Culture Matters Part One: How & Why to Define Your Company Culture

Every business has a company culture – whether or not they’ve chosen to define it. 

Your company culture is the set of rules, norms, expectations, habits, and patterns that govern your interactions with each-other and with your customers.

How do you solve problems? What type of energy do you bring to the office each day? How do you respond to setbacks? What are your priorities? How do you communicate?

These are all cultural questions, and every business answers them a little bit differently. 

It’s important to understand that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to answer these questions, just as there is no “right” or “wrong” way to define and build your company culture. 

What’s important is that you take the time to define and intentionally create a company culture that serves your needs. 

Some businesses have a culture of entrepreneurial minded, self-starting, independent team members. Other businesses emphasize processes and procedures, and doing things the same way every time is critical. 

Some businesses are fanatical about customer service – and everything comes second to making sure customers are taken care of. Other businesses are focused first and foremost on watching the bottom line and protecting profitability. 

Most business owners never take the time to think this through. Their culture just “evolves” naturally. And often, there are some characteristics and “norms” that aren’t beneficial. 

Do you ever feel like you have a company culture of complainers? Employees that constantly make excuses? Employees that are more interested in themselves than they are in making sure the team wins?

It’s important that you take control of this process. You, as the leader of your business, need to set the pace and drive the culture. 

It starts by identifying your top values and priorities. Take some time now to think them through. What values and behaviors do you want to define your workforce? A few ideas: 

  • Timeliness
  • Discipline and accuracy
  • Creativity
  • Self-starters
  • Strong communicators
  • Customer service oriented
  • Problem solvers
  • Team players
  • Performance oriented
  • Innovators
  • Passionate
  • Funny
  • Detail-oriented

Again, there is no right or wrong answer. But it’s important that you, as the leader of your business, take the time to intentionally define your company culture. 

What are some of your personal priorities? Leave a comment on our post – I’d love to hear from you.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series!