In Part I of this article, you read about what company culture is and how having a positive company culture can contribute to a company’s success.
So, what does it take to cultivate the ideal company culture?
Top 6 tips to attain your desired company culture
1. Define the desired culture
The first step to creating one’s desired company culture is to define this culture, which comes from having a vision or conviction about what one’s dream organisational environment is like.
Once this has been decided, the tenets of said vision, such as the mindsets that come with it and the values that the company finds most important, need to be clearly put down and underlined.
Some of the common cultures corporations adopt are as follows:
- Team-first corporate culture, where employees’ happiness is the top priority,
- Elite corporate culture, where the company only hires the best and expects a lot of innovation,
- Horizontal culture that is all about collaboration and is common among startups,
- Conventional corporate culture that focuses on hierarchies and finally,
- Progressive corporate culture, where the company is in transition and there are many uncertainties.
The mindsets and values mentioned above will have to be crafted with a clarity of purpose as they are one of the most important roots in a company.
2. Teach employees about it
One of the ways of establishing company culture is through explicitly teaching it to one’s employees. This can be done through orientation programmes or training sessions for new talents. It is similar to school camps and orientations that are conducted to help participants fit in better.
Usually, such training will include sharing sessions amongst colleagues and provide them with opportunities to work together.
3. Lead by example
The managers and the management team of a company have to set a good example for employees to believe in the company vision and culture. Building organisational culture takes time and is not something that can be achieved through just a few disparate actions.
The management team has to embody the culture they wish to promote—they have to lead by example. Junior staff will observe their actions and will learn from them. This is why decisions made in the company and words said should be aligned with the envisioned culture.
4. Align everyone
It is also important to align everyone in the company with the identified culture. The secret here lies in mindfully shaping people’s thoughts and long-standing beliefs around the company vision.
It takes time, observation and lots of effort for leaders to get the employees excited, proud and positive about the culture. A good example is Google. Employees of Google proudly and confidently say, “Yes, I work for Google.”. If the employees are unsatisfied with their workplace culture, they are likely to share negative stories about the company and bring the entire workplace morale down.
5. Letting bad employees go
This may sound heartless and cold but when push comes to shove, companies have to let bad employees go.
Compassionate bosses in particular face the problem of firing bad employees. They think about their employee’s well-being, their families, responsibilities and how they are going to put bread on the table. This makes it difficult for them to fire employees. But it’s necessary.
So, what kind of employees do you have to let go of?
Employees who create a toxic work environment should be let go of. They may claim credit for work that others have done, complain and pick on all kinds of problems but don’t bother to try to find a solution, only saying things that lower the morale of the team.
In any situation, regardless of the size of the company, morale plays a huge role in the progress of the business. With poor morale, employees, even those with the best credentials may find it hard to perform well or excel.
6. Keep the conversation going with open communication
To ensure that the company thrives and progresses, communication lines need to remain open. Frequent dialogues and healthy arguments are key to bringing mutual understanding and progress for the business. It helps the team to understand one another better and create better solutions to solve the issue.
Companies with the best culture always welcome feedback and suggestions from their employees and team members. However, it must be noted that the team should only take in constructive and helpful feedback, not complaints.
The Bottom Line
Organisational culture is probably the most important factor when managing a company. It is what affects employees’ decision to leave or stay with the company and the key to whether the company progresses or lags behind.
Shared values and principles put the establishment a prime position to scale the heights of profitability, attract top talent, build a good image and brand name and survive industrial storms. Building the desired corporate culture requires clear definitions, training, action and frequent constructive communication to achieve.
This is part two of a two part article on company culture.
It first appeared as Letting Bad Employees Go – The Importance of Company Culture, Communication and Building Morale in an Organization (2018 Update) on Money Kinetics: Singapore’s definitive guide to financial literacy. Money Kinetics helps Singaporeans compare and evaluate loans, deals, cards and guide them to make their money work for them.
The article has been edited for concision and style with the permission of Money Kinetics.