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How to create a culture that attracts better employees

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When entrepreneurs and executives are starting or restructuring their businesses, one of the most important things they should get right is workplace culture – it underpins all aspects of business operations and serves as a powerful engine for organizational success.

Every company has a corporate culture – inherent or by default – that is an organization’s unique personality that sets the tone for a company and defines how it treats employees and how employees should treat each other, customers, suppliers and stakeholders.

Because culture is central to the workplace and entrepreneurs tend to risk everything, it’s important to shape that culture strategically and with purpose, rather than leave it to chance and let it develop on its own.

Below are six steps business leaders should consider.

1. Understand the dynamics

Culture is a two-way street, and while leaders create it, employees define and shape culture through their personalities and their daily interactions based on trust, shared values, demonstrated behaviors, and shared goals.

Culture is not something that a company dictates and forces on a workforce; It is a continuous relationship building process between a company and its employees. In addition, culture is an extension of the brand and serves as a crucial link between a company’s internal environment and external presence, which can affect its reputation.

With the advent of remote/hybrid work environments, blank-slate entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to rethink traditional cultures and implement innovative ways to stay connected and nurture the culture. However, the traditional steps of creating a culture should remain the backbone for planning and implementation purposes.

Related: How to better manage company culture in times of transition

2. Develop mission and core value statements

Leaders should work with their leadership team to develop a mission statement and list of core values ​​that reflect their vision for the company and embody its principles. A company’s mission and core values ​​should create the conditions for creating an environment that fosters mutual trust between the company and its employees, enables high levels of employee engagement, and facilitates effective team collaboration that leads to long-term success.

With careful thought and consideration, a company’s mission and core values ​​should be able to stand the test of time while allowing for minor changes to ensure a consistent culture of high standards and a commitment to excellence.

3. Ask employees for input and feedback

It’s a good idea to get input/feedback from a focus group that includes people with different levels of experience and seniority from different parts of the organization. Because employees are the ones who are most impacted on a daily basis, their insights can be extremely beneficial, especially in remote/hybrid environments where employers continue to look for ways to streamline the culture.

There may be issues that executives thought were insignificant but employees find worrisome. Conversely, employees might find something exciting that wasn’t even on the radar. In addition, management approval is essential as it must live these values ​​on a daily basis and set an example for its teams and the company.

See Also: Great Company Culture Isn’t Magic – Take These Steps to Create It

4. Integrate core values ​​into the culture

Once the mission and core values ​​are established, it’s not enough to post them in key places and hope staff will notice; They should be integrated into the culture. Leading by example is a great way for leaders to demonstrate company values, which should be reflected in their daily communications, meetings, and interactions with employees. Walking the talk will encourage others to emulate similar behaviors and habits that help reinforce and internalize the culture.

When corporate values ​​are woven into a company’s DNA and institutionalized through ongoing programs and initiatives such as recruitment, hiring, onboarding, employee surveys, training and performance reviews, it helps to further solidify the culture and secure it for the long term.

5. Demonstrate the culture

Organizations should develop ways to demonstrate the culture through actions that have a significant impact on employees and can provide evidence that the organization lives its values. Additionally, implementing programs that correlate with certain values ​​speaks volumes about the company and its culture.

Some approaches may include demonstrating integrity by keeping promises, practicing service leadership by working for the benefit of others, offering a robust work-life balance program that includes flexibility, and offering paid time to volunteer in Engaging in the community to make a difference in the lives of others, showing care and empathy by taking the time to listen to employee needs and concerns, and creating a recognition program that rewards employees who demonstrate certain company values.

6. Conduct climate surveys

To ensure the culture stays on track, it’s important to measure employee sentiment toward the company and nurturing of its values ​​through annual, anonymous climate surveys. This helps employers learn more about how employees feel about their work, their workplace, their colleagues and managers. The information could also provide new ways for the company to align with the culture and its core values ​​in remote/hybrid workplaces.

Conducting climate surveys helps build trust among employees, which is vital to company culture as it shows that the company genuinely cares about employees’ feelings, needs and concerns. However, employers should commit to acting on the results so that employees understand that the company is genuinely interested in learning more and making necessary improvements and/or changes.

Entrepreneurs and executives who are in the exciting phase of starting or restructuring their business should take appropriate steps to create a strong corporate culture that serves as the foundation for their business operations. Not only is this key to having a competitive advantage to attract and retain top talent, it is also critical to the company’s reputation and longevity in the marketplace.

See also: How to Build a Company Culture That Keeps Loyal Employees

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/422814 How to create a culture that attracts better employees

Brian Ashcraft

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