Define Your Corporate Culture in 5 Steps

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Most business owners understand the value of branding for products and marketing, but did you know that your office culture needs to represent your brand too? Candidates will join your company based on the brand image you present, so you should do your best to ensure it’s consistent in both your marketing and the way you work.

A company culture is made up of a lot of factors: Vision, Values, Practices, People, and Work Environment. Let’s go through these one at a time.

Factor 1: Company Vision

This determines what everyone in the organization is working towards, whether it’s feeding children in Africa or being the top computer chip supplier in North America. This shapes what your employees are shooting for.

Factor 2: Values

Of the five factors on this list, Values is one of those considered “core.” Values act as guidelines for developing desirable employee behaviours and mindsets that help you work towards your vision. This affects how you treat your customers and how your employees treat each other. As the boss, you have to demonstrate those values every day.

Factor 3: Practices

This is where you—and your company—walk the walk. You can’t say, “people are your greatest asset” in your values and then use unfair employment practices. It’s hypocritical. Employees are smart; they’ll see that you don’t practice what you preach and will walk away.

Factor 4: People

It sounds obvious, but you can’t build a coherent culture without people. Hire people whose attitudes and mindsets match the first three steps. If you don’t, employees may either end up leaving the company, or changing the culture in ways you don’t want.

Factor 5: Work Environment

Office location, décor and event ambience. They sound minor, but these elements have a big impact on how productive people are at work and how they behave. This is why so many creative companies like advertising and marketing agencies have colourful and flamboyant workspaces, while banks have a clean-cut appearance.

It’s really hard to create an office culture you want, even if you’ve got these five steps mapping the way. But if you can manage it properly, then you’ll have an office culture you can brag about.

I want you to ask yourself: “Do we practice what we preach?” Don’t settle for anything less than an automatic “yes”. Both your customers and your employees will thank you for it.

There is no universal set of instructions for creating a culture; it’s something you have to grow and groom yourself. Looking at building yours? Tweet me on TWITTER, like me on FACEBOOK or join me on LINKED IN – and let’s talk.


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