7 Ways to Cultivate Company Culture

Employees thrive on company culture. How cool your brand is, the grit of your sales team, the funky vibe of your staff parties.

Your company culture defines the way in which your business interacts with one another and how the team interacts with the outside world, specifically your customers.

A report by Deloitte in 2012 revealed that 94 per cent of executives and 88 per cent of employees believed a distinct workplace culture is important to their business’ success and 83 per cent of executives and 84 per cent of employees thought that having engaged and motivated employees was the top factor that substantially contributes to the company’s success. 

It’s a formula that guides your team, as well as inspires and motivates them. It is responsible for attracting good employees and even better customers. But how do you achieve a great company culture? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Hire for Attitude

Whether it’s your first employee or your fortieth, it can be tempting to employ the most qualified candidate and not the candidate that will have the best cultural fit. But this can be a big mistake. 

One bad hire can have a huge effect on your team’s morale, productivity and ultimately your bottom line. 

Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, describes in Delivering Happiness how in the early days of the business his bad hires cost the company more than $100 million. This costly lesson now influences his hiring practices, hiring and firing according to a person’s cultural fit. 

Create an Enjoyable Atmosphere

You don’t need to be the next Google with slides, sleep pods, free food and massages. Small gestures can make big differences. 

Do you have a good coffee machine? What does the office look like? Can you add pictures to the wall or improve the furniture. 

Even if you’re on a budget you could probably afford to buy healthy treats from Costco once a week for your team to enjoy.

Even simple things like keeping the office clean and nice smelling can make the world of difference.

Empower Your Employees

It’s great to have processes and procedures, but sometimes it’s also a good idea to give your employees a chance to use their initiative. 

Trusting an employee to make decisions can be a big leap of faith, but it can also make that employee feel empowered and own their work.

Using Zappos once again as an example, their company empowers employees to make the choices necessary to serve customers. Whether it’s to refund a customer, upgrade a customer’s shipping service or send a surprise package to brighten a customer’s day.  It’s all part of their WOW service value

Surprise Your Employees

The great thing about surprises is that they’re not expected regularly! Whether it’s a surprise afternoon activity, a free lunch, even a free coffee in the morning, think about the small ways your can show your team that you appreciate them.

Create Fun Challenges

Recent challenges in the Small Business BC office, have been the Ice Bucket Challenge, 30 day fitness challenge, ugly Christmas sweater contest and a ping pong tournament. Fun challenges create a change in conversation and an excuse to take a break from talking and thinking about all things work. 

Get Out of the Office

You might not have the money to do golf days or ski trips for your team, but simple things like arranging a summer picnic, going to a relevant speaking event or museum or even doing some small scale volunteering, can help employees feel refreshed and excited to work. They will come back with increased focus and productivity. 

Provide Opportunities for Continuous Learning

Learning does not need to be in a classroom environment. Think of creative ways for employees to share their knowledge. For example, create a library of books or encourage job shadowing shadow each other. These small things will create conversations and improve awareness of what else is happening in the business.

Creating a unique culture doesn’t have to cost thousands, and can really affect how a team interacts with each other, building stronger relationships, and a stronger business.