Corporate culture reflects the companies identity, its goals, structure and approaches to business. It affects how employees work with one another and they see the company. A healthy corporate culture sustains satisfied employees, loyal customers and equates to profits for the company. How to develop and maintain a healthy corporate culture is a challenge, especially for start-ups and small companies.
One of the biggest problems small business owners face is learning how to delegate tasks to employees. A lot of entrepreneurs start their businesses with little capital to fund a full workforce. As such, they have gotten used to doing most of the tasks on their own. With hiring new staff, it is imperative for owners to allow their employees to do their work without feeling that the boss is constantly looking over their shoulders. Encourage your employees to believe that they can do the task at hand.
Employees in a healthy corporate culture see themselves as a piece of the puzzle. Each one is essential to completing the picture and helping the company succeed. Once employees start seeing that their contributions are positively affecting the group, they will be more inclined to work harder and improve the quality of work that they produce.
Influence the Team
It all begins with the owner and how well he/she communicates the company vision with the rest of the company. Let your employees share that vision. Your employees attitudes and behavior towards work and the company are also a reflection of your general outlook towards the business. Always think of setting a good example to your staff whether it is when dealing with customers, employees and vendors or even in terms of the chosen lifestyle.
Treat all the members of your staff equally. Be respectful in all your interactions. Avoid playing favorites although this may be difficult if you have a close family member working for you. When it comes to work, all employees should be on the same level. Nepotism and favoritism has adverse effects on the morale of your employees. The same goes with hiring new staff. Avoid having any biases in terms of gender, race or ethnicity. Hire employees who will treat both employees and clients well and will commit themselves to doing their tasks well.
Establish Clear Communication Lines
Express your instructions clearly but allow your employees to express their opinions openly. Encourage them to communicate with you any issues that can affect the team and company. Allowing them to participate and making them see how it affects the company will encourage them to contribute for the growth of the company.
Allow Employees to Grow
Doing assigned tasks is one thing but it also pays to put extra effort in the tasks that they do. Encourage them to learn new skills and accept tasks that go beyond their normal comfort zone. Assigning employees leadership roles will allow them to see what they can do and identify new skills. As the owner and employer, this will also help you identify which employees can be promoted to higher positions within the company or be assigned new roles and tasks. Having a team that is willing to grow and learn is a must if the company intends to expand.
Try to provide training as well. Whether it is on-site or off-site, this will help teach employees new skills or reinforce existing ones. Certain training courses combined with team-building activities can also help bind groups together to make stronger teams. Investing on your employees development will pay off in terms of productivity and can also help improve relationships with their colleagues. Make sure that the individuals facilitating the training are equipped and knowledgeable in the skills they are teaching to your employees.
Look for Warning Signs
Characteristics of a flawed or weak company culture will also reflect in the behavior of the employees. Look out for warning signs of issues within the company. This may include difficulties in hiring experienced people to fit the post, having employees arrive and leave work on time, no clear communication lines or a forming rift between the management and the employees. You must act quickly if you observe any of the warning signs. Nor doing so can cause the quality of work to deteriorate and can even affect company relations with contacts and clients.
Bethany Wesch writes about blogging, branding and online marketing. She writes for QuantumLinx a professional SEO Sydney Company which specialize in providing online marketing solutions to local businesses and sales people.