According to Harvard Business Review, “Culture guides discretionary behaviour and it picks up where the employee handbook leaves off. Culture tells us how to respond to an unprecedented service request. It tells us whether to risk telling our bosses about our new ideas, and whether to surface or hide problems. Employees make hundreds of decisions on their own every day, and culture is our guide. Company Culture tells us what to do when the CEO isn’t in the room, which is of course most of the time.”
Culture is key contributor to your company’s health, wellbeing, happiness, and productivity. With a strong company culture staff feel more connected to the business goals and values. Culture also builds the connection between staff and their roles, breaking down company silos and improving collaboration.
Company culture is a great resource in recruitment too. Businesses thrive on recommendations, both internal and external. Companies with strong culture attract qualified and likeminded professionals. Anytime you hire new staff, their alignment with your company culture will demonstrate how well they acclimatise to the new role and environment.
1. Establish a strong company culture
In order to establish your company culture, it needs to be clearly understood first. This means writing some key points out, sharpening the message and values of your business so they not only can be easily conveyed, but that they represent your business accurately.
Within Synapsis Creative, we’ve got a company brand book, which outlines our mission, our approach, our principles, and our style guide. Brand books can be a great way to help onboard new staff, demonstrate your company’s key values, and provide your team with company culture reference material.
2. Hire people that fit and understand your company culture
With well-established company cultures, this will help guide your recruitment and training processes. The best way to build a good company culture is to do so from the ground up, ensure the people you onboard fit your culture, understand its importance, and believe in it.
Finding people aligned with your business vision can be challenging, but it promotes the idea of longevity and contributing to the development of the company culture.
This is something that should be practiced from the start. Strong onboarding ensures alignment, demonstrates company values, and helps recent hires adapt to their roles and new environments. It can be useful having a strong onboarding presentation (and related resources such as brand books) to offer new staff members.
A good onboarding presentation should be tailored toward particularly roles and staff members, but always clear emphasise your company’s value, mission, and key cultural strengths.
3. Flatten your hierarchy
It’s hard to create culture within silos – it requires cohesion and collaboration. Corporate hierarchies only encourage cliquey behaviour, competitiveness, and potential rivalries. A flatter company structure fosters creativity and can boost productivity through a common goals and focus.
This doesn’t mean companies need to destroy any structure and adopt open-door policies – it simply means that every team member, regardless of experience or role can contribute to building the company culture. Afterall, they were hired because they shared your business’ ambitions, so why not let them be heard?
Elimination of hierarchical structures help create camaraderie – there’s a reason photos of President Obama fist bumping a White House cleaner resonated with so many. When businesses realise that they’re comprised of individuals working towards a common goal, things operate more seamlessly, and people communicate more openly. Hierarchies are helpful for establishing clear lines of responsibility, but if company culture is a key focus then there needs to be space to share and adapt.
4. Reinforce your company culture positively
This is where presentations can help your business flex its company culture is a way that engages staff. A branded company-culture presentation is an opportunity to show staff – both new and old – what your company is all about and how the team contribute to that vision. These should be updated regularly as your company culture develops and grows. Always remain open to staff ideas and suggestions, after all, they’re the one’s that put your values and mission into practice.
Company culture can also be reinforced through staff morale-building exercises such as company outings, business trips, and after-work gatherings. The office hours and environments aren’t always conducive to building company culture, which is why staff often build better camaraderie outside their daily roles and responsibilities.
5. Be open to change
Rigidity in company culture cannot help your business grow or improve – adapting to changes and developing over time helps strengthen your company’s culture and staff productivity. As businesses change their approach and markets, their culture should also adapt to these changes.
With a flatter hierarchy and regularly reinforced culture, staff will feel more empowered and invested in the business, more willing to offer feedback. This is a critical component of adaptation as staff can present potential changes and suggestions. Next time, we’ll look at the importance of presentations in attracting and retaining customers.
If you’re looking to give a company culture presentation, try kicking it off with a little animation. We’ve got some pre-made intro animation assets you can easily integrate into your next company culture presentation. Download it here