s never an easy task to get rid of people in the company, but you should focus on the bigger picture and do what’s good for the team. Sometimes, these people simply aren’t good to keep. Know the difference between constructive criticism and relentless complaining.
5. Work hard, play hard
To establish a good work culture, it requires a good work ethic.
“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
— Marc Anthony
Instill the mindset of having a superior work ethic, a deadline is a deadline. No many businesses these days thrive on a 40-hour work week. Cultivate a culture where everyone in the company understands that long hours are inevitable sometimes. But, make sure you recognize their sacrifices and reward them fairly.
6. Be inclusive
Being inclusive means not judging people based on a specific trait or anything that is unusual. The key to inclusion is having a needs assessment for your employees. What assistance do they need apart from the benefits that you give? Are some of them suffering from mental illnesses which they’re not aware of?
Remember, prioritizing your employees’ wellness is an investment. If they find themselves healthy and productive, they will surely choose to stay each time they are being offered other opportunities.
7. Lead by example
“Practice what you preach,” as most people would say. If the leader of the group doesn’t do what he/she is supposed to do, and focuses on negativity and mere “passing” of responsibilities, the work culture will be toxic. Leaders are supposed to work with their constituents. This means, you are supposed to immerse yourself in the workflow—not just being the final approver.
Make it work, and lead by example. Demonstrate the things you would want to see—professionalism, empathy, great work ethics, accountability, and many more. Name it. Without action, there would be no growth.
8. Create a fun space
In advance research and academic buildings, they are designed in a way that promotes as much interaction as possible. These spaces are put together in a way where people from different departments will come together and gather in a common leisure space. The reason behind it is simple: interaction and collaboration help create innovations.
You’ve known many ways to drive great work culture from above, but what do these things have to do in your career? Why do we have to achieve great work culture? Simply put, employees need to feel that they’re on the right company based on what they set for themselves. In other words, growth should be holistic and encompassing—it’s not just about good pay, your employers need to feel satisfied and happy.
Always remember, they’re humans, too, and deserve to be happy, treated equally, and understood. Strive to be a company that does not just offer good pay, but healthy (and great) work culture as well. Never too late to change something you find bad or something that needs improvement!z