In today’s hyper-competitive business landscape, companies are struggling to retain their competitive advantage. This is true whether you are trying to build a competitive edge for your customer-facing brand or as an employer. That’s why one of the best ways to achieve these goals is to build a thriving company culture.
If we focus on your employer brand and internal goals, however, a positive company culture allows you to build high-performing teams. It also allows you to elevate brand loyalty and employee engagement. You can also achieve many other objectives that will boost long-term business success. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s put this into perspective and take a closer look at the role your HR experts play in your company’s culture. Here’s how to build a culture that will take your business to the next level.
What is Company Culture Anyway?
First things first, what is company culture and why is it so important for long-term success of an organization?
Company culture is the embodiment of your workplace environment. It is the way you treat and manage your employees. It is your brand’s identity and the people you hire, as well as the values and causes you uphold.
Your culture is an essential part of your employer brand and it can be instrumental in raising productivity. You can also leverage it to build a thriving employee collective.
But what does your HR department have to do with your company’s culture?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just up to the upper management to come up with and develop company culture. You need your HR experts to be a part of this process. Why? To set the right foundational pillars and empower your employees to internalize your culture and values.
Lay the Foundation for Your Company’s Culture
To start, HR experts can lay the groundwork by coming up with and defining the internal values that shape your employer brand.
These values will be the foundation of your company’s culture.
If you’re managing a startup, creating a startup culture on the foundation of brand values and important causes is an important step. Especially when you’re trying to attract and retain the right kind of people.
There’s no one better than your HR staff to coordinate with the upper management and the employees to identify these values and the causes. Your HR team also knows that the values you portray need to resonate with the values of your target demographic.
When defining your value set, be sure to:
- Avoid generic values like “integrity” or “value-driven”; explain why these things matter to your company
- Research the competition and your customers
- Analyze your employee’s needs, values, and aspirations
- Analyze your brand identity, positioning, mission, and vision
- Derive values from your long-term business goals
Engage with Employees and Encourage Feedback
One of the tasks that HR professionals excel at is connecting with the employees on a more personal level. This is to achieve organizational goals, but more importantly, to help the employee achieve their professional goals.
HR is your connection to your employees. When it comes to building a thriving company culture, HR can help you define a culture driven by honest employee feedback.
Needless to say, including your employees in this process will be crucial for long-term success. Encouraging employee feedback and participation during this process is one of those HR best practices that will also allow you to create a powerful employer brand.
Most importantly, though, HR teams know how to gather, sort through, and analyze employee feedback. This is to create action steps to start building and nurturing the right kind of culture.
Let your HR experts:
- Connect with individuals and teams
- Create a questionnaire and conduct employee interviews
- Conduct brainstorming sessions and culture workshops
- Collect and analyze feedback, and draft a culture outline
- Work with the upper management to refine the culture
- Create action steps for effective implementation
Use Branded Merchandise for Engagement and Retention
Never underestimate the power and potential of branded merchandise to build brand recognition and loyalty in the eyes of your employees. Even something as simple and inexpensive as a branded sweatshirt can be a wonderful gesture that your employees will appreciate. But of course, you can always take it a step further.
You can go for inspirational branded merchandise with a catchy tagline or you can invest in valuable tech and tools to make your employees’ lives easier.
The important thing is to always emphasize the values you all share. Every piece of branded material needs to come with a story and an inspirational message. This will bring the team together and inspire everyone to work towards a common goal.
Your HR team will be instrumental in defining the messaging behind your branded materials. They will ensure that these materials make a positive impact on your employees.
Inspire People to Build Meaningful Relationships
One of the key objectives of your company culture should be to inspire your employees to build meaningful relationships. This is not something you can simply demand of them. It’s also not something you can encourage by hosting occasional meet-ups or team-building sessions.
Instead, you need to inspire meaningful relationships through:
- Efficient communication
- Continuous learning in the workplace
- Positive leadership
- A clear value proposition
You’ll have an easier time incentivizing people to build more meaningful relationships in the workplace if there’s something to be gained. Your employees will feel incentivized to connect with the collective on a deeper level if they can lean on each other to achieve better results.
They’ll also be able to reduce stress at work, and build a more positive work environment.
Needless to say, this builds a great culture across your organization and boosts productivity and engagement.
Know How to Communicate and Disseminate Your Culture
In the end, your HR team needs to disseminate the new culture across your organization. They also need to make sure that it is being adopted among your employees.
To do this, they need to visualize the culture in a comprehensive presentation, infographic, or any document that they can easily send to all your employees.
This document should cover all the values and brand identity elements we talked about today. Your HR experts will then follow up with your employees to gather feedback, but also talk about the culture and help everyone internalize it quickly.
Honest and timely communication will be key, and it’s important to check up on your employees periodically to see if the culture has become a part of their everyday life. Make sure to revise the culture and its performance every few months, and adapt according to feedback, productivity fluctuations, and employee happiness.
Over to You
HR experts wear many hats in an organization, and they can be instrumental in building and cultivating a positive company culture.
Only by introducing your HR staff into this process can you hope to identify the needs of your employees. This will allow you to build a culture based on valuable feedback as well as relevant data.
Remember that your HR staff are experts in managing people in your organization. They can use their skills to create and optimize a culture that’s just right for your brand and your employees.
With these tips in mind, go ahead and build a thriving culture in your organization that will allow your team members to achieve better results in 2022 and beyond.