The Importance of Company Culture

by Tania Longeau
Building Culture, Employer branding, Leading People, Startups - 8 months ago
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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Tania Longeau – Head of Services for InkjetSuperstore.com. Her opinions are her own.

A successful company can grow and expand as a result of a number of things, including talented employees, a high-demand product, and successful sales. However, it’s not just impressive numbers that define how successful a company really is. In fact, it really doesn’t matter what a company sells or how they sell it—these kinds of things can be duplicated by any company.

What makes a company truly successful is its culture. A company’s culture is the heartbeat of the team, and it is what separates a truly successful company from one that’s only semi-successful. You could have a team that sells several products, but no one is happy with their job. Similarly, you can have employees who get the job done individually, but they don’t work well as a collective unit.

These are the kinds of problems that can be solved by establishing a strong sense of culture within the organization, which translates into a community of workers with the same goals in mind.

What is company culture?

Essentially, company culture is the personality of the company as a whole. It includes a range of factors, all of which work together as puzzle pieces to establish a strong culture both in the office, outside of it, and in each of its employees.

These factors include things like the company’s values, goals, ethics, main mission, and expectations. Each and every employee, whether at the base level or in the corporate offices, should share in these core values and approaches in order to maintain the culture that has been created.

Why is company culture important?

It’s important to know right off the bat that a company that has an established culture is likely to be much more successful than a company which does not. This is mainly due to the fact that having a culture gives your business purpose and direction and is much more capable of finding people who share its core values.

Employees who join a company with a culture they believe in are likely to feel more comfortable in that setting and are also more likely to flourish there. They believe in the message and goals of the business and want to help grow the business with those attitudes in mind.

If you’re hiring individuals who feel like they don’t have the same beliefs as the team they represent, you risk losing them early on. However, it’s likely that you will suffer more loss by keeping someone on the team who does not share the same mindset as the rest. If you keep these people on for too long, you might see a decrease in productivity from them, or you risk them having a negative impact on your other employees.

This is why it’s important that you decide on your company culture right from the get-go.

When you begin your hiring process, you’ll have to let every new employee know exactly what kind of culture you’re trying to nurture so they know what they’re getting into. Once you’re past all of their qualifications and skills, you’ll want to learn more about their approach, their style of work, and their attitude toward your company and what you represent.

A business which has no clear goals or values runs the risk of chaos. Employees need a specific end goal in mind, and they need to know that they will feel comfortable when they come to work every day. Having a business with no clear boundaries or attitudes often leads to a mess of different personalities and goals, making it very hard for team members to work together.

Culture is important within a company to give your business and your employees purpose. Not only that, but customers and clients will likely be formed from shared culture mindsets, so it’s important to have this established right away.

How to establish company culture

Before you can begin to fine-tune and nurture your company culture, you must first decide what your culture represents. What values do you look for in your employees? What kinds of personalities do you need in your office? Do you value an open office or a more traditional concept? Do you want rewards programs for customers or benefits for employees?

Make sure that you know exactly how you want your brand to come across both to employees, potential clients, and customers. What will you be known for, and why will people want to work for you? Figuring out the bones of what your culture will represent will help you to find a team that complements and encourages the same values, approaches, goals, and expectations.

There are a few key steps to creating a strong company culture. One of the most important is to recognize your own core values. As a business owner, employees will look to you for guidance when it comes to work approach, office manners, and daily protocols.

Do you value a relaxed office style? Do you prefer to let workers telecommute? Do you value creative thinkers and team-based brainstorming, or do you prefer a more organized office with individual work?

Another important step to creating company culture is the willingness to evolve. What you see as your company culture, in the beginning, may not be what it needs a year from now. This is certainly true the larger your company grows. More employees will come in with bigger, better ideas, and you will need to slowly evolve your culture to reflect how your company is changing as well.

Conclusion

When you’re working on a project of any kind, you’re working toward something. There is a goal in mind, whether you’re starting a business, driving somewhere, or doing the dishes. You see a goal in sight, and you are figuring out the best way for you to get there.

Company culture is the same thing. Your business needs goals to strive toward, and you need to have a certain attitude about it to keep the wheels rolling. Giving your business a culture that works toward new goals you’re passionate about is critical to finding a team that wants to help you get there. Those who are starting a new business should certainly establish a company culture first, and then begin to build a solid team around those core values and attitudes.