6 Steps for Creating a Great Company Culture

For the last two years, software company SAS has taken the top spot on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. As its employees will tell you, it’s a great company culture that sets this organization apart. SAS recognized early on that satisfied employees create satisfied customers, and it based its company culture around that philosophy.

While your organization may not hold the same philosophy as SAS, it is imperative that you create a company culture that’s right for your organization. With a great company culture, you’ll see increased productivity, creativity, and employee loyalty. Here are six steps every business can take to ensure they create and propagate a company culture that’s right for them. 

 

1. Define Who You Are

Company culture is the specific set of values shared by people in an organization. The first step to a great company culture is defining what your core values are. You should focus on the values that truly represent your organization, not the values you aspire to.

 

2. Hire People Who Fit Your Company’s Culture

At Southwest Airlines, humor is a core value … so much so that they won’t hire anyone without a good sense of humor, regardless of aptitude. Southwest recognized that you can work on employees’ operational weaknesses, but it’s very difficult to teach a core value like humor. By hiring someone based on core values, you ensure that your employees continue to embody your company’s culture.

 

3. Collaborate With Employees

If your employees are included in the decision-making process, they tend to feel more appreciated. And when your employees feel like they matter, it will positively influence your bottom line. Before making a major decision, get some input from your employees. You don’t always have to take their advice or implement their ideas, but simply asking will increase their loyalty to the company.

 

4. Be the Embodiment of Your Culture

It’s not enough to simply state your company’s core values — as a leader, you need to embody those values. If your actions fly in the face of your company’s stated values, don’t expect your employees to adhere to those values either. You need to lead by example.

 

5. Stay Involved in Hiring

You want to make sure everyone you hire embodies your company’s culture. That’s why you need to involve yourself in the hiring process. One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is delegating the hiring process. Making sure your new hires embody your company’s culture will result in less turnover and higher employee satisfaction. 

 

6. Look Toward the Future

You know the big picture, but do your employees? If your employees know your goals for the company’s future, they’ll be more motivated to help you complete those goals. Knowing the future helps people succeed in the present.

 

There are no concrete steps you can take to solidify a great company culture. Your company culture — that is, your core values — can only be defined by you. Those values should dictate your company’s culture. By following these steps, you can help ensure your culture prevails.

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