The Sergay Group defines company culture as "the collective way we do things around here. It involves a learned set of behaviors that is common knowledge to all the participants. These behaviors are based on a shared system of meanings which guide our perceptions, understanding of events, and what we pay attention to."
With all the work you put into writing your business plan and getting your first round of investment, you may not have much energy left to think about company culture. However, the thought you put into developing a culture for your business will bring big returns as you grow.
Think back to every job you've had. What made you happiest? Why? Your business is your chance to bring the best parts of your experience together in one dream career. Best of all: your employees may actually be excited to come to work.
Your bottom line.
According to Canada Business Network, satisfied employees lead to satisfied customers. And satisfied customers mean growth and longevity.
How can you build culture?
- As you write your business plan, describe your vision. You might use a mind-mapping tool to think about what you value most.
- Invite partners, customers, investors, and even family and friends to share their experiences of the company.
- Create procedures to build the culture of your dreams. Maybe profit sharing would be appropriate, or company rituals like casual Fridays.
- Do your homework. Here is a good primer on corporate culture in Canada:http://www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/blog/entry/6306/
Parker, M. (2012). Culture connection: How developing a winning culture will give your organization a competitive advantage. New York: McGraw-Hill.