Defining, Creating and Maintaining Your Company Culture
By: David Brim February 12, 2014
Like many other small business owners and entrepreneurs I struggle at times with the balance of working “on my business” versus “in it”. Creating and maintaining a unique, positive, collaborative and energizing company culture is something that I always knew was important and valued, but it seems that making a conscious effort into developing one is becoming more important as we grow.
Work at times can be stressful. Deadlines need met, clients have immediate needs, decisions need to be made and people have their own unique personalities as well as personal circumstances they are working through. In the midst of everything it is important to remain true to your culture and company values.
The topic of establishing a company culture is not something I learned in school. It is also not something that just happens. I pride myself on being a positive person who loves to learn, experience and grow. I surround myself personally and professionally with people who have these same character traits. You would think that if you hire good people, put some positive quotes on the wall and have a company fun day every so often that would be enough right?
Well, it takes more than that.
I’ve been doing a lot of research lately related to company culture. I found this video to be valuable and thought I’d share it.
I loved the concept of creating a “Wall of Wow” (celebrate successes regularly in a visible place), creating a system for peers to recognize certain acts of appreciation from specific team members, appointing someone to head up the culture and incorporating more team bonding events.
Here are some other resources on company culture that I found helpful:
- Inc Magazine – 12 ways to a great company culture
- Google Company Culture
- Zappos CEO tips on Company Culture
- Forbes – How to build a great company culture
So what makes a great company culture and work environment?
To me here are some characteristics that come to mind…
- Respecting other team members
- Respecting the time of team members
- Having open, respectful and candid communication
- Celebrating victories
- Rewarding & regularly recognizing valuable contributions of team members
- Creating “Wow” for clients (Always do great work we can be proud of)
- Having an environment that is energizing and uplifting
- Having fun
- Integrity and honesty
- Having the right people on the team
- Having people in the right spots
- Being able to collaborate effectively and efficiently
- Having a culture of constant improvement and growth of individuals, clients, products and services
- Working with clients and partners that share our values
- Ensuring that everyone knows and adopts our values
- Ensuring that everything we do is in line with our values
I must say that one thing I love about my team is that every one of them are highly capable and care about doing the right thing. Everyone takes pride in their work and delivers clear value to the company. That’s a great thing! Being a small company we don’t have people in only managerial roles. Everyone takes part in doing certain aspects of work for certain projects and there are always projects to do whether internal or for clients. That being the case it is challenging at times to dedicate time to thinking about, investing in and building company culture. As my business grows I am definitely noticing the value of investing more in this area and suggest you consider exploring this further as well.
I hope that you found this post and resources to be helpful!
If you have any other insights or resources to share related to company culture please leave a comment below.