Understanding Company Culture
By Mandy Maas, Your Front eOffice
What is the first thing you think of when you hear of company culture in the workplace? For many, the first thing that comes to mind is Google, and their famous headquarters located in Silicon Valley, CA. The Googleplex campus is known to offer employees world-class company culture through lots of free perks. Google offers employees onsite child and/or pet care, places to eat, different types of games, spa and hair services, as well as many more benefits. Although Google is a global organization, it has sustained a small company feel by staying true to its core values and beliefs. Google’s perks and benefits are impressive, but you don’t have to be a billion-dollar corporation to provide good company culture.
WHAT IS COMPANY CULTURE?
Forbes describes workplace culture as “the shared values, belief systems, attitudes, and the set of assumptions that people in a workplace share. This is shaped by individual upbringing, social and cultural context.”
Leadership and management direct team culture and, when positive, it can increase efficiency and productivity, which affects the overall vibe in your workplace.
As a small-business owner, you can offer the same world-class company culture as Google, without the Googleplex. Comparably https://www.comparably.com/ is a website known for comparing employers, brands, and salaries to provide professionals transparency and rewarding work experiences. Every year they give awards for Best Global Company Culture based on 20 different culture categories. These categories range from leadership, work-life balance and compensation, to development opportunities and benefits. These are all important variables in your improving or developing your company’s culture.
HOW DOES COMPANY CULTURE WORK?
Company culture can be a deliberate set of plans that have been cultivated to express your organization’s mission, beliefs, and goals, or they can be an organic combination of strategic decision making and team members over time. With a strong company culture, your team will know what is expected of them and your brand, and they will act accordingly in everything they do.
BENEFITS OF COMPANY CULTURE
As a business owner, having a good company culture has many benefits:
- Raised Productivity: Having better teamwork motivates employees to have more productivity, satisfaction, fulfillment, and overall improves your business’ performance long-term.
- Low-Stress: When everyone is on the same page, it reduces stress for both managers and employees.
- Higher Employee Retention: Streamlined vision with employees who are invested in the company’s mission leads to less turnover.
- Great Reputation: Happy employees are the perfect way to build a brand’s reputation and convey your company’s values and beliefs.
- Having a Dream Team: When your company’s culture is in place, it allows the right talent to find you and improves your business inside and out.
- Defined Boundaries and Expectations: Being transparent preserves your organizations values and standards while identifying your limitations.
SETTING BOUNDARIES AND EXPECTATIONS FOR YOU EMPLOYEES
Clarifying job responsibilities, compensation, and expectations is essential for everyone in your organization to function more effectively. Setting these expectations makes up a crucial piece of your company’s culture. With open communication, responsibilities are allocated and clearly understood, and job satisfaction, team collaboration, and work performance are all enhanced. Defining expectations for individual employees, and the team, ensures everyone is on the same page and working in synergy. Here are some things to consider when determining your business’s expectations and boundaries:
- Think About Your Values and Goals: Remember why you started your business and define what is needed from you and your employees to support your organization’s mission. Reflect on how you want your team to interact with you, your customers, each other, and what is needed to protect those values and beliefs.
- Do Your Research: Utilize your network and reach out to colleagues to ask about their work environments. Find out how they set guidelines for their employees, and if they have had any obstacles during the process.
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- Communicate: Be transparent and have an open, direct conversation with your employees about what their job responsibilities are and what your expectations are regarding their contribution to your organization’s goals.
- Clearly Define Employee Guidelines and Expectations: Look at your handbooks and employee contracts to check that your policies, job descriptions, and compensations align with your organization’s vision and goals. Be prepared to answer questions and receive feedback. Once you have defined your guidelines, have your employees sign an acknowledgment form to indicate they understand their roles, responsibilities, and your organizations policies and procedures.
- Address Issues in Real Time: If a boundary or expectation is not being met, bring it up right away. When you have defined guidelines and expectations, you will be able to clearly state the ways in which there is a violation. View these violations as an opportunity to gain insight and improve your team. Addressing these issues as they happen guarantees you are successfully supporting your team while staying true to your organization’s mission.
- Make Adjustments: Whether it’s a new hire or an employee you’ve had for many years, make inspiring positive changes a priority. Remember that communication is a two-way street. It is important to listen to employee feedback and make appropriate adjustments as things come up.
Your company culture represents your organization’s values and beliefs, and it is what makes your business unique and sets you apart from your competitors. Having a defined culture provides many benefits to your business. It allows skilled and talented workers to find you, raises retention, lowers stress, and streamlines efficiency and productivity within your team. It even impacts how you and your employees operate, as well as how others see your business and brand.
As your company grows and evolves, your company culture will evolve with it. It is important to have a clear understanding of what you want your culture to be like to put measures into place. Company culture influences how you make decisions, who your customers are, and the way you interact with them. By investing in your work environment, you are creating a culture that’s true to your vision and mission, while providing insight into the direction your business is heading. Improving your company’s culture can be challenging, but if you look at the most successful businesses today, a strong culture is a common denominator.
Your Front eOffice provides full-service accounting for all types of industries. We are passionate about helping our clients reach their financial goals through accurate and expert accounting services while providing financial clarity and confidence to small business owners. If you need help developing your business’ culture, we can help! YFeO not only offers accounting and bookkeeping services, but we also provide high-level financial reporting and business advisory and growth consulting without expanding your team.