Defining company culture in an organization isn’t an easy task. It can be challenging to invest energy into a topic that feels grandiose or theoretical. It’s crucially important that you do so, though; company culture plays a larger role than you might think.
What Role Does Company Culture Play At Work?
Company culture is more than just a theoretical list of values or statements. Your company is creating a culture, even if you are not actively focused on it. Culture is about:
- The feeling an employee has when working for your organization.
- What behavior is accepted by employees and managers at work.
- How conflict or disagreements are handled.
Culture touches so many aspects of life at your organization. Therefore, we must take a more active approach to defining our company’s culture.
5 Reasons to Invest in Company Culture Every Day
Investing in company culture every day might feel like a massive undertaking. So, why do we need to connect on our culture, values, and vision so often? Here are some of the reasons why:
1. It’s Easy to Lose Sight Of the Company Culture You’re Trying to Build
You’ve probably heard of the phrase “out of sight, out of mind.” Company culture is a hard concept for some people to grasp. It only becomes more challenging if you aren’t spending an adequate amount of time defining and perfecting your organization’s culture.
A recent company culture story that made headlines was about the merger of Kraft and Heinz and what it did for the company culture of both organizations. Unfortunately, as companies grow, merge, and get acquired, it’s so easy to lose sight of the company culture you’re trying to build.
In the article about Kraft Heinz, a Kraft employee talked about life pre-merger. Kraft was treating its employees well with a lot of opportunities for advancement. As Kraft was acquired, the culture it had built as an individual organization was slowly eroded.
If you are not careful, it’s easy for something similar to happen to your team.
2. Culture Consistency Builds Brand and Company Loyalty
There is a brain hack called spaced repetition that dramatically improves the way your brain stores information. It works by going over the same information in a spaced, but repetitive fashion. Most people choose an hour every day to go over flashcards if they want to make the biggest impact with this method.
As an organization, you have to spend more time than once per year going over your organization’s core values and culture. Defining company culture should be a daily activity so that employees begin to understand the culture and what appropriate behavior looks like.
Put another way, you can’t act like culture doesn’t matter 300+ days out of the year. Employees need consistency to model great workplace behavior.
As you showcase your company’s culture, employees begin to understand that it’s more than just lip service on your organization’s career site. Culture becomes tangible, and it makes employees want to improve their loyalty to your organization.
As your customers become aware of your culture, you can draw new and existing customers to your brand.
3. Understanding Company Culture Helps You Make Better Decisions
Company culture isn’t just for employees. Managers and company leaders also need to understand the culture you are trying to build. Decision-making takes up a ton of mental energy for leaders who can spend hours of their time each week making decisions. When you have a clear culture, decision-making becomes effortless.
You would be surprised at the number of employers who struggle with decision-making:
Only 20 percent of respondents say their organizations excel at decision making.McKinsey & Company
Imagine how much better leaders would be at making decisions if they had clarity about the company’s culture, mission, vision, and values. In a world where clear decision-making is critical, we need leaders who understand our organization and can step up to the plate.
4. Culture Issues Are Easier to Fix When Detected Early
Cultural misalignment at work can cause a wide array of issues for employees. If one employee gets out of alignment, they have the ability to cause employee dissatisfaction, turnover, and a negative public image for your organization.
If you let cultural issues go undetected, you are letting employees that go against your culture connect with employees and customers.
On the other hand, maybe you are creating a toxic company culture. If you go months without addressing culture, you could be perpetuating this negative experience for a long time. Addressing culture often helps you spot these issues before they get out of hand.
5. Company Culture Defines Your Organization’s Very Existence
Company culture isn’t a pie in the sky thought experiment. It’s the makeup of your entire organization’s existence. Culture isn’t always easy to spot, but it’s being created every day.
Regular culture maintenance is a necessary part of organizational growth.
We care for our culture because we care for our people.
Daily Organizational Culture Tweaks
Now that you know why you should define company culture daily, let’s walk through a few activities to help you make this a reality.
- Highlight employees contributing to your company’s culture every morning inside your company’s communities.
- Check-in with employees daily to let them know you are thinking of them and see if they have any issues.
- Play a short get-to-know-you game during every daily standup meeting you have.
- Give your employees flexibility in how they choose to work every day.
- Encourage everyone to take daily breaks or naps to improve focus and get off the computer for a while.
You may be struggling with the thought of defining company culture every day, but this doesn’t have to be difficult. Start by defining the culture you are trying to create at work. Then, based on that, come up with a few activities you can do daily, weekly, and monthly to keep that culture top of mind for your employees.
Defining Company Culture Should Happen All the Time
Company culture isn’t something you define once and then put on a shelf. Leaders need to find ways to connect with employees. We have to address culture daily.
Without this extra step, it’s easy for employees or leaders to go back to their old ways. If you want employees to follow your culture, you have to keep it top of mind.
Are you looking for a way to improve company culture at your organization? Read our article about how employee communities drive positive company culture. If you are ready to invest in employee communities, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if our tool can serve your organization’s needs.