Culture is at the heart of a company’s identity. It’s built, fostered and cultivated throughout all areas of a business—from the office space to the employees who live out that culture each day.
Recently, our company culture was recognized and celebrated: Conscious Company Magazine named our founder and CEO, Tina Young, to its list of Top Conscious Business Leaders in the conscious workplace category, which recognizes leaders who have created exceptional workplace environments where others can thrive.
Fostering a cohesive culture doesn’t happen overnight—and it certainly doesn’t happen by accident. We asked Tina a few questions that might help you on your own journey to building a strong company culture.
Why is culture such an important part of any company?
A great company culture is built on established core values and is important for many critical areas of business. High-performing teams—ones with employees who like their jobs and take care of their customers—are fueled by a positive culture. Measurable costs can be reduced or even eliminated due to culture’s direct impact on employee recruitment and retention, as well as customer experience and retention.
Culture is so foundational to a great company that it needs to be a top priority for the CEO. While team members may help plan activities that reinforce the values and culture that’s expected, company leadership should consciously and carefully set the culture tone and make business decisions through the culture lens.
What tips would you give a company that wants to foster a great workplace culture but doesn’t know where to start?
All companies have a culture, whether they’ve been intentional in creating it or not. But to have a great workplace culture, it starts with learning what employees personally value and what they believe the company’s values to be. You can gather this information through a number of survey tools or facilitated workshops. The input should result in a total of five to seven values.
Seek out areas of your business where you can live those established core values and create the cultural tone and experience you want. Culture is part personality (are you fun? friendly? formal?) and part company DNA (what’s at your core? what’s nonnegotiable? why are people drawn to your company?). Shape the company culture you and those around you will be proud of and want to invest in.
How might companies recognize when it’s time for a culture shift or reboot?
There are a couple of telltale signs that your culture needs a reboot. First, take a second look at your values—if you can’t think of any examples where they’re showing up in your business, or worse, you can think of ways your team is delivering the opposite of some of your values, then it’s time to gather your leadership team and take a closer look. Another clue: if you have high employee turnover or low employee engagement survey ratings.
Finally, toxicity spreads: When there are toxic things happening in a culture, it can affect every aspect of your business. Certain people or practices can become culture killers that you have to identify and understand before you can shift to a more positive environment.
The important thing to remember is that culture isn’t something that just happens. It takes employers and employees banding together to help live that company culture. Then, you’re sure to end up with a winning work environment.
Learn more about our values and our philosophy as a Conscious Capitalism company.