Startup companies often focus harder on shareholders or customers, setting culture on the backburner. Companies with retiring founders or CEOs often need to focus carefully on workplace culture to build on the direction of the company and not lose ground. No matter the age or industry of the company, every kind of workplace benefits from developing a personalized workplace culture.

What is Company Culture?

Every company has some kind of culture, whether it was carefully crafted or just happenstance. The company culture typically determined by branding, founder values, employee morale, company communication, workplace norms and staff benefits, among other things.

How do You Measure Company Culture?

Measuring the culture is important for noting the successes and adjusting the holes in your workplace culture formula. This can be difficult to pinpoint, but getting a clear understanding of current culture is important for moving forward.

Avoid Generic “Power Words” and Present a Clear Purpose

Do you know the words that are splashed on every organizational mission statement, resume and business card? Try to avoid the words that are generic, but sound good and provide absolutely no real guidelines for relevant values:

  • Leadership
  • Integrity
  • Diversity
  • Customer-Focus
  • Excellence
  • Growth

Instead, consider the companies that have clear culture, like Tom’s Shoes and their “one for one” tagline. The unique culture at Tom’s is committed to donating a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased by a Tom’s customer. Zappos focuses on weirdness. Reebok focuses on natural fitness with their “be more human” test and CrossFit lines.

Not only does your company have to have a clear purpose, but your employees have to buy into it. Employees need to know that what they do matters towards the success of the company.

Build Employee Engagement

Employees need to be fully engaged from meetings throughout the day to their online representation of the brand after hours. Remove inefficiencies and offer opportunities for engagement, like office events and social media platforms. Get your employees to become brand activists by telling their friends and family through in-person talks and social media mentions about the importance and value of the brand.

Make it a Place Worth Mentioning (For All the Right Reasons)

If your employees aren’t naturally inclined to boast about their workplace, then you need to evaluate and adjust your policies. A strong company culture will increase the likelihood of natural word-of-mouth recommendations straight from your employees – and employee advocacy is one of the most effective lead-generating social media marketing tactics.

Promote Trust

Employees need to be part of a job that takes their concerns and wellbeing to heart. Employees who don’t trust fellow workers to pull their weight or are worried management aren’t being upfront with them will have a bad view of the company. A company must promote trust with its employees or they are not going to be willing to combine their personal lives on social media with the brand name.

It’s important to note here how unsolicited this employee advocacy needs to be. Employees are responsible for what they post on their personal pages, and asking them to post about your brand is just bad etiquette. Plus, friends and family don’t want to be bombarded with over-eager status updates about how amazing a company is. Let your employees be themselves. If loving your company is part of who they are, then the brand advocacy will come naturally in ways that don’t seem contrived or sales pitchy.

Be Different

Don’t be afraid to do your own thing. Sure, it is important to look at other companies and see what job benefits, development opportunities and workplace amenities they are offering, but don’t try to emulate another company completely. Your workplace culture needs to fit you, your brand and your employees in order to benefit your shareholders and your customers.