Building An Authentic Company Culture from Scratch in 6 Steps

August 12, 2019

Are you in the middle of getting your company off the ground and want to make sure that you’re establishing a dynamic company culture? Or is the culture of your current organization broken and you need to resolve it? Building a company culture that is productive, positive and still authentic is not easy…but it’s achievable with planning and effort if you know how to do it. Start working on these 6 things today to create an authentic company culture from scratch.

Pinpoint Your Ideal Culture

Architects don’t build houses without plans, and you shouldn’t attempt to build a successful culture without one, either. Ask the hard questions like what do you want the company to achieve? What does it stand for? Why should your employees do what they do?  The honest answers you give are the foundation to building an authentic, enriched company culture.

Refocus Your Core Values

If your company has core values identified, examine them closely. Do they align with your ideal culture? Are they an accurate representation of your organization? If not, you need to either change them or start making decisions that are driven by the current core values. It’s important to remember these aren’t just words and phrases hanging on a wall, but are the soul of the company. Use your core values to guide the company and encourage your employees to do the same. This will strengthen and align the culture and define the purpose.

Hold Leadership Accountable

Company leaders’ behavior should be examples of the culture. If it’s not, the company lacks authenticity and won’t fully engage your employees. Leaders should understand what’s expected of them and function within those parameters. How they treat their team, employees in other departments, and the way they behave during successful times and rough waters all contribute to building the company’s culture. Make sure their actions are helping create the one you want by giving them clear expectations and providing consistent feedback.

Commit to Open Communication

Employees need to know and understand the inner workings of the company if you want them to feel like they are part of the vision. No, you don’t need to share every financial detail and discuss every decision. You should, however, be forthcoming about broad decisions and plans that affect their roles and the direction the company is going. In addition, communication is a two-way street. Managers should ask for and listen to critical employee feedback and share information in the same honest manner. Building a culture of trust and transparency cannot happen without strong communication channels.

Address Toxic Employees

Building an authentic culture may mean dealing with toxic employees who don’t represent it well. Those who cause conflicts, fight against the flow, and refuse to conform to the company’s core values may need to be reprimanded or even terminated. These decisions are uncomfortable and must be handed delicately, but they must be met head on to forge the type of culture you want to build.

Hire with Culture in Mind

Even if all your current employees are positively contributing to a great company culture, the balance can sway out of kilter if you don’t hire the right people. Make sure your hiring managers understand the culture and what to look for in job candidates so you can preserve it and build upon it in a positive way. From the first review of a resume and application to the final decision, a candidate’s cultural fit should be measured right along with proper experience and job-related education.

Building an authentic culture takes a commitment and consistent action. Setting it up and then letting it grow on its own won’t work. Once you build it, you need to foster it and protect it so it can flourish. Since a strong culture is key to keep employees motivated and engaged, the results will be well worth the effort.

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Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

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