How to Foster the Culture You Want

“A company’s culture is the foundation for future innovation. An entrepreneur’s job is to build the foundation.”

– Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb

Though general business success is on the minds of most people, it is becoming more and more obvious that a winning internal company culture can be a key factor in the retention of employees and keeping positive morale. The culture of your company can have an effect on everything from how you treat your customer to how your employees interact with each other in the day to day. According to a study done by Bain & Company, 81% of people believe a company lacking a high-performance culture is doomed to mediocrity. Despite all this, many companies don’t make a concerted effort to establish or retool their company’s culture.

If you are an existing company, or even if you are a startup, you must be able to define and understand the sort of culture you desire. What are your values? What is your collective goal? What distinguishes you from other places? These are all questions you should be asking yourself in order to establish a foundation of a high-performing company culture.

Though this process can begin with one person, the goal of establishing and fostering a culture you want ultimately depends on a collective effort. Take note of other’s ideas when it comes to a positive work environment and address times when discrepancies become apparent. It is in moments like these when it is important to have clearly defined company values to refer too. If everyone is working on the same positive baseline, then problems can be more easily resolved when reminded of the solid foundation you have established.

Perhaps the most important part in fostering culture is to always be moving forward. It is important not to get held up when problems arise or dwell on issues of the past. In referring back to your initial values, and depending on quality employees, mistakes and rough spots can become positive experiences that ultimately improve your company culture.

Kelly D. Scott
The world’s leading business advisory and executive coaching organization