Culture in the workplace is an extremely hot topic. Statistics show that creating your culture will affect your bottom line. When provided with a good environment employees will be happier, perform better, and make happy customers. This means more profit for the company.

 

So what really IS culture? There are a lot of misunderstandings about what it is. Let’s start with what it’s not.

 

Culture is not:

              core values, what employees wear, how employees feel, how you pay your people, or how you treat your employees. Most companies focus on these areas. These are things you do that may affect culture but they are not things that will create and maintain your culture.

 

Culture is:

              best defined as: “an invisible set of attitudes and behaviors that affect everything in an organization.” It’s not what you do. It’s about the meaning underneath what you do. Activities like having employees dress casual, giving them special perks so they like coming to work, paying your people well, and having an open environment so employees can share are all good things to implement. But they are not the culture.

 

Let’s take your core values. When you want to build your culture you have to change what you really mean behind the core values. By values you should mean behaviors. It’s not what you do but why you do it. You can value your employees by treating them well, but for culture value is why you do it.

 

See the difference? The first one, probably what you do now, is acting in such a way that it will appear to be that way. The second way is to know the underlying reason for why you do it.

 

  Instead of your core value being “operate with integrity” say what your behavior is –we will tell the truth.

Instead of having “commitment” say – we will do what we say, or we will follow through.

Change your value of “growth” to be – we will continually learn, or teach something new.

 

Now you are stating the behavior and the meaning of your core values. Everyone will know what you mean, it is easy to follow and it will breed inside your employees a behavior instead of just mindless action. You are changing the mindset of your employees to fit the behaviors that will connect your team and help your company grow. Now you have culture.

 

Once you have your culture display it everywhere. Teach it to your employees. They should be able to recite your culture at any time since they will actually behave that way. It will be en-grained in them. They may even carry these values outside the workplace. Think of what that could mean to your community.

 

Now that you have your culture, go get the right people. Your current employees will either love the culture or they will hate it. Those that hate it will give you a clue as to who doesn't fit.  Those are the people who aren't helping your company. Think about it. Why do you really have to let someone go? The reason is, you hired them because of their skills but fired them because they didn't fit your culture.

 

Rethink your culture. The impact culture has on your company is huge. It can make or break that next big sale. It can be the difference between keeping or losing a client or even attracting your next customer. It will help you attract and retain the best people.