The goal of any business is to create its own culture. With a strong business culture, instructions and motivation don't have to come from the top down because each team member embodies the company's core values.
First, you need to have a culture that is clearly defined so that your team members can understand it. You do this by identifying your values and finding ways to impart these values to your employees.
An example of a value might be an innovation mindset or a desire to create a sustainable business that's good for the environment. An example of a value that relates more to your everyday business dealings is transparency. Values can be internal to the business itself or external in how you deal with customers.
When formulating these values, choose those that are easy to understand and that anyone can get behind. Broadcast these values to your team and customers (where appropriate) so that they're obvious and easy to see.
We learn best when we're having fun. Since you want your team to learn your company's culture, make it a fun experience for them. If you’re in a physical location, put things around the workplace that communicate your culture in an interesting way such as visuals or reminders. Create games and challenges for your team members to check their understanding and help them articulate your values. The same can be done for a virtual team as well, with just a few tweaks.
For example, you could create a challenge for your team to choose images from the internet that they feel best to represent your company’s values. Make it a pair or team activity to make it more fun for them. Hold a meeting where each pair or team shares and explains why they chose the image they chose.
Creating "culture champions" in your business helps a great deal toward establishing and spreading your company culture. These are employees who are strong advocates for your culture. They understand it well and serve as role models for other employees.
For your culture champions, choose a team member or members who you think already instinctively "get it." Choose those who are good communicators and are the most enthusiastic. Identify behaviors that show your employees are getting it and recognize and reward this behavior. During your one-on-one sessions with them, work on ways they can help further spread your company culture.
Spreading your business culture and core values must be proactive. Don't just put your values in a business manual or SOP’s and expect it to be enough. It is an essential part of building your team. Try to make every member of a team a culture champion.
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