it’s all about people

Key elements of company culture that you have to emphasize

Company culture is the DNA that drives the organization for success and motivate people. It begins with the management core values and beliefs. Their personality, past experience and the kind of company they want to build influence the core values of the company culture and how is it maintained. Building a successful company with a positive environment that people are happy to come everyday is a challenge. But if the management know its importance and what it can bring, they will do their best in order to maintain it. It’s very hard to maintain the company culture as the company grows and that is why its important to recruit people that can fit in and even enhance the company culture.

I really liked the article by John Coleman on HBR titled “Six Components of a Great Corporate Culture”. I think that he provides a great summary of the actual building blocks, but I would like to break down a bit and point out 5 elements that are essential to build a great company culture:

  1. Team players instead of individuals — work together in order to achieve common goals. As soon as people feel part of the team, they collaborate, feel responsible, accountable and happy to share their knowledge with the rest of the people they work with. It doesn’t mean that we loose the “individual”. An individual can still show his strengths and talents can still rise.
  2. Drive healthy communication instead of blaming — encourage people talk to each other. Managers shouldn’t stand between people to help them communicate or discuss issues. Instead they should encourage them to communicate with each other and have healthy conflicts. Managers can support people to take the right decision while they are in conflict. Obviously there shouldn’t be an entrance for blaming while building a collaborative culture.
  3. Knowledge sharing — is essential for the survival of any business. Building organizational knowledge is a continuous process. The company have to provide a platform, the necessary tools and rewards to motivate people to share knowledge with their colleagues. Knowledge is power and companies have to maintain it to show people how their ideas bring value.
  4. Encourage people to take responsibility — that way a company can have engaged employees. Managers can’t be a “single point of contact”. Obviously there is no way that one person can do everything. Instead they should build strong employees that can take responsibility, be accountable and have fun while taking care of their next challenge. Give feedback and assist them during the journey. We all want to feel effective and desired. Build an environment that make your employees feel valued.
  5. Plan ahead, owner and have due dates — everything a company do shall have a purpose and plan. Don’t over plan :) but road-map is essential. As soon as you got a plan, its necessary to have an owner that can execute that plan. That way you build organizational trust and encourage people to be accountable. As we said already, managers can’t be an “all-in-one” heroes, right? Build a culture that time is important. If time is always flexible, people won’t come to meetings on time, won’t pay attention to due dates and it will be very hard to really execute plans.

Overall, we have to build a company that people will have fun, be happy to come every morning and make exciting things together.

Good luck!