Culture is inherently volatile; while it is driven by a central, carefully-curated vision pieced together by an organization’s leaders, it can be commandeered by the prevailing collective mood of everyone who is a part of that organization. Whether you want to create company culture from scratch or course-correct, these are the three most important considerations.
Stolid and static, your company’s core values are the obvious and essential core of its culture. They tell the world and you what the organization stands for, its emphases and priorities, and generally how it conducts its business and operations. These factors are instrumental to molding the culture within the office.
An organization’s mission statement may not be as immutable as its core values but still provides a reliable basis on which to build culture. Because it envisions an end result, it is fairly easy to extract and/or extrapolate a path to get to that goal. That path will lay an imprint on your company culture.
Culture revolves around people. Company culture gives employees a template within which they can thrive but their personal and group interpretation of that culture is an evolutionary force. Keep this give-and-take balance in mind when thinking about culture. You may be able to inculcate certain cultural values into your team but they are not infinitely malleable; build culture with the team you want already in mind.
With these three guiderails in place, you are now ready to create the culture you want. Here are some of the most common options.
- Fast-paced – You are in an industry or embody an approach that is responsive to developments, and implements changes on the fly. Employees are expected to be quick on their feet, possibly literally as well as figuratively, to get things done as and when required.
- Passionate – Employees aren’t here just for the paycheck but because they feel strongly about the objectives of the company. They are willing to go the extra mile for the good of the company as they believe in their personal roles within the organization make a difference.
- Stimulating – Innovation happens here. The team is constantly challenged to push the boundaries… and responds by taking inspiration from the leaders and colleagues with whom they work. There is a constant buzz of interaction and celebration of new ideas.
- Playful – Work? What’s that? In a playful culture, the company does not take itself too seriously and encourages employees to do the same. Goals are achieved through fun, interactive work patterns that defy the ordinary office paradigm.
- Flexible – This is where you want to be for work-life balance. Flexible cultures were forced upon us during the pandemic but continue to be popular because they allow the team to meet its goals without compromising on their personal and familial responsibilities.
Let me know if you need help establishing your company culture or simply giving it a needed refresh.