As a business leader, you may be focusing on building a culture in your company that you and your team can be proud of. However, certain mistakes will send your culture backward, which is why you should be wary of them and actively avoid them. We will share some of them in this article so that you can go ahead and build a winning culture in your company.
Company culture must focus on creating positive cohesion that results in positive results like business growth. Having a positive company culture doesn’t have anything to do with having ping pong tables, free drinks in the fridge, or other workplace perks.
A great culture results in a team of engaged people who are keen to come to work and understand the company’s mission and values. So, without further ado, let’s explore the common mistakes that people make when going about building a company culture. In this article, we will also share some advice on how you can avoid making these mistakes and end up with a positive company culture. Let’s take a look at some mistakes you should avoid when building a positive company culture.
A Lack of Planning When Building Your Company Culture
One of the major mistakes that people tend to make is diving headfirst into making a great company culture and not planning for it at all. You must first take a look at your current culture and look for areas that need improvement. You need to decide on the direction of your business for the next 1 to 3 years and then revisit your mission and vision statements.
The two most important elements for creating organizational culture changes are executive support and training.
Executives need to support the cultural change in the organization in different ways that go beyond verbal support. They must look to change their own behaviors and show support for the cultural change in day-to-day actions that demonstrate to the team as a whole that they are fully on board with the desired directions that the company is taking.
Cultural change tends to depend on behavior change. Members of the organization need to clearly understand what is expected from them and how to actually adopt the new behaviors. Training can be used to communicate new behaviors and expectations. Mentoring should also play a big role in helping employees learn and change to accommodate the new cultural norms being set forth within the organization.
Companies and leaders that don’t plan for activities like these, set themself up for not getting the results that they are hoping for within the organization.
A major mistake that you should look to avoid making when you’re building a culture change in your organization is not communicating that to anyone else in the organization. You need to make sure that the team, especially the middle or senior management, understands what your cultural strategy is, and what role they are expected to play in reshaping any cultural change.
You should know that your people aren’t telepathic, and they need you to clearly communicate your plans and the areas in which you feel the current culture is letting you and your team down. The first step towards solving this problem is becoming aware of it. With a keen awareness of the need for effective communication, it is now your responsibility to ensure that the key leaders within your team know the vision of cultural change and then help communicate that to the rest of the organization.
Focusing on the Negative
As the leader of your organization, you have a big role in setting the right tone for your company. You should be aware of your mood and the type of energy you are spreading to your team. If you believe that there are some negative elements in your current culture, walking about moaning about them isn’t going to help solve your problem.
If you want to be known as a friendly person or a colleague that brings positivity into the workplace, you should start with proactive solutions to fix the main problem instead of complaining about them and spreading negativity in the workplace. You should work to eliminate negativity in the workplace before it spreads and takes root within your team.
Making Poor Hiring Decisions
When it comes to your team, building a positive company culture isn’t going to happen if you’re making poor hiring choices. The adage ‘Hire slow, fire fast’ comes to mind, and if you have team members who are constantly undermining their managers or spreading negativity in the workplace, it may be time to let them go.
During the hiring process, you may feel like you have found a brilliant candidate with the right skill set to move your company forward. However, you should also assess whether these candidates are a good cultural fit for your organization. If you have to choose between technical skills and personality and drive, you should remember that you can train anyone for skills. The same thing doesn’t apply when it comes to training someone to change their personality or character.
Lack of Goal Setting
Goals are an essential part of building a company culture that you can be proud of organizationally. Goals motivate individuals and teams to be focused and engage them in working together towards shared outcomes. However, you need to learn how to prioritize your goals properly as it’s a crucial skill that will help you and your company achieve success. You should note that great leaders tend to balance short-term thinking and long-term planning and thinking. Need help with goals in the workplace take a look at this article on SMART GOALS. (READ: How To Accomplish SMART Goals In The Workplace.)
As a leader, you must be looking to set clear goals that identify with your organization’s objectives as that will help lead to a positive work culture for your employees.
