Benefits of Culture and How to Earn Them
Not only does an effective company culture improve productivity and operations, it boosts employee satisfaction which lowers turnover and builds engagement. These benefits don’t just happen. They are earned through the intentional development of good company culture.
In chess there are endless strategies that can lead you to a win; but you have to pick one early on and stick to it or your efforts will be scattered with no overriding goal.
If you sit down at the chessboard and just let the game happen, you’ll lose every time. The same thing applies to company culture. If you define a strong company culture early on, it can guide the way you do HR. By just letting culture go where it will, you lose the power and direction that comes with a strategic and intentional culture.
Avoid this mistake by sitting down with your executives and writing out what you want your culture to look like and how to get it there. Do you want more camaraderie? Put together a sort of activities committee or something. Do you value quality over quantity? Build an incentive program. The key here is knowing what you want.
Practically every company out there has core values, but how influential are they in your daily processes?
The Tesani Companies, founded by Travis Hansen, have an award-winning culture. One of the reasons the Tesani culture is so successful is Travis’ focus on core values.
Tesani’s values are not just posted on a wall and revisited once a year. Travis and his employees embody the core values. They work hard, make sacrifices, and give back. They are obsessed with the customer, committed, scrappy, and lifelong learners. They’re Mavericks.
Just because you have a set of core values doesn’t mean that they are the values your culture hangs on. What you actually do is the only good indication of what your values actually are. The list on the wall is just a reminder of what they should be.
The most important influences on your company culture are the people you hire.
The strongest influence on your company culture is who you hire. Too many companies hire for skills only. Skills are obviously important, but keep in mind that a new hire can strengthen or poison your company culture. Your culture should guide your hiring decisions, not the opposite.
As you’re interviewing candidates, keep your core values in mind and ask open-ended questions to gauge how the candidate lines up. By keeping questions open-ended, you mitigate the risk of candidates just answering how they think you’re looking for.
In my opinion, if you had to choose between an excellent culture fit with a few skill deficiencies, and a highly skilled employee that is a bad culture fit, I’d go with the former. Skills are much easier to learn than culture.