4 Ways to Build a Great Company Culture

03/25/2016 | Roger and Susie Engelau

Ever look in the mirror and think you look one way, only to hear from a trusted friend or admirer that last night’s lack of sleep is as evident to everyone else as it is to you?

Sometimes, we don’t always perceive our realities correctly.

As a business owner, this can be a pretty big deal—mostly because customers are savvy.

They can distinguish pretty quickly between marketing lingo and genuine truth. If you say your core values are responsibility, excellence, and sustainability, then customers are going to expect to see those values reflected in everything you do—from the product materials you use to the employee benefits you offer.

In my years of experience, I’ve come to believe that a CEO’s personal and professional values define company culture. Where do those values come from? Well, psychology tells us that values are often determined by personality, and at Inspire Results, we rely often on the Myers-Briggs® Personality Assessment for an in-depth analysis of personality.

Understanding yourself allows you to gain a broader perspective on how you relate to others, and you begin to see why certain values influence the ways you’ve ordered your life—and your company.

Does self-awareness really matter when it comes to business success?

Mark Murphy, New York Times best-selling author and Founder of Leadership IQ, tells us that 46 percent of newly-hired employees will fail within 18 months. When asked why, he points to poor interpersonal skills (read: personality) as the number one reason.

If we don’t ask about interpersonal skills during the interview process (something Murphy says is rarely done), we can never get to issues of cultural fit and company mission. Are you a leader who likes open communication when dealing with conflict? Then you’ll need to be certain to hire team members who understand the value of honesty and humility. Are you pursuing a progressive culture? Then you’ll want to look for supervisors and managers who see themselves as coaches and advocates first, bosses (in the traditional sense) second.

How can you discover these things about potential team members? Simple: Just ask.

  • Can you describe a time when you had to deal with conflict? How did you handle it?
  • How do you approach challenges?
  • Can you talk about a time when a project or task went well? What was your reaction to that experience?

You can read some of our favorite articles on creating a strong culture here and here.

And as you start to think about your own company’s culture, begin with a few simple steps.

  1. Ask current employees and customers to offer their definition of your company: Your own assessments and perceptions are secondary to how others perceive you.
  2. Identify your strengths and your weaknesses. How are you allowing others to bolster your weaknesses and grow from your strengths?
  3. How do your personality traits enhance your company? How might they weaken your company?
  4. Do you have core values or a company mission? Identify key areas within your organizational structure where those are being lived out on a daily basis. Is there room for improvement?

Want to talk more about creating a strong company culture? Let’s connect.

Inspire Results Growth Planning Workshops

You deserve to have a great business. And your business deserves a great plan!

Each quarter we host a workshop designed to help central Indiana business owners step out of the day-to-day, get organized, and develop an action plan. The next workshop is on April 7, 2016. At the workshop, I’ll lead you through our proven planning process to develop quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals, as well as a 90-day action plan you can start implementing right away. Register here »

[p]You’ll walk away with:

  • A clear picture of where you want your business to be in 10-30 years, a 3-5 year plan, and a 90-day plan
  • Your 12-month goals broken into bite-size quarterly goals, monthly milestones, & weekly actions
  • Strategies to build profit right away
  • A network of like-minded business owners
  • Peace of mind knowing that your business’ profits will grow and how you will make it happen

If you register now for The Growth Plan Workshop you’ll get over half off the normal price. Register for the workshop here »