Company culture has a powerful impact on how employees feel about their job, their motivation to do well, and in-turn, the overall success of the company. But culture isn’t defined by free snacks, air hockey, PTO policies, or other tangible offerings. Culture comes from within and is created by what you do, what you say, and how people are treated. Culture is what brings the values and personality of the company to life. Creating the right company culture is incredibly important as it can set the tone for everything else that happens inside your organization. If you can get the culture right, then things like providing great service and building a reputable brand will come more naturally.
There is no universal formula for building the perfect company culture. It depends on your brand’s identity, business strategy, and the ideal behaviors that you want to see your employees demonstrate; however, the following are the five key strategies CSI uses to continually cultivate a successful company culture:
Define Your Values
Our values are the guiding principles of our company. Every company should have a unique set of core values that support its purpose, mission, and vision. Values should be honest, authentic, and able to stand the test of time. Employees should be able to live out the company values every day and consider them in every business decision. When employees can easily follow through on the company values with action, they become much more meaningful.
Hire and Retain the Right People
A great company culture starts with the people you choose to hire. Remember, these are the people who will become the face of your company, representing its values. Investing time and effort to ensure each person aligns with your culture will be key to the success of your teams and will pay off in the long run. Always hire for culture-fit first and skill-set second. While relevant experience is important, skills can always be developed, culture cannot.
At CSI, hiring is more than finding a qualified candidate for the position. It’s finding the perfect fit for the CSI family. Someone who will not only bring creativity and innovation, but also embodies our values, attitudes, and work ethic. Once we bring someone on-board, we do what we can to retain them and ensure they feel fulfilled in their role. If an employee feels that their talents will be better suited in a different area of the business, we encourage them to explore that opportunity.
In order to build a great culture, employees need to feel empowered and trusted. Give employees clear guidelines, but then give them the freedom to execute and make smart decisions on their own. When employees feel empowered, they stop seeing their job as just a series of tasks, but as an essential function within the organization that has a deeper purpose towards achieving an end goal. Inspire them to go above and beyond what is expected by giving them ownership of what they’re doing.
Here at CSI, employees are encouraged to be the master of their trade. Every employee’s contributions are vital for CSI to remain successful and we ensure that all bases are covered through collaboration and open communication. By giving our employees the intent and authority to make their own decisions, we have built a knowledgeable and confident team; a team that circulates new ideas and creativity rather than staying stagnant in the rut of following orders. Innovation is in our DNA. No idea is turned away.
Commit to Open Communication
Building a sustainable company culture requires transparent and honest communication. If employees don’t understand the reasoning behind decisions or are being blindsided with unexpected news, they will begin to lose trust in leadership. Employees want to see and understand the big picture of their company. Transparency builds trusting relationships where employees are more comfortable speaking up and expressing new ideas.
Allow Your Culture to Evolve
Culture should not be implemented with an expectation that it will stay exactly the same forever. It will need your attention and nourishment as it evolves over time. While it is important to maintain your core values, understand that your company is going to grow and change over time, and the culture will have to adapt accordingly.
Most companies start with a business plan and a few physical assets, but the culture is what will continue to drive the success of your business forward. Lay a solid foundation for success by investing in happy, hardworking employees who define the company culture by truly caring about its future.
Does our company culture sound like a good fit for you? Check out CSI’s current career postings.