Your Company Culture Starts With You

I recently attended an event where the keynote speaker was a prominent local businessman who spoke about the culture of his 150+ employee company.

He explained how he sought out employees at all levels who were competitive, entrepreneurial, and sports minded.  As well, he valued employees who had strong personal values and demonstrated a genuine desire to give back to the community. The speaker went on to explain how he would replace any employee who lost their “edge”. He demanded that employees always keep their hunger alive. To never stop finding ways to improve themselves and the company.

At first I thought, “where does this all come from?” It didn’t take long to realize that the owner possessed all of the above attributes. The culture of his company was a direct reflection of him. He was able to clearly state what his company stood for.

How many business owners or CEOs can truly describe the culture of their company? How many can back it up with real life examples of how the actions of their management team, employees and even themselves drive the culture they describe?

Many are not sure how to define company culture. It is not defined by written word. It is a combination of the “intangibles” that drive how people will act and react in their environment. A company’s culture can be similar to the one described by the business person above. Or it can be based on control, intimidation, fear, political correctness, politeness, mutual respect or to “not rock the boat”, just to name a few.

It’s not the leader’s words that drive the culture but their actions. A leader whose actions are not consistent with their message can create a culture of distrust or confusion. It is absolutely imperative that the leader remains passionate about the culture of their company while constantly ensuring that the management and employees are supporting the culture the leader desires for their organization.

Here are a few quick tips to help develop your company’s culture:

  1. Understand your own personality. Trying to drive a culture that doesn’t fit your personality and values will be uncomfortable as well as hard to maintain a high level of energy for an extended period of time.
  2. Hire people who will be a fit for your company’s culture. Just like yourself it will be difficult for them to be consistent with your culture in the long run if it is not natural to them. Understand their values and their attitude towards their work.
  3. Live it! Breath it! Act It! Your team will always be watching you to get their cue on how to act or react on a daily basis.

Tony Malyk

Business Coach, Vancouver, Surrey, Langley British Columbia

Tony Malyk

Tony Malyk is a Certified Professional Business Coach and Business Value Accelerator specializing in improving profitability and increasing business value in the manufacturing, distribution, trades and technology sectors.