A winning company culture is a hot topic at the moment and for a reason. It has finally been understood that it's extremely important for people to be and work in a company that has a good culture. When the employees are feeling well, the company is able to perform and succeed. There are many studies that prove the positive impact of a good company culture for the business. Our company ZEF was just chosen as the best place to work at in Finland 2016 (greatplacetowork.fi) so we decided to list the 17 most important tips to take into consideration when building a winning company culture.
1. Have a common dream
A big dream gives a deeper meaning for your work. When everybody is working towards the same goal, it gives more power to push things forward. The company dream should have a connection to every employee's own personal goals and dreams.
2. Value based recruitment
Values are more important than expertise. A group of people with matching values working as a team is much more effective than a group of people with good individual expertise preferring to work alone. Every team should have the right to choose its members as it will raise the likelyhood of succeeding drastically. Set values and attitude as the most important factors in your recruiting process and you will form a winning team.
3. Put the customer to the center
The whole meaning of business is to add value for your customer, so put your own goals behind your customers' goals. By helping your customers succeed, you will surely succeed as well. Plan your whole business around the mindset of how it will help your customers. Being a truly customer-centric company is a winning strategy.
4. Share the positive customer feedback
Happy customers and the value they have received from your work is the best way to boost your employees' feelings. So remember to always share positive feedback with all employees. One way to do this is to set an alarm for every positive feedback on your customer survey tool and share that feedback automatically with the whole staff. Every notification will bring a genuine smile on your team members' faces.
5. Ask, listen and encourage!
We all have a basic need to be heard. And so do your employees. Asking and listening are good ways to show your appreciation. An online survey can be used as a tool for this. Just make sure you use the data to make actual decisions.
6. Give thanks for good performance
Praising has a huge impact. Pay attention to work that is well done. You don’t have to be afraid to say thank you. It is not ingratiation or fishing if it comes straight from your heart. I got really good advice some time ago for this:
”Show your individual appreciation when others can hear it and give constructive feedback between the two.”
7. Celebrate victories together
It's super important that every team member can feel happy for their colleagues' success. Shared joy is a double joy. The sincere support of co-workers is in the foundation of a good company culture.
8. A leader is not always right
Remember that as a leader you can also be wrong. It doesn’t make you any worse if you are sometimes wrong. Your employees are smart people and they also want to shine. Taking and using the ideas of your employees can be a real boost for them. Just remember to give the credit to the right people.
9. Measure the level of enthusiasm
If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. Try to measure your employees' enthusiasm instead of employee satisfaction. Everything is possible when you have a staff of enthusiastic people!
10. Focus on results, not on working hours
Typically the amount of time spent at work has been thought of as even too important. Instead, it should be the results that we work for. We don’t get good results with small efforts. If we measure end results, it will automatically direct us towards big efforts. There's a good saying for this: you’ll get what you measure. So measure results instead of working hours.
11. Grow leaders
Don’t be afraid of growing someone to be bigger than you are, but instead offer more opportunities for growth. The best companies grow leaders. The growth of employees is equal to the growth of the company. Let your employees grow and your company will grow too.
12. Divide responsibilities and authority
Responsibility and authority go hand in hand. When you share responsibilities amongst your employees, give also the authority to choose the best way to carry this responsibility. When you give the employee the responsibility for the end result, and the authority to execute, a huge amount of growth will happen.
13. Encourage your employee for lifelong learning
Lifelong learning is behind all personal growth. Og Mandino says that we don’t change as a person except by the books we read and the people we meet. I have been fortunate enough to have had many different responsibilities during my career. That has been a good motivator for me to study all the time. I’ve had a positive need for learning new things continuously.
14. Encourage your employees towards a healthy way of living
Sports, diet and sleep are the essential things for wellbeing. The better we feel mentally and physically, the better results we can produce.
15. Avoid the atmosphere of fear
Fear is one of the biggest enemies of success. Fear is deceiving in company culture since it can also push people forward. But think about it, which mindset would you prefer to achieve results in: enthusiastic or fearful? In my experience, enthusiasm also brings much better results than fear.
16. Develop your mind
Remember that you're always treated in the same way that you treat other people. When you, as a leader, keep your own mind positive, all people respond with positivity. Controlling your mind is one of the most important skills in the world. So learn how to focus your thoughts on positive things.
17. Believe in good
Trust that everything will eventually turn out well. When you keep this in mind, there is no room for fear in your thoughts.
Download a free guide and a survey template on how to measure enthusiasm at your workplace!
Tuomas Haapsaari / CMO