Seven Ways to Build a Corporate Culture

Practical steps for workplace improvement

Does your business maintain a favorable working environment? This could mean the difference between a successful company that continues to grow and a struggling enterprise that weighs itself down. Of course, building a winning corporate culture is easier said than done, but here are seven steps that may push you in the right direction.

1. Establish your identity. Who are you and what do you represent? This is your company, and you are the driving force behind it, so the culture should be a reflection of your personality. For instance, if you project a “work hard, play hard” mentality, this will likely set the tone for the rest of the workplace. On the other hand, if you have a low-key personality, your business may adopt a relaxed atmosphere.

2. Learn from both the good and the bad. Undoubtedly, you have worked at other places with positive influences and some with negative influences. Draw lessons from these experiences to incorporate the positives into your own structure while eliminating the negatives. Think about what cultivated or deterred success.

3. Find complementary workers. This does not mean you should only hire people who are exactly like you. In fact, you might go the other way and find employees who are the opposite of your personality to give your company more balance. Identify your weaknesses, and go from there. As an example, if you are not good at crunching numbers, your right-hand person should be.

4. Open the lines of communication. As you begin to develop the corporate culture, talk to your employees. Give people a platform to express their opinions. They may provide valuable insights that you can utilize or fine-tune according to your needs.

5. Have fun while you are working. If work is completely tedious, it will likely have a dampening effect on productivity. Of course, some businesses have more leeway than others, but there are various ways to engage employees that are not strictly “work.” For example, a company picnic featuring contests or a group expedition to a restaurant can be conducive to morale-building.

6. Emphasize teamwork. Your corporate culture should improve if you make it clear that you are “all in it together,” rather than just being a group of individuals. It will make it easier for employees to embrace your vision for the company if they feel they are a part of the team. What’s more, if you hold events where spouses and significant others are included, loyalty will grow.

7. Reinforce the prior steps. Building a better corporate culture is not a one-time event. It takes place over time, and reinforcement is often needed. Keep your eye on the prize throughout the entire year.

Of course, your corporate culture will continue to evolve as workers come and go, and you adapt to those changes as well. But building a solid foundation in the first place is essential to the process.

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