Overlooking Social Needs
Another common mistake you should look to avoid when you’re building your company culture is not being concerned about the social needs of your team. Great leaders all encourage friendships at work as it helps to create a family-style culture. Employees don’t want to just show up at work and then leave; they want to have meaningful work experiences.
That includes them being actively involved with everyone in the workplace. You should try to pick a few effective employee engagement ideas that would work for your team and then run with them. Make your employees feel at home by allowing them to establish connections with their work friends. That is key in helping to build a positive work culture in the organization.
Having No Defined Company Values
A common occurrence with people trying to create a positive culture is that they have no written values or mission statement. You should think of these as a way to express what behavior and values are and aren’t acceptable. Ensure that you and your colleagues also emulate these values.
You need to work together as a team to come up with a shared set of values, which is a great way to create buy-in from the entire team. Ensure everyone in the organization is working towards the same goals and upholding the company’s values. That way, you can determine the common company values vital for setting a great culture in your office.
Don’t Be So Serious
Every person needs to have a little fun in their lives, so you shouldn’t forget to enjoy some laughter and smiles in the workplace. When there is a positive company culture, you are often greeted with a smiling face, or you tend to hear well wishes of ‘Good Morning!’ being exchanged by your employees at the corner of the office. You should ensure that this happens in your workplace often, and you should make sure that you are approachable as a leader and that you encourage a little laughter here and there.
Being serious all the time paints the opposite of a happy picture and leads to a negative work environment where everyone is always focused on work. You should learn to relax and inject some fun into the workplace so that your employees don’t take things too seriously, and so that people actually enjoy working in your office environment. That will ensure your employees proactively work towards developing a positive work culture in the workplace.
Building Your Company Culture Is Not a One-Off
Finally, the last extremely common mistake is that some managers have the wrong idea of culture as a checklist item you can change, tick off, and forget. That is far from reality as a positive company culture needs constant tending and direction. You should make it a regular occurrence to review to learn how things are going and identify the areas you should be focusing on for the next quarter, six months, and the next year.
You need to constantly work on your company culture and ensure that your employees are always working to involve a positive work experience. You need everyone in the organization to work towards the goal of building a company culture that is positive and will be embraced by everyone in the organization. You need to build a positive work culture that everyone can get behind and encourage others in the workplace to work towards it.
Culture is going to emerge regardless of what actions you take. However, through the actions that you take, you have the opportunity to influence the culture that develops within your organization. Building your company culture with the above goals in mind will help you create a more positive and engaging workplace for yourself and your team. The solutions to the above nine mistakes are as follows:
Always Plan Ahead
You must always look to plan when it comes to building a positive work culture. It takes time before everyone is on board and adopts the new cultural norms that you are planning for.
Communicate to Your Team
You need to constantly communicate with your team and share your organization’s work culture with them. Effective communication helps in building a positive experience for everyone involved.
Avoid Spreading Negativity
You need to be positive from the outset and ensure that everyone in the organization has a positive mindset with no room for any negativity or judgmental reactions toward others that are slow to adopt the new norms.
Hire for Culture from the Start
Great company culture doesn’t happen by accident, as you must work towards it from the beginning. That means you should look at your hiring process and ensure that you hire the right individuals.
Set For Yourself and the Team Appropriate Goals
It’s important to have goals set for yourself and your team to ensure everyone works towards a common goal, leading to a positive work culture.
Don’t Overlook Social Needs
You must look towards involving everyone in the workplace. Social interaction is one of the main things that any company culture needs to thrive.
Have a Set of Defined Values
Every company culture is driven by a defined set of values in the workplace, and you need to ensure that you have crafted and communicated the set of values that you want everyone to follow.
Remember to Have Fun
There’s no point in building a great company culture if you’re not having fun with it. You need to ensure that the workplace is a fun place to be for everyone in the organization.
Continue to Nurture that Culture
You need to embrace your company culture, and once it has been set, you need to continue nurturing the culture so that it keeps growing, and everyone is on board with it.