How to Cultivate an Exceptional Culture

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Culture, Getting Results, Growth, Leadership

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Have you ever wondered how to cultivate an exceptional culture? Ultimately, a great company culture positively impacts employees’ well-being at work and personal lives. I’ve seen firsthand how it can drive success and growth within our organization. Our culture of engagement drives innovation, customer service, and a commitment to continuous improvement. Plus, our employees are just happier!

Because we are such a culture-focused company, we regularly survey our employees and we recently asked our employee-owners, “Do you feel trusted and empowered by your manager? Please share an example describing your answer.” This was an anonymous survey, but we always give people the choice of including their names or not. While people feel safer speaking up if they don’t have to put their name on the survey, it’s difficult to address specific issues if you don’t know where to put the effort. So, we put significant effort into creating a safe space for people to keep it real and reward people who give us constructive feedback. About 85% of our employees put their name on the survey, which is a testament to our “keep it real” culture, and 173 out of 175 people expressed that they felt supported, trusted and empowered by their manager. Their examples were inspiring, and the feedback was actionable and heartfelt.

Company culture matters, and every leader’s goal should be to improve team and company culture. But it’s not always easy to do, so I thought I’d share five tips to help you get started.

  1. Define Core Values: Clearly define your company’s core values. These should reflect the beliefs and principles that guide your organization. Ensure that these values are communicated to all employees and integrated into various aspects of the company, from hiring to performance evaluations.
  2. Lead by Example: Company culture starts at the top. Leaders and managers should set the tone by embodying the values and behaviors they want to see in the organization. When employees see their leaders actively living the company’s culture, they are more likely to follow suit.
  3. Foster Open Communication: Encourage open and honest communication throughout the organization. Create channels for employees to share their ideas, concerns, and feedback. Listen actively to their input and take appropriate action to address their needs and suggestions.
  4. Recognize and Reward: Acknowledge and reward employees who embody the company’s culture and values. Recognition can take many forms, including praise, awards, or promotions. Recognizing and appreciating employees’ contributions can motivate them to continue aligning with the desired culture.
  5. Invest in Employee Development: Support your employees’ growth and development by providing training, mentorship programs, and opportunities for advancement. Employees who feel the company is invested in their personal and professional growth are more likely to be committed to the organization’s culture.

Remember that cultivating an exceptional culture is an ongoing process that requires commitment and consistency from leadership and all employees. It’s also important to periodically assess the culture to ensure it remains aligned with the company’s goals and values. Remember, culture isn’t what you put down on paper; it’s how people perceive how things are done in your company. Culture embodies the distinct manner in which your organization embodies its mission and fulfills its commitment to consumers. That’s why a robust corporate culture is a distinguishing factor in the competitive landscape. It’s how you draw in customers, keep them engaged, and transform them into champions for your brand. Similarly, it’s how you appeal to top-tier talent and keep them engaged. And that’s why your company culture matters and why building an exceptional culture matters.

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