Your company culture defines more than you think.
Here are three steps you should embrace and nourish.
- Communication must flow
One of the core threats to a company is that communication does not run freely. (Se my previous posts such as “Why you need “brokers” in any company“). It stops, intentionally or unintentionally. It might come to a halt in a department, a corner, a process. Sometimes people think that the information isn´t useful for those who work within another field, or is not involved in the process directly. That´s where you´re wrong a lot of times. If the communication channels are more open, and sharing is not restricted and rather encouraged – you´re likely to win big on it, although it mostly happens in small, incremental steps before you can reap the fruit.
2. Stay flexible
Regardless of your field or business type, allow for flexibility such as new ideas, new ways of working and approaching a project. Although many workers are doing things in a standard, “A4” way, several of them may lack a bit of spark to hit their goals. And it might not be the people you think it is, As an example, two New York business strategists started working once a week from a busy coffee shop instead of their quiet, clean offices. Why? It turned out that their sterile, neat and all-for-themselves offices robbed them of the buzz that they needed to approach their case. Other workers might love to swap one of their tasks with someone from another team, and learn skills across them that often can be applied to either department.
Stay open to an unusual take on things, to see if it’s worth it.
- Management must walk the talk
The management is the public face, but also the face that sets an example for the company as a whole. It needs to be a synergy between your company´s core values and how leadership lives up to these. It can always be room for improvement, but the important thing is to show that you’re at least trying. If for example one of the key values are “fresh thinking”, make a clear communication channel for ideas directly to the top. If it is “excellent customer care”, make sure the management provide the same treatment to each and every employee. We tend to look up to our bosses, and even more so if they really walk the talk. If a discrepancy and a so-called cognitive dissonance kicks in, it can be hard to amend.
With all employees being ambassadors, a thriving company culture sets a healthy foundation throughout, also externally to all other stakeholders. Company culture can be difficult to steer, but it is also what defines us and can equip us for new heights. If one piece of advice should come out of all of the three above, it is to be consistent. Especially the new Millennial workers are known to pick a good company culture with matching values above salary and career climbing. Try culture climbing instead!