Why Culture is Important and How to Build it Well

Developing a high performance company culture is more important now than ever. It’s not that company culture was ever unimportant, but it’s quickly proving to be a “necessary” to achieve strong results, rather than a “nice to have.”

It was time to think about what sort of company we wanted and how we would get there. It wasn’t enough just to ‘let it happen’ on its own. Just like we’d maniacally built the product, we needed to do the same with culture. Of course, this inflection point is different for every fast-growing company, but the good ones all get there eventually. As you grow, it becomes harder to communicate everything, to get consensus on every decision or to create a process and procedure for everything. A strong and clear culture can give everyone the proper framework to work within.

Culture is not something you put in place and expect it to stay forever. It takes work. You need to nurture it. You also need to give it the freedom to evolve. If you cling too tightly to your culture, you risk smothering it. Protect it, but understand that your culture will shrink and swell and that’s okay so long as it maintains its core. Your company culture defines for you and for all others, how your organization does business, how your organization interacts with one another and how the team interacts with the outside world, specifically your customers, employees, partners, suppliers, media and all other stakeholders.

Culture is the formula, the DNA that provides guidelines, boundaries and expectations for your team and your customers, and is the primary platform to inspiring and motivating your people, and is the most powerful resource you have to attract, recruit, hire and retain the highest level of talent to your business. The best people always want to work with the best companies, and the best people are the catalyst for creating ongoing business success.

But Bad company culture can have a huge impact on your day to day happiness. Being able to identify when a culture is turning bad, and what you can do about it are crucial skills for managing your career happiness. Since culture is about what people to do in organization, meaning it’s attached to those behaviors. When behaviors within a company that are accepted or celebrated lead to conflict and strife, you’ve got a bad culture on your hands. Employee or group perceives either a lack of fairness or a lack of respect in treatment from co-workers or managers you’re going to have problems. If the perceived lack of fairness/respect continues beyond a “one-off” occasion, the issue can become systematic, at which point it becomes a culture issue. And if a company lacks either a formal or informal way for its members to talk to each other, you have a formula for breeding mistrust. When people get upset, angered, frustrated, or even just confused, and they have no way of clearing the air, problems start to fester.

Sometimes the culture of a business isn’t necessarily bad, but it might be a bad fit for you. The company might need its workers to follow an exact written process in order to maintain quality, but you may be looking for autonomy and freedom in decision making. In that case, you or that employee are not a good fit for the job. If that fundamental misalignment is not recognized, you’re going to have a culture conflict on your hands that will affect the surroundings of that issue and spread.

To develop culture, talk with each other. This might sound trite, but it’s easier said than done. People need to be able to share their ideas and speak openly without fear of repercussion. People want their opinions heard, and they want to feel good. And Stop thinking of people in terms of “employees” or “departments.” You’re all part of the same team, so act like it. Rallying around the idea “we’re all in this together” builds a sense of unity and community. So when fundamental misalignment is not recognized, you’re going to have a culture conflict so ensure time and processes are put in place to stop ,avoid and control the fundamentals within and around your style of culture to suit the company's long term vision and end game.

Just remember business is not easy alone so culture will take time but can definitely be rewarding to the business and the people within it when all align to a common goal and a community feel. So master the art and try implement structures and ways as early on in your business to maintain the culture before it gets big or bigger as the job will only be harder the later you start to focus on getting it right and in sync withe the overall big picture.