How to Build a Great Company Culture

Rachel Cohen
March 11, 2021

Employees want to work for organizations with a great company culture. In many cases, workers may choose a company because of its culture, putting less importance and value on compensation and benefits. Against popular belief, there are ways to create a strong company culture without having a budget dedicated to it. This blog will outline how leaders can build a strong company culture, define core values, recruit for a cultural fit, and connect employee’s roles to a purpose.

What Makes a Company Culture Great?

A great company culture goes beyond the perks and benefits that a company might offer. It is an integral part of every organization that creates a strong brand identity, both internally and externally. Employers should focus on the following key initiatives to build a great company culture –

  • Emphasize employee wellness – Employees should always feel their best – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Leaders must ensure that employees know what tools and resources are at their disposal so they can live their best, and healthiest, lives inside and outside of the office.
  • Provide Meaning – Create a mission statement and company values so that your employees can find meaning in their work. Employees want to see how their role impacts the larger missions and goals of the organization.
  • Encourage Social Interactions – Leaders should provide opportunities for their employees to have social interactions in the workplace. Consider implementing team building exercises, weekly team meals, or a happy hour.
  • Trust and Listen – Trust and listen to your employees. Employees want their voices to be heard and valued.

A positive culture will grow and thrive if an employer commits to implementing these key culture-building initiatives.  

Determine Your Company Values

The backbone of a strong culture can be found in the company’s core values.. These core values should be aligned with what is important to your company, reflect how you want others to view your organization, and serve as the guidelines for employee behavior. However, there is no right or wrong answer for what your core values should be. It is not about what your values are, but how your employees live them.

At Red Clover, we have five core values that drive our ways of working, how we develop our people, and our approach to addressing customer needs.

  1. Family First – We believe that when given a choice between work and family, family should always come first. We share of ourselves personally and professionally and focus on why we do what we do, every day.
  2. Own It – Every problem is our problem. When confronted with an issue, our first reaction is to take responsibility to fix it. We own it and we work together to solve it.
  3. Got Your Back – We back each other up. Always. Not only do we have our colleague’s backs, but stand behind our client’s too.   
  4. Honest Counsel – We consider it a privilege to guide our clients and provide a strategic decision for their business. We strive to do what is best for our clients, individually and as a team. This includes telling our clients, or internal team members what they need to hear, even when it’s uncomfortable.
  5. Get Shit Done – We are a team that rolls up their sleeves and digs in to deliver. We strive to deliver real, tangible results or our clients with a commitment to its execution. Bottom line, we get shit done.

Our consultants live the Red Clover values everyday through how we operate internally, serve our clients and  manage our internal and external communications.

Recruiting for Culture Fit

Hire for culture, train for skill. While job skills are essential to a hiring decision, those skills can be easily taught through a training and development program. Finding someone that is a cultural fit is equally as important  because culture cannot be taught. Even though culture is intangible, it can still be measured by assessing someone’s personality, values, ethics and motivations in an interview. We recommend using a behavioral-based interview method throughout the hiring process, as past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. In Behavioral Interviewing, you frame the questions in a way that allows the candidate to speak to situations that have happened in the past;  “can you tell me about a time…” or “can you share an example of when you…”. As an interviewer, you should ensure that the question is relevant to your company’s culture to find out if they would be a good fit. You can then solidify this impression with reference checks.

Culture is important for successful recruitment. There is a direct correlation between culture and recruitment when it comes to attracting  and retaining top talent. A great company culture will attract talent that will thrive in the work environment and repel those who will not. People want to work for companies with a good reputation from past and current employees. Hiring people for a cultural fit can make the difference between a complacent employee who does the bare minimum to get by and a high-achieving and driven employee who finds purpose in what they do . A positive culture gives an organization a competitive advantage when it comes to employee retention as employees will develop a sense of loyalty to their organization and will be more likely to be a long-lasting employee. A strong organizational culture can also increase employee engagement, improve employee relationships amongst team members, and foster an environment for high performance.

Connect Roles to a Purpose

So, you’ve identified top talent that fits into your organization’s culture. Now what? The next step is to connect their role to a purpose. This means that your employee needs to be able to identify how their work contributes to the overall mission and goals of the organization. When employees understand their purpose in an organization, it will cultivate motivation, fulfillment and engagement amongst the workforce.

Here are three tips on how leaders can alter their leadership style to successfully connect roles to a purpose:

  1. Regularly show people how their work benefits others – When assigning someone a task or project, explain why it matters. While managers are providing positive feedback and recognition they should explain specifically the difference the employee made. If an employee made an impactful difference, give them a shout out in a team meeting.
  2. Connect everyday tasks to the bigger picture –  Make sure that each team member understands how their contributions matter. Ensure that everyone, even the employees at the first layer of the organizational chart, know the vision and mission of the company and how what they do influences the accomplishments of future business goals. Have regular, ongoing discussions with all employees about how their work impacts the company’s bigger picture. 
  3. Emphasize contribution achievements – Encourage employees to set goals. If applicable, create an award structure (yes, it can even be financial) that rewards employees for demonstrating the organization’s culture or for going above and beyond to meet the goal.

Build Your Company Culture with Red Clover

Do you understand your own corporate culture? Red Clover consultants can help you evaluate and define your own company culture. Once you understand your company culture, are you ready to hire for a cultural fit? Contact us and we can help you design your recruiting and hiring processes to identify top talent that will amplify your company culture.

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A commercial roofing contractor was in hyper growth mode. They had goals to increase their field workforce to expand their service area to additional states and geographical locations. If they were to grow their field workforce, they would also need to increase their administrative, operational and sales headcount to support the additional workload created by increased field work. Additionally, they were challenged in workforce retention and development, experiencing high turnover, and did not have a dedicated Human Resources professional to manage employee relations and compliance issues that come with trying to scale a business.

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