You Are Your Business: Creating a Great Workplace Culture
January 7, 2016 Leave a comment
Keeping your new company afloat takes a lot more than free-flowing capital or strategic thinking (though those things certainly help). A company, if it’s a good one, won’t just demand great work from employees: it will actually encourage employees to do their best through a supportive, productive workplace culture. It’s necessary to what you want your company’s environment to be straight out of the gate to make sure you’re maximizing your employees’—and your business’s—potential.
Henry Kravis, who has spent decades buying, selling, and building companies, knows the value of getting the culture right. His advice to entrepreneurs setting out on their own is to believe that they are building a real business. To make sure they achieve success, Kravis encourages young companies to define their workplace cultures “as early as [they] can.” If you go into business without a good idea of who you want to be, you risk failure.
When you open your doors, make sure that your vision, mission, and strategy are clear. Because a company’s mission is largely defined by its CEO, make sure that you’re setting a good example for your team and following through with the things you say you’ll do. Furthermore, your team needs to know that they are working towards something. Don’t just describe the mission to your employees—be the mission.
Motivate your team to be supportive, transparent, and efficient. How you do this—office activities, rewards, competition—is up to you, but you need to prepare your employees to fulfill their purpose in your company. Offer managerial support and continued training for your workers so they feel engaged in their work and with each other. If your company values trust and transparency, employees will internalize that and actively contribute to the company culture.
In addition to leading by example, there are a number of other things to do that will ensure a healthy workplace environment. Hire the right staff by choosing the people you think best embody your company’s mission; make sure your employees are comfortable; encourage collaboration and social events; sit down and talk with your employees; and make sure they’re never overloaded or bored.
Creating a great office culture can be tricky, but if you are clear about what your company values and you personally demonstrate those values, you’re on your way.