Everyone loves a freebie. Most of the time, the kinds of companies that provide freebies are the ones people initially flock to. (After all, it’s hard to pass up on free snacks and coffee, ping pong tables, company outings and branded swag.)
But after a while, these freebies aren’t enough to keep teams around. The truth is, there are things people need more than they need freebies, and one of those is the right culture. At the end of the day, people want to understand where they’re going and what they’re working for. They want to be part of a team with the same beliefs and goals they have. And that’s where company culture can revolutionize everything.
Of course, creating the ideal company culture is easier said than done, whether you’re established in the business world or just starting out. You’ll need to follow some key steps for the right culture if you want to see true success in the business world.
1. Define Your Values and Vision
Before you dive in to tackle the details, it’s important to step back to consider the big picture. What do you actually want from your company culture?
Your values and vision are the foundation that will influence what your culture looks like, so take some time to pin them down if you haven’t already. To do this, there are a few questions you may want to ask yourself:
- Who are you?
- Who is your company for?
- Why does your company exist?
- What do you believe in?
- Where do you want to go from here?
2. Analyze Your Current Company Culture
What does your current culture look like? (Note that even if you’re leading a new business, you have a company culture. Culture starts with the first person on the team.)
Now that you have your vision and values in place, it’s time to consider if and how your culture matches—and to develop a plan for what needs to change. Consider shifting toward more workplace empathy, whatever that looks like for you, and don’t forget to get input and buy-in from your team!
3. Implement the Changes and Build Your Culture
Communicate your values, vision, and any major adjustments to company culture, both internally and externally. Don’t forget, however, that change starts from the top down. Leaders should lead by example from the start, acting as inspiration for the rest of the team.
You’ll also need to make sure these changes are systematic, even after your big reveal. This can be easier than it sounds. Start by documenting the behaviors your current and future employees and leaders should have, reconsider your performance management system to adjust what behavior is rewarded, and optimize your hiring process to recruit only good cultural fits.
Shifting a company’s culture will look different for every business, and you’ll need to invest your efforts in trial-and-error before you actually see success. But at the end of the day, these three key steps can help you move toward the culture you want, while attracting and retaining the kinds of people you want to work with.