When growth is your top business priority, it’s easy to leave company culture in a small corner at the back of the room. But the thing is, if you really, really want to grow your business, you simply can’t ignore culture in your work environment.
In fact, you might be surprised to know that company culture, values-based leadership, and real business growth actually all go hand-in-hand. Your business growth is dependant on how happy your long-term (and new) employees are with your company culture.
When you focus too much on growing in the most cost-effective way, neglecting culture, you can grow too fast and lose touch with your employees, possibly losing them for good. Keeping this in mind, it’s important that your business growth strategy includes your company culture strategy too.
Both are equally crucial to the success of your growing business.
Here’s how you can scale your business with a vision, values and company culture for maximum, yet steady growth:
Drive growth with values and a vision
We’ve spoken about this before, but it’s an important place to start when building your culture for growth. It starts with finding your businesses’ ‘core purpose’ and sharing it with your employees. The great part about it? All it costs is your time.
Start defining a business vision statement and mission statement that really gets to the core of why your business exists. It needs to be clearly defined so that it can exist for years to come, no matter how big the business grows.
As Simon Sinek so famously says, “All organisations start with ‘why’, but only the great ones keep their ‘why’ clear year after year.”
He’s right. If you want your company to be great, you need to define your company values and vision, share it with your employees and then actively live it, day after day.
Your vision and values are what will drive consistent employee engagement, attract the right employees, and can be the difference between an employee staying or going. Here are 4 steps to creating a vision, mission and values that engage employees, if you need some guidance.
Define your ideal culture
Once you’ve nailed down your vision and values, it’s time to start thinking about what you’d like your company culture to look like. Every company is different so each company’s culture will look different, whether it’s about creating great team dynamics or lessening a corporate culture feel.
Start with thinking about what your current culture looks like. Focus on your people and what they want. You can use surveys to help gauge this, or perhaps a few casual conversations in the tea room and annual reviews.
The more you talk, the more you’ll find out what your employees want, and how you can make it happen for them. What’s more is, involving them in this process will make your employees feel cared for and motivated for the exciting new things to come in the business.
Once you’ve thought about how you’d like your company culture to play out with your current employees, think about how this might work for future employees too. Your company culture will be something that attracts talent towards your business, for better growth. Each time you hire someone new, think about whether this person will be the right match for your company and the new culture going forward.
Now it’s time to make it happen.
Put your company culture strategy together into an actionable plan, so that you can implement it.
Once it’s clearly defined, you’ll need to run all the necessary parties through the game plan, as well as how they can help facilitate it into the current workplace.
This also involves training and empowering your leaders to drive this new culture. You can’t do it alone. You’re going to need some help. But your managers and leaders will also need the tools to help them implement it. Whether it be specific management training, or more budget to do special outings for teams, or a recognition program, you’ll need to give them what they need to help them set sail. This doesn’t have to be a costly exercise.
Recognise and reward
It’s important not to lose steam, because it’s easy to fall back into old habits.
One way you can keep the momentum going is to consistently recognise and reward employees that embody the culture.
Whether it’s a verbal ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’, or a simple message, it will show your employees that you’re appreciative of the effort they’re putting in to implement a culture that works for your business.
In fact, here’s a free useful resource that can help you build your recognition program from scratch.
An important part of the success of any project is the ability to reflect on it when the time is right, to measure its success (or failure) and look for any areas of improvement.
Reflect on your company’s culture every couple of months to see where it is in terms of your action plan and whether your vision and values are truly motivating your employees. It’s inevitable that it will change, because as new members come and the company grows, so does the team dynamics.
You can check in with your employees with surveys, or simple spoken communication on how they feel the culture of the business is working.
So there you have it. Scale your business by motivating your employees with your company’s vision and values, and keep them engaged with a company culture that embodies who you are as a business and why you do what you do.
Looking to grow your business even MORE? Try our free, 30-day trial to give your employees the recognition they deserve!