Workplace culture is important. It’s what makes people want to work for you. It’s what keeps them there. It’s what drives the people within the workplace. If you come across someone who loves their job and asked them why, you could almost be 100% sure that at least one of their reasons is because of the people they work with and the great organisational culture within their workplace.
So as a leader, how do you create that? Here’s 5 basic steps that lay the foundation of a great organisational culture.
1. Establish a clear mission and company values
Why does your organisation exist? Think beyond the basic service or product offering. American Express have a mission to be the world’s most respected service brand. Ikea aims to make everyday life better. Nike exists to bring inspiration and innovation to people in the world. What’s your mission and the values that will support that?
2. Hire people that align with your mission and values
It’s a common myth to believe that in order to find someone that will fit within the organisational culture, you need to find people with the same personality traits. This isn’t actually the case, and in fact a workplace with a variety of personalities will facilitate different ideas and skills. However, what you want to look for is people with a consistent attitude that believe in your company mission and will work towards it. Recruiting for skills and experience is easier than finding the person with the right attitude. Someone with the right skills but the wrong attitude is not going to fit – or last long within that workplace.
3. Appreciate your staff
If you expect great work from your staff, it’s important to acknowledge their achievements and show your appreciation. Under-appreciated staff leads to unhappy staff and poor morale. It’s a basic principle that applies in all workplaces regardless of the size or industry. It could be as simple as positive words of appreciation, or it could be establishing an award system to acknowledge high achievers.
4. Facilitate fun at work
People that work full time will most likely spend more time at work than in their own home (if you don’t include sleeping!). So a fun workplace can go a long way because it plays a part in their overall happiness. Facilitating fun doesn’t mean you have to throw cash you don’t have to extravagant social events (although that can be fun too!). Turn a team task into a challenge with a fun reward. Celebrate birthdays. Do a charity fun run together as a team. It can be simple things that make a workplace a fun place to be.
5. Do as you say
It’s all well and good if you preach a message to staff, but it holds no weight if you don’t lead by example. As a leader you need to have the same attitude you expect your staff to have, and follow the same mission and values of the company.
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