Jake Davis

Every Business Has a Company Culture: Here’s How to Make it Great

Your company culture is more important than you think.

Research shows that positive work cultures are more productive, and a productive work environment is a more profitable work environment.

How's your company culture?

If you are not sure how to answer that question, then your company culture probably needs a bit of work, and I'll help you get started. But first, let's define company culture.

Explained by Alison Dole in Understanding Company Culture, "Company culture is the personality of a company. It defines the environment in which employees work. Company culture includes a variety of elements, including work environment, company mission, value, ethics, expectations, and goals." And as the owner or manager of a business, you are likely responsible for each of these elements.

So if you are responsible for these elements of your business, and you're not sure what the current state of your company culture is, something needs to change—you! This all starts with you, and you will have to change in order for your staff, and eventually, your culture, to change.

Ready to make a change? Here are six steps you can take to start and maintain a more positive work environment for your business.

Understand What Your Employees Want

Money is not a motivator for everyone - and I recently wrote about how to motivate a team outside of their paycheck. At Mavidea, we have a great group of people whose motivation is doing good work and being good teammates. But each person has different wants, needs, and personality styles. We ask them regularly for their short and long-term goals, including having each employee set weekly goals of what they want to achieve. This helps us understand what they want, and then be able to help them achieve that.

Set Goals, and Involve them in the Process

Just as we expect our employees to set their own goals, we set company goals and each employee is involved in that process. We shape our goals around our employees, and they have a say in what those goals are. This gives them a sense of ownership and accountability in those goals. And when we hit one of those goals, we celebrate as a team with a special dinner, gift cards, or in some other fun way.

Hold Everyone, Especially Yourself, Accountable

We're human. We make mistakes, and sometimes, we fail. By keeping yourself accountable and admitting your mistakes, you create a culture within your company that is more open to admitting when something goes wrong and then planning on how to correct that mistake.

This point also goes back to the importance of knowing what your employees want and having them set goals. If you know what they want and what their goals are, you can track their progress and discuss with them what they need in order to better achieve their goals.

It's important to focus on the positive side of every employee, and use mistakes as a tool for growth.

Read: The Positive Side of Millennials

Empower Each Employee to Contribute

We do something at Mavidea called "flair." Employees have silly sashes that they can earn badges to add to, like in the boy/girl scouts. Each employee can make flair nominations—recommend that a team member earn a piece of "flair" for doing a great job on a specific task. Flair nominations help employees feel recognized and get each employee to actively think about our values and spot when someone is displaying them.

Enhance Culture with Each Hire and Fire

Firing and hiring are both difficult tasks. But each decision to hire or fire is an opportunity to enhance your company's culture or take away from it. Once you start implementing the culture you want, you have to continually enforce that with your decisions, especially when it comes to the staff members you keep on your team and those you let go.

Evaluate and Check-In Often

Your culture will never stay the same. There will be ups and downs, and you should be aware of these changes, whether for better or worse, and then make changes. A large part of building and maintaining a positive company culture is constantly reevaluating and adjusting what you do to build the most positive and effective culture for your business.

What are you doing to cultivate a healthy company culture?

Company Culture: Six steps to a better culture

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Mavidea provides web design, digital marketing, and IT Solutions to businesses who want better results. Is that you? Schedule an appointment today. 

4 thoughts on “Every Business Has a Company Culture: Here’s How to Make it Great

  1. I love the insight behind how Mavidea runs. I’ve been following this blog on and off for awhile (I graduated a year after Erik Barnlund at IWU). This is my favorite blog post so far. The flair is a fun and unique idea that I haven’t seen from another company yet.

    I would love to see more examples of what the weekly goals are. Since they are weekly, I would imagine they are client project related. Or are they more development goals? Perhaps taking a class. Or learning a new technique. I would so love to learn more about how Mavidea sets these weekly goals.

  2. Thanks for commenting.

    The weekly goals tend to be client/project driven. We do have a fair amount of personal development or professional goals come through as well. I’ve seen things as small as “clean my workspace” and bigger goals like going to a class.

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