Do you know what your company culture is?
Is your company culture strong, fun, innovative, open or maybe a little bit of each? Or maybe your company culture is all about eco-consciousness and sustainability.
Company culture is so important, especially now that the workforce is rapidly changing to include an influx of millennials whom place much value on it during their job search. And millennials aside, times are changing and people expect more from their employers – and rightfully so.
As I was doing some research on company culture I realized that it’s 1. not as simple as it sounds and 2. probably one of the most underestimated resources a company can have. Not every company culture is going to mirror that of a Silicon Valley start up that may boast onsite fitness centers, game rooms, and gourmet meals. Those perks are just a small part of what makes up a company’s culture – not the whole picture.
So where do we start when trying to figure out how to create company culture?
The company culture seed is planted within the mission, values and goals of a company. These three elements can help create the foundation that will support and foster company culture throughout the upcoming years.
1. What is your mission?
Your company’s mission statement has the idea, essence, and ambitions of the company all wrapped up in, hopefully, one sentence.
Let’s take a look at Google’s mission statement:
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Google’s mission statement is perfect in that it’s specific but has enough range to be left open to innovation. Google is much more than a search engine and staying true to their mission statement they have expanded from web search to mobile, business, media, geo, home and office, social and code solutions – just to name a few.
2. What are your values?
The Oxford Dictionary defines values as, “A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life”. If we apply the same definition to a business then we have the guidelines for company values. Your company values can be whatever you want them to be as long as they are aligned with your company mission. Here’s an example of how two companies decided to go about writing their company values in distinctive styles that are true to their individual brand and culture:
- Deliver WOW Through Service
- Embrace and Drive Change
- Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
- Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
- Pursue Growth and Learning
- Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
- Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
- Do More With Less
- Be Passionate and Determined
- Be Humble
- People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.
- Portfolio: Bring to the world a portfolio of quality beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy people’s desires and needs.
- Partners: Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value.
- Planet:Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities.
- Profit:Maximize long-term return to shareowners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.
- Productivity: Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization.
3.What are your goals?
Your company’s goals should be designed to help you achieve your mission statement and align with your values. Depending on the size of your company you may have one or multiple short-term and long-term goals.
Using the examples above, hypothetically, one of Zappos short-term goals could be to increase online sales of women’s shoes by 20% within the next year. A goal like this could possibly help them reach a long-term goal of opening up another manufacturing warehouse in Canada to help expand the business into a new market. This would help them to do business in alignment with one of their values, which is to “Pursue Growth and Learning”.
Understanding how to set successful goals that support your company’s overall mission and are aligned with it’s values are not only good business practice but help set the tone for your company culture.
Once you’ve got the mission statement, value and goals figured out then you can move onto the next part of creating company culture which we’ll get into next week.