7 Characteristics of Great Company Culture
The impact and importance of a great company culture should not be underestimated. A positive culture within a company not only keeps employees happy and motivated to give their best but also helps reduce attrition and attract the best of talent. This pool of enthusiastic people and their performance have the power to create a ripple effect, resulting in happier clients, co-workers, vendors while enjoying a better reputation and overall business success.
Building and breeding the best of culture is not easy and doesn’t happen in a day. It takes conscious and consistent efforts for years at a stretch, however, the good news is some common ingredients go into shaping the desired environment.
There are several characteristics of great company cultures that are commonly seen among successful businesses. Here are 7 important characteristics of great company cultures you can adopt to get started.
One of the most significant values of positive work culture is Trust. Trust means that you rely on someone else to do the right thing. As a business owner or senior management official, you must create an atmosphere of mutual trust. The employees who feel trusted are more likely to make better, mature decisions even in critical situations. Such employees are also likely to do a good job at delegation and trusting others in return. A culture of trust yields higher engagement and a better sense of responsibility. Lack of trust, on the other hand, is believed to be a threat to an organization’s growth.
A work culture characterized by the value of Transparency makes employees feel empowered with information and updates. When a company is honest and open about its plans and strategies, it fosters an environment free of fear. Conducting ‘all hands meetings’, ‘CEO Town halls, and 'ask me anything’ sessions are some ways to inspire transparency and help employees feel ‘in the loop’.
3. Ideas and innovation
Innovative thinking and new ideas can help a business in more ways than one. Innovation may not always be about new products; it could also mean making small changes to daily tasks that will improve efficiency and effectiveness. By embracing innovation as part of the culture, it encourages employees to engage with different perspectives and new ideas to achieve optimal results. While it may not be possible to put all ideas to work, the very fact that an employee is heard makes him feel confident and valued.
4. Learning and growth
A culture of learning allows employees to seek, share, and apply new knowledge and skills to improve their performance. Such a culture feeds the minds and helps the employees hone their skills resulting in them feeling more capable and competent. Nurturing talent via learning options with company reimbursement for successful course completion is not new to businesses. A lot of companies implement various initiatives like training and development programs, mentor-mentee collaborations, and reimbursing employees' tuition for passing suitable courses at university or online.
5. Rewards and recognition
Recognition is one of the cornerstones of a great culture. Good companies don't shy away from giving credit where due. Being appreciated directly from the CEO may not only boost employee morale but will also motivate other members of the team to do better. Rewards and recognition are also a great way to help people understand the kind of input and behavior that is expected and encouraged. Recognition will lead to excellent work.
Focusing on fostering a culture of continuous feedback helps everyone work towards self-improvement. To make the most out of a feedback culture, it is necessary to ensure that the primary motive for an assessment and feedback exercise should be for character development and not for criticism. While a lot of companies implement the top-down flow of feedback, it is often forgotten that feedback is a two-way concept. The employees should be encouraged to provide feedback about their managers, seniors, peers, processes, and anything that affects their performance. Note that the feedback culture is rendered ineffective if the feedback received is not acted upon.
7. Work-life balance
A work environment that allows a healthy work-life equilibrium makes employees feel a greater sense of control in the things they undertake – both professionally and personally. An employee working in such a culture would have compartmentalized head space for home and office issues and would be able to give his best at both ends. This, in turn, is sure to benefit the business with productive output.
Remember that building a great culture is a top-down approach. While you will surely need employee co-operation to help the defined values penetrate deep into the culture, the onus primarily lies with you. If you don't build a great culture, the culture will develop on its own and you may not like the end result. So brace yourself and channel efforts to creat a strong and positive company culture.