Having the right culture in your company is vital to its success. The culture that exists in a company can make or break it, so it is important to make sure the right culture is proactively developed. By not taking a proactive approach the culture will simply evolve in a random way by usually drifting towards whoever is making the most “noise” in the company. If that person, or group, is a positive, uplifting one then you are lucky and the culture will generally be positive. If, on the other hand, the noise is a moaning, slack-arse, negative one then you have a problem. Other people will be dragged down to this level and the whole company culture will become negative. You will end up loosing your best employees and retaining your worst. You will end up pissing off your customers and loosing them too. Ultimately you may be driven out of business, be driven insane by the negative energy, or both.

So what can you do about it? You have to take control and actively develop your own, positive culture in your company. The earlier you do this in your company’s life the easier it will be. If you haven’t done this process yet then I suggest you wait no longer and make documenting and implementing your chosen culture a priority project over the next quarter. Here are 7 steps to follow to help develop the right culture in your company:

1. Define Values. These start with your personal values, but try to develop them as COMPANY values that others can share.

2. Write it down. Commit this process to paper. Start with a rough draft and refine as you go through the process. You will need to communicate the culture to staff and others in writing, so make sure it looks right on paper.

3. Think Leadership. Take your manager (doing things right) hat off and put on your visionary, leader (doing the RIGHT things) hat on. Who will need to inspire others to follow you.

4. Top to Bottom. Make sure that the culture is spread and embraced by EVERYONE in the company.

5. Measure Contribution. Make contributing to the culture a KPI for everyone in their performance reviews. You do performance reviews, right? No? You should and so contact me to learn how.

6. Reward Contribution. Decide how you will reward positive contributions to the implementation of the company culture. “Caught being Good” bonus rewards, public recognition in meetings, non-cash award, etc, etc.

7. Live it Daily. Make sure you look for ways to live the culture every day in PRACTICAL ways. These may be quite small and by themselves quite insignificant, but they are important, tangible ways to keep the culture alive. Without practical examples the culture may wither, as people feel it is just a theory and has no practical application in their daily lives.

Contact me to discuss where your company culture is currently at and how I can help you effect some change for the better.

Andy Burrows

The Trades Coach. www.tradescoach.co.nz