Company culture is an interesting phenomenon. The idea has been around for a long time, first suggested by Dr. Elliot Jacques in the early fifties, as he analyzed the traditions of factory workers. Many smart and forward-thinking CEOs and business owners were using the term in the eighties and nineties. Then, it was used mainly in the context of increasing productivity, and avoiding ‘wasted time’. It is only in the last ten years that the term has evolved into something more holistic, representing the overall health of a company, and its employees. We talked to Justin Cobb about some of the factors that might contribute to
One of the first things that a company culture must be is recognizable. The values that make up your company culture do not have to be the same as every other company. What they do have to be, is defined and easy to understand. A strong company culture is one that every person at every level in your company can easily articulate to an outsider. A weak company culture, by contrast, is one that you would either struggle to explain or that a listener would struggle to understand on hearing it.
Quick exercise: Ask yourself if your employees know what the values of your company are? If not, it may be time to ask yourself if you know.
Company culture is about creating an environment in which all employees, at all levels, can thrive. If a single person in your company feels that they do not have opportunities for growth, you may need to rethink your business values. The opposite of nurturing is neglecting or even hindering. It is perfectly possible to inadvertently foster a company culture that neglects or even hinders the growth of your employees.
Quick exercise: Think of each role in your company, and ask yourself what opportunity they have for growth and progression. Now ask yourself what you personally have learned recently.
The goal of
Quick exercise: Sit down with an employee from a department that is performing worse than expected. A