Keys to a Strong Corporate Culture: What You Can Do

If you take a stroll through Zappos corporate headquarters, you might see a man with a ukulele amongst a sea of smiling, friendly faces. Walk into the cafeteria, and you’ll notice the tech support department offices sitting in the middle of the room.

The culture at the online shoe retailer has garnered widespread positive attention, and it’s no surprise that its core values and employees play a large role in its success.

Zappos is known for always putting its customers first while delivering a “wow” factor — and its employees seem to feel just as valued. On average, Zappos only hires 300 new employees every year and receives more than 30,000 applications.

Maybe you’re not receiving as many applications as Zappos. Even so, building a strong corporate culture is essential for any business. While you might not have control over the entire company culture, you can still think about how to improve your department with these tips.

1. Team Vision and Roles

There’s a good chance your company has a clear vision or mission statement. But what kind of mission do you have as a department? Talk with your team about their goals and initiatives, and take some time to clearly define roles within the team. When each team member is aware of their tasks and responsibilities, they can better achieve their goals. Besides, it’s good to know everyone is on the same page.

2. Team Building

When was the last time you organized a team building activity, or spent a few minutes getting to know your team members beyond what they do in the office? Team building can significantly impact culture — whether it includes team exercises, or frequent outings and activities. If your team clashes or doesn’t feel valued, there’s a good chance your culture isn’t as strong as it could be. It’s up to you to improve it.

3. Transparency

Your team members are essentially the owners of culture. They emulate the values, behaviors and motives you strive to achieve, and without their support, you’ll likely fall short. It’s important to be transparent in your workplace and build trust among team members. You don’t need to disclose every little detail, but know that hiding information can trigger a lack of confidence. Your employees are determined and valued — trust them to use information to their advantage.

4. Cross-Train Employees

Give your employees the opportunity to learn more about how other aspects of their department or company work. They don’t need to be an expert in everything, but this gives them insights into a coworker’s workload and style, and can be valuable if that person is absent for a day or two. Plus, it lessens the burnout for employees and allows them to try something new. This could be implemented through a lunch and learn series or a set of meetings.

5. Find the Right People

You may not have the final say on who ends up on your team, but you probably have meaningful input. You’re well under way building your culture with the people you have on your team, and future hires will join the driving force. Find people who share your company or team values. If they don’t, they can act as a form of poison to your team and damage the culture you’ve spent precious time building.

Are you looking for an addition to your culture? Contact Celarity. We’ve been placing talented individuals with the right companies since 1993. Our commitment to excellence has allowed us to build strong relationships with our clients that foster great corporate culture. Contact us today, or learn about our talent.

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