A growing business must focus on things like marketplace demand, customer service, and sales margins, to name a few. However, executives should also take care to foster a strong company culture that will help ensure business success.
Company culture is the personality of your company. It sets the tone for the work environment, expectations, and goals.
In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Frances Frei and Anne Morris state, “Culture guides discretionary behavior and it picks up where the employee handbook leaves off. Culture tells us how to respond to an unprecedented service request. It tells us whether to risk telling our bosses about our new ideas, and whether to surface or hide problems. Employees make hundreds of decisions on their own every day, and culture is our guide. Culture tells us what to do when the CEO isn’t in the room, which is of course most of the time.” This may be why low employee morale is often the first symptom of an unhealthy company.
When employees aren’t engaged or inspired, a job is just a paycheck. But when a business has a solid company culture, staff look forward to coming to work; they embrace new opportunities, and become invested in the company’s success. In today’s blog we’ll explore ways to promote your company culture.
Accepting failure and learning from mistakes
Begin to promote a winning company culture by adopting a policy that accepts mistakes. We all learn through trial error and mistakes are a learning tool that can guide success. For instance, a new sales strategy is less successful than a previous strategy. This failure or mistake is actually an opportunity to glean important information about your customers’ values.
However, when we use punishment or criticism to handle mistakes, we only foster a culture of fear. When employees are afraid to make mistakes, they will no longer take risks. This is why Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, encourages praise over criticism. He says, “When people receive genuine praise, their doubt diminishes and their spirits soar.”
This is because when people are praised, they experience success. When people experience success, they learn to succeed. It is important to encourage a culture of praise between teams, as well. When teams experience praise from each other for their accomplishments, bonds are created and they want to lift each other up and achieve goals together.
Improving communication between departments
Healthy, open communication between departments creates a team spirit. Begin to nurture this attitude by requiring multiple teams work together on projects. For example, have sales and marketing work together to create a strategy to increase the sales of a particular product. When they’ve achieved their goal, celebrate their collective win. Celebrating them as a whole fosters their sense of community.
Another way to improve interdepartmental communication is to offer social activities outside the workplace. Picnics, game nights, holiday parties, and other such events encourage relationship-building. Other social events might include the celebration of individual successes like birthdays or new degrees. A company culture that says ‘we support each other’ creates a sense of unity and belonging.
Embracing fact-driven decision making
Many businesses still rely on intuition and gut instinct when developing their business strategies. However, gut feeling is subjective and possibly incomplete. In order to gain the advantage over competitors, it is essential to know the facts. This requires access to data.
Businesses that rely on IT reporting from their ERP systems may be missing opportunities. This is because IT reports are static. They only provide a snapshot of what is happening the moment the report is generated. Static reports do not offer insight into the underlying metrics in real time, and create the potential for inaccurate conclusions.
By embracing a data-driven analysis, businesses are able to make decisions based on the facts. Diving below the surface and into the underlying stats reveals actionable insights. There you will discover new opportunities and how to circumvent potential problems. Phocas is designed to be used by anyone in your company. Through Phocas, executives, managers, sales people, and other staff can view and analyze the data relevant to their position. They can generate and share reports and collaborate through the software. When everyone has one view of the truth, it’s easier to develop cohesive strategies and minimize the potential for miscommunication.
Having a strong company culture allows your employees to feel part of a team. It creates trust and encourages growth. When your employees are happy, they become personally invested in your company’s success.
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