Business owners want to create a culture that matches their values and serves their customers. But this isn’t always easy because company cultures shift every day. Any business has what they need to create their own culture if they think it is worth the investment. Learn how to develop your own company culture by using these helpful tips from the founder of DMS and Austin Regional Manufacturers Association (ARMA), Robb Misso.
Visualize Your Culture
Creating a company culture is a complex process, involving law, policy, and people. If you don’t visualize what success looks like, you will chase vague goals and create a bland company culture.
What does a positive work environment look like? Every business answers this question differently, including yours. Does it mean hiring employees with a specific outlook or creating a policy that rewards working together well, or both? What questions does your business need to answer?
Once you can visualize your perfect company culture, start planning. Think about the policies you need to create and the conversations you will have with the staff. But be realistic! Reality won’t always match your imagination; it is too complex.
It doesn’t matter how well you plan if your team doesn’t communicate. Business owners are optimistic about their employees and assume that they know how to work as a team. But people are complex and learning how to share information is a skill that takes years to learn, not including personality quirks and workplace conflict.
Hiring job candidates with a strong work history isn’t always an option if you are a new or growing business. But you can always help your employees learn and naturally build a cohesive team.
Start by making honesty a priority; most communication breakdowns occur when people misunderstand each other or put off confrontations. You don’t need to create specific policies; let your managers work through miscommunications. It helps if they are emotionally mature and know it is a priority.
Tell Your Customers
Customers are a powerful resource. They notice how you present your company and will hold you accountable if you let them. Make sure they know what company culture you are trying to build and listen to their complaints. Just make sure you are listening to real customers; misrepresenting yourself on social media is easy and common.
Of course, customers don’t always share their opinions. It is too much work for some, and others don’t want to share their honest opinions with people they don’t know, even if they are filling out anonymous questionnaires.
If people don’t like your company culture, they won’t buy your products. While figuring out your sales numbers is a complex process, your company culture is something you should always consider.
Loyalty is attractive. Customers build relationships with employees and want to see them thrive. If your employees love working for you, your customers will love shopping too. The public is perceptive and will pick up on a company’s culture, even if leadership tries to prevent it.
Set an Example
Like children imitating parents, employees imitate leadership. They want to keep their jobs, and managers actively create workplaces that help them feel comfortable. One rogue manager can sabotage your company culture; this is why changing an established culture is so hard.
Leaders shape companies, including ownership. Always make sure your leadership team understands and promotes your company culture. If they won’t, consider firing them; some people aren’t worth winning over.
Building a company culture is a worthy investment, but just because it is healthy today doesn’t mean it will be tomorrow. If you value your employees and customers, create your company culture every single day.
About Robb Misso:
Robb Misso has worked in manufacturing for over 25 years and is the co-founder of the Austin Regional Manufacturer’s Association. As a founder and CEO of Dynamic Manufacturing Solutions, he has endeavored to bring previously outsourced manufacturing jobs back to the United States through a process DMS calls “reshoring.” Mr. Misso is a devoted husband and father of three.
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