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Every business has a corporate culture. That culture determines how customers and employees feel about a business. A good culture is critical for success. While often corporate culture develops organically over time, there are several things you can do to ensure that you are heading in the right direction.
Below are some thoughts on how to improve your corporate culture:
1. Clearly define and communicate your mission, vision and goals. Be clear on what you believe and where you are going and share that with all of your employees.
2. Constantly repeat what’s important to your business. Repetition is the key to learning and understanding a behavior, belief or goal.
3. Have congruence between your actions and beliefs. Employees will believe your actions over your words. So make sure you’re reinforcing your beliefs and not undermining them. This is common in many businesses. Employees are told they’re empowered to make a decision, but when they do they are degraded for doing it, causing distrust and confusion.
4. Recognize and reward behavior that reinforces your beliefs. Praising employees publicly is a great way to highlight your belief to all your staff and remember, “Behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated.”
5. Explain the “why” behind the “what.” The more an employee understands why you are asking him or her to do something, the more likely they are to do it and to help coach others to do it as well.
6. Cultivate strong coworker relationships. Teamwork and camaraderie can only occur when coworkers get to know one another. While it is not necessary that coworkers socialize outside of work (although that does help), they do need to be able to socialize within the workplace. Trust and effective communication with another person is much easier once a meaningful relationship has been created.
What are you doing to improve your culture?
Chez Misko is the chief operating officer of Wisconsin Athletic Club. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.