A strong company culture is essential. In fact, strong and positive company culture has significant implications in all other areas of company performance. Your company values can represent anything, from the meaning which employees assign to their role in the company to the brand which consumers associate with your company name.
Defining your company values is paramount when establishing a business, and strong company values can be translated to strong guiding principles. Sometimes though, company values can weaken over time, and their meaning lost in translation. In this time, workplace culture can begin to develop toxicity, and begin the company values in turn may be viewed with apathy or even disdain. So how can you redefine your company values to represent strong ideals, to attract employees and consumers to your brand?
Seek the values Within
Some of the best company values can be found within the employees. You can choose to look to a management consultancy for new values if you’d like some corporate jargan, but your employees could be better define your company values. Management consultancy will generally present you with a solution that panders to management, instead of giving the company its best foot forward.
This can be done a variety of ways.
One of the best ways we have seen so far is surveying each of your employees using either email-based survey asking them what the company represents to them or what values they appreciate. This can be great to capture an honest snapshot of where the company culture sits, and where it can improve.
Alternatively, assemble your employees in a meeting to draft ideas with post-it notes. This approach has the added benefit of helping your employees to feel valued by showing them that their input and opinions matter and influence the internal branding. This alone can increase employee engagement and productivity, and once the values are actioned, employee engagement will be amplified further.
Actions, not just words
It’s one thing to have a company statement or set of values. But if that is all that they are, they can make employees feel that the company ethos is insincere. It is important to implement the values in a discernible plan.
For example, if “connection” was a defined value of your company, set aside time with your employees to improve their connections, one on one, not only to establish how they feel about their job and ideas of how to improve their workplace, but also get to know them on a personal level, finding out their hobbies for example.
Practice culture everyday
Company culture isn’t something to set and forget. Asking employees for their feedback into what company values should be and then making a show of performing an action in the beginning will engage employees temporarily.
However, if this isn’t followed up with consistent action over time, it is likely to breed resentment in the same way the lack of action would. Doing things consistently is the only way that culture gets implemented. Each value should be implemented on a daily basis to build consistency in culture.
So, if gratitude is something your employees want to see more of, make a point of being grateful every day. Or if fun is in the company culture, have a few moments of fun in the office everyday.The exact action doesn’t matter, what matters is the consistency.
So now that you have your company values, and you’re practicing them on a daily basis, you’re all set. Sorry, that’s a lie. Running a business is about constant development, especially for example, you’re a new-kid-on-the-block start up. A good way to keep evolving is to constantly announce your developments to your employees and to seek feedback regularly. This will not only help your employees to continue to be engaged, but it will keep you on top of your constantly evolving company culture, keeping you flexible in the dynamic marketplace and a competitive brand for consumers.