CEOs sometimes make the mistake of trying to delegate the creation and cultivation of their company’s culture. This is a mistake tantamount to a Cardiothoracic surgeon delegating a heart transplant. It’s too difficult and important of a job for anyone other than the CEO to handle. Here’s our guide to the 5 habits CEOs need to do to cultivate a healthy company culture.
Put In The Time
As a CEO the first thing to understand is that cultivating a healthy company culture takes time. When it comes to scaling a company, conventional wisdom says that it’s inevitable that you will eventually have to trade intimacy for efficiency. In many respects, this is true. However, it’s important to choose a few areas, the most important, that you don’t stop spending a lot of time on. Culture is one of those areas.
One of these areas should be the company’s culture. If you are thinking to yourself, “company culture may be important, but I just don’t have time,” well then it may interest you to know that Larry Paige still reviews the application of each and every one of the thousands of employees that Google hires in its acquisition. He understands that people are what makes a company’s culture and so he puts in the time. If Larry Paige has time to care about company culture, then so do you. Leaders can’t just focus on hiring the right first group and expect they’ll maintain the momentum. They have to stay involved in the hiring process for as long as possible.
This strategy is based on the premise that if employees are happy and engaged, the customer will benefit as a result. When you create a positive workplace where people are comfortable, it improves your employee’s lives. And happy employees make good employees. It’s a win-win. Supporting a people-first culture signals to everyone else that you and your co-workers matter and should be prioritized. There’s more to building a great company than just making your employees happy. You must balance their happiness with the necessity of them performing their jobs at a high-level. These two things, their happiness, and their performance, are not mutually exclusive, but it is something to keep in mind.
Stick To Your Core Values
Change is inevitable, especially as companies grow and evolve. Your culture can’t be stagnant, it has to progress along with the rest of the company. But that doesn’t mean you should throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are certain aspects of your culture that should remain the same over time. These include your company’s mission and values. Because, ultimately, your values will define your culture. Focusing on values is a good rule-of-thumb when trying to hire for cultural-fit. Strategic goals and objectives can evolve and change over time. But a company’s values will and should always remain the same. So, trying to match prospective client’s values with that of your company’s is a good long-term approach to hiring. Build on strengths but beliefs and assumptions sometimes have to change for the company to remain competitive.
Establish A Culture Of Transparency
Treating company information like state secrets is no way to run a business. Providing accurate and comprehensive information to employees is a good way to show them they are valued, trusted members of the team. Also, if employees don’t know the score, they don’t know how to improve it. So, employees having a high-level view of things can be very valuable.
There you have it the 5 habits CEOs need to cultivate a healthy company culture. If you’re a CEO and think your company’s culture is getting away from you, take a look at Culture Strategy Fit’s Culture Tools to help regain control.