Kick-starting Company Culture – A guide to looking towards the future
Here at Ninja we have an amazing team of the industry's best talent working away at outstanding work day after day, we take pride knowing that our employees not only love being in the office, but love coming to in the mornings and go the extra mile when burning the midnight oil becomes a necessity. We believe that we have an amazing culture, where every employee feels like a part of a team, a team with beliefs of integrity, teamwork and collaboration.

It has been said in no uncertain terms that the playing field for companies in the digital age is one jam packed with competition, as a result the pitfalls of not cultivating a culture that thrives on innovation in your company, can leave you with not only despondent employees, but with your business in itself craving to move forward faster.

In the coming weeks, we will be looking at how to foster the right culture for your company and how to bring about great change in the thinking of not only yourself, but your employees and future employees.

Preface

Let us have a look at what company culture is before we can start defining the key points on what makes it such a worthwhile investment.

Corporate culture refers to the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature. Corporate culture is rooted in an organization’s goals, strategies, structure, and approaches to labor, customers, investors, and the greater community.
Corporate culture refers to the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization
Therefore company culture is an anomaly, and often times great effort get’s put into jolting up culture by providing benefits to employees and then it just doesn’t work. To understand why this happens we need to discuss the greatest pitfall that employers face when taking on this enormous endeavor.

Be congruent

Company culture is all about a congruent effort made by Management that has the power to echo through every action the company takes. Being congruent in short, is where organizations who have fully accepted their culture and the steps they are taking to foster it gain massive strides in the engagement, innovation and quality of life of their employees. You as an employer and your management office have to completely live and breathe your company culture.

Why do I say this?

Well, have you ever experienced it when someone tells you something and you know for a fact that they don’t believe in what they are saying? Of course you have, we all have and that is where company culture stops being incredible.

Let me repeat that, you as an employer and your management office, have to absolutely be the company culture that you are trying to create. For instance, it does not help you try and spark innovation by never listening to any employee’s ideas or opinions on what is or is not great, you have to be completely objective and make them feel appreciated for the act of conversing with you about these ideas.
you as an employer and your management office, have to absolutely be the company culture that you are trying to create.

Construct clear call to actions

A call to action, for those of you who might not know is simply the act of telling someone “Come talk to me anytime”. Marissa Meyer, the globally admired CEO of Yahoo! delivered some memorable calls to action within her first year in charge of the company. She once said “You are doing important work. Please don’t stop.” and it had immense impact and people seemed to work harder after she said this, simply because she wholeheartedly meant it, she believe in the importance of the work her employees were doing and suddenly they believed in themselves more as well.

She fostered conversations on innovating the then stagnant company be asking her employees to come to her office and say “hello” and that she “cannot wait to hear your ideas for Yahoo’s future.”. Develop your own calls to action, make sure they are congruent with what you truly believe and lead by example.


mmayer
Marissa Mayer after purchasing tumblr. Source: Mashable.com


Support, never curb enthusiasm

As soon as employees feel like their voice matters and that they too can conquer any objective they set out to do, it is your job as an employer to support them by removing obstacles that may be in their path, anything that hinders them, should be immediately removed.  These obstacles can range from having poor quality hardware, lack of dependable access to the internet, internal issues or even the economy. There is nothing worse than having talented individuals with incredible ideas that they want to run with, not being able to run or feeling at any point like something is standing in their way of doing so.
There is nothing worse than having talented individuals with incredible ideas that they want to run with, not being able to run

Final Words

Take this guide as a starting point for developing the culture that you desire at your company, knowing what is involved in getting there is the first step in cultivating a strong presence for innovation, collaboration or customer service driven cultures. Next week we will talk about what is needed to make strangers fall in love with a company that has a strong set of beliefs and values.

Article by
Craig du Toit
Code Assassin & Director of Culture
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