Your workplace culture is fundamental to your business success. When you define and communicate your company’s values, and hire people who meet those values, you can build a motivated workforce that focuses on your customers and helps your business prosper.
Identify your 'noble purpose'
Start by collaborating with your team to define and align on your purpose:
- What's important about what your business does?
- What do you all love about what you do?
- What makes your business unique?
Your business purpose is integral to your company's mission and brand. No matter the size of your business, determining your workplace culture should be a focus from the very beginning.
As Co-Founders co-founders of recruitment firm, Morgan & Banks, Geoff and I set our noble purpose and our values with just 12 staff.
The company purpose was: 'Creating success with people.' which served as an inspiring reason to unite and motivate our team.
Put simply,: we interviewed people, secured them the job they were best suited to and really truly wanted and supported their movement up the career ladder. Through success in their work, people had financial stability and that improved their lives. That was our purpose.
Even when we grew to over 2,000 people, we worked to maintain that same workplace culture that we defined at the very start.
Decide on your values and be true to them every day
Work with your team to agree on your business values and the behaviours that underpin those values. These could include:
- How do you communicate with each other?
- How do you define teamwork?
- What defines our approach to our work?
- How do you help your customers?
The next step is to ask, “How do our behaviours in the workplace contribute to our purpose?"
Be specific; the aim isn't just to feel good, it's to create a set of behaviours that carry through to everyone who works there.
You might decide on being fair, or sustainable, or honest. Then, think about the things you do each day in your particular business.
In our recruitment firm, for example, we decided: we are always honest. We run thorough interviews and we ask people what they're really looking for that speaks to their passion. We don't just place anybody into a vacant role so we can collect the fee. We want the best outcome for the employer and the job seeker.
The set of behaviours you establish for your business can then become the basis for your workplace culture.
Communicate your values so can enforce everything you do
Next, communicate these values and behaviours and make sure that they govern everything you do. That way, everybody who gets hired and trained understands what these values mean. If someone has behaviours that are outside of that framework, you can give them a clear message to change.
It is wise to use these values in your recruitment process, so people start to join you because of that culture. People who don't subscribe to those values won't be attracted to your organisation because it will seem too unfamiliar and demanding.
Make sure you recruit for your values
Once your business articulates its values, then you go out to the market and you sell that dream. If you're advertising for a salesperson to join your company, avoid running a nondescript ad, such as 'Sales executive vacancy open for XYZ Company.'
Make sure your recruitment ads describe the person you want. For example, 'Sales executive who cares,' or 'sales executive who loves technology,' or 'sales executive who likes to innovate.'
How you describe your values, is how you go to market. It's all part of communicating your values, both internally and externally.