6 Steps to Creating a Company Culture that Aligns with Your Goals
When a company doesn’t have a defined culture that is shared with employees and buyers alike, one danger is that the strongest personalities in the company define what the culture is and more often than not it’s not a positive one. Rather, the culture is one of confusion and chaos that gets in the way of efficiencies, brand and customer experience.
I would argue that a company’s culture really begins and ends with the buyer experience. If you don’t have a strong company culture and want to create one, here’s how to start:
- Ask your customers. Surveys are a simple way to get started. You only need to ask one question: “Why do you buy from us?” This should tell you your customers’ perception of your company’s “why.”
- Ask your employees. Same question with a different twist, “Why do you work here?”
Armed with those answers you can build a foundation of what you corporate culture is and where you want it to go. But, not unlike personal relationships, we create culture one action at a time. Some of the actions are obvious and you probably thought of them right away. But here are the ones you may have overlooked:
- Hire and fire to match the desired company culture. Create interview questions to help hire employees that align with your culture. Have a set of performance plans in place to help guide current employees into alignment with your vision.
- Create incentives around your culture. For example, if you want a culture of innovation, create rewards to give to your employees that are being innovative.
- Align your operations practices with your culture. For example, 19 Oaks is a “green” company. We are operating very close to paperless, use Garbage to Garden, recycle, and offer a cash incentive to salaried employees who commute to work on foot, bike or public transportation.
- When formulating ongoing meeting agendas, annual meeting locations and themes, break room snacks or offerings, ask yourself: Does this align with our culture? If you have a culture of promoting healthy habits, don’t provide donuts to eat (not even Holy Donuts!) Why? Because it doesn’t align. But if you have a culture of artistic expression and have a chalkboard wall in the break room that anyone can contribute to, that does align.
Like with everything in business, company culture is about setting a clear expectation and then measuring and rewarding according to the fulfillment of that expectation. Need help aligning your culture with your sales and marketing strategy? Give us a call and let’s walk through it together.