5 Essential Things for a Healthy Corporate Culture

Culture is that feeling and common drive that a company fosters and stands for, the sum of values and purposes that guides and links their employees. It is that common impulse that makes them come to work with a smile every morning, sell effectively and support the company for steady growth.

Then why do we too often see corporate culture build more like an accident and less like a conscious act?

Cultures can indeed appear all by themselves but they may not return the results we expect. They could end up randomly reflecting some company traits, but not the big picture, nor the essentials. Culture is an asset that pays for itself in times of both enthusiasm and crisis. Culture is the glue that brings and keeps diverse people together and gives them a common reason to believe and act.

Here are 5 essential things to have in mind when it comes to your company’s culture:

1. Care about your people more than you care about your numbers

When you show empathy and respect for your team, it will show in the numbers they make. The more you value your people and respect their uniqueness, the more motivated they will be to contribute to business success. People always have personal reasons for their action or lack of action. They also need to belong and feel that they are treated like individuals and not like machines.

So paying attention to these triggers, reasons, beliefs, and to what gets your team into action, gives you priceless insights into what matters to them and the best ways to amplify this human potential in order to generate the results you forecast. And you will build a culture and sense of community naturally on the way.

2. Enhance communication and flexibility

We all want to build companies that can naturally stand up to challenges, seize new opportunities and move dynamically between changing market situations. The flexibility you prove on the market reflects the flexibility you encourage inside your company. The quality and efficiency of the dialogue you want to develop and nurture with your customers reflect the way people communicate at work.

Communication and confidence expand when you deliberately create and use informal contexts to share ideas or take a break to chat and encourage people to speak their mind. And when you really listen.

3. Support and grow your people

Employees become company fans when they feel their personal goals are integrated into the company’s big purpose. When seeing the link between their own personal mission and the corporate mission, they start feeling they are in the right place. To get them perform to their full potential in line with both missions you need to build a culture of support and actively encourage individual growth.

You can do this with the right and tailor-made amount of the following:

  • courses and training
  • formal and informal knowledge sharing
  • one-to-one discussions
  • showing empathy
  • standing up for your team when the context requires it
4. Ask questions

Asking questions makes people feel valuable and proves that their work matters. Besides this, when you ask you easily find out:

  • What are those things that go smooth
  • What needs improvement or adjustment
  • Where you have to step in
  • Who needs support and who can offer it (resources optimization)
  • Those soft, intangible and essential aspects that you can only hear when you ask questions

You can then take the time to think about the actions needed to solve the issues, to grow the good parts and to keep walking on an ascendant path. And then repeat.

5. Have fun

Probably the hardest part, when we get caught in daily operations, is to have fun. Who has time for this when everything needs to be done at once? Who thinks about corporate culture and making individuals work smoothly and joyfully as a whole?

Well, keep in mind that we are not one person at work and another in our personal life. We need to put joy and smile in everything we do and stop thinking we need to wear a professional mask or leave the true-self jacket at the company’s door.

Yes, we are building a reputation and it is wise to keep our personal stuff for ourselves, but this has nothing to do with showing and spreading the joy of our work, about being comfortable and proud of our professional decisions.

It is human and healthy to have fun and get satisfaction as long as we are spending our everyday’s energy and time at work.

In conclusion, building and nurturing a solid culture will turn separate players into professional teams that join efforts for achieving one business mission.

If you manage to grow confidence, offer support and encourage your team to continuously stretch limits, they will naturally make your company agile, adaptable and competitive.