How can you foster a company culture that makes you attractive to customers?

In today's age of transparency, being magnified by mediums such as social media, there is a strong emphasis on values and ethics in terms of the way businesses are managed. Consumers are far more discerning in terms of their buying patterns and consequently will look at things such as a company's social conscience and what it stands for.

You can have a fantastic product with a great proposition, but if you do not focus on the internal values of what your company stands for than this could affect the way your brand comes across to potential new leads.

This is why there is now great importance on establishing a clear and defined company culture. How a company defines itself, treats its employees and the role it plays in a wider societal context, should be taken very seriously. This should be the case whether your company is a one man band or it has over 200 employees.

>See also: Why attacks on the arts are attacks on entrepreneurship

Whilst you will find no shortage of profound ideas about what culture might mean or stand for, ultimately it’s about practically putting in place things that will achieve two things:

  • Give clarity to what your venture stands for
  • Engage employees and make them see tangible benefits of this culture.

The question you may now be asking is how do I go about doing this? Well there are a few things that you could consider implementing.

Foster a culture of collaboration and communication

One of the best ways to create a happy office is to create measures that ensure members of staff are engaging in dialogue. There are quite a few ways this can be done:

  • Company away days can create tremendous camaraderie.
  • Consider having a staff lunch once a week – this will encourage communication between departments
  • Make sure after work drinks occur regularly. Ideally make someone in the office an organiser to get people to come
  • The more that employees socialise with each other the more likely it is they will work together to help drive the business forward

Take an active interest in the progress of employees

It sounds obvious, but as a business owner you should be tracking the progress of your employees.

  • Try and speak to each individual in the company.

  • Ask them how they see themselves progressing in the company and what their career aspirations are.
  • This might give you a clue as to how certain team members might develop in the future.
  • Offer training programs to employees who want to improve and develop.
  • If you show that you care about the wellbeing of employees and their career progression, you are more likely to receive loyalty in return.

Ask employees their thoughts on the company and if anything can be improved upon

If you want to know how strongly your company culture is resonating and if things perhaps aren’t working so well – it’s certainly not a bad idea to ask for feedback from employees.

  • Introduce a tool that allows employees to voice their ideas – perhaps a survey of some kind.

  • Listen to employee’s suggestions and allow for anything (within reason of course) to be open to discussion.

  • This could be introducing a new product, improving a process or even thinking of an idea for an in-house office event.

  • Create a culture of openness that is inclusive as this will be critical in shaping the ethos of the company.

  • Sometimes getting a different perspective on how things should be can be tremendously beneficial.

  • You never know how valuable these insights can be until you ask.

Related: Overcoming challenges to become a medical entrepreneur

Align with a charity and give employees the chance to integrate with it

As suggested earlier, the importance of having a charitable aspect of your business is an important factor. In terms of creating a solid and clear conscience this can be crucial.

  • Consider aligning your business with a charity
  • Do your research (try and steer clear of ones with political affiliations) and then create a link up
  • Encourage employees to take part in a participation day with the charity
  • Alternatively organise an event in-house where the proceeds go to said charity
  • >Having a charitable facet of your company shows you care about wider societal benefits, and this will resonate with employees and potential new customers

Most importantly use culture to facilitate collective happiness

Your employees are the ‘bread and butter’ of everything that happens in your business. They are spending a great deal of time in the office. Therefore it’s important that your place of work is turned into a place of great positivity and camaraderie.

By focussing on culture you will see long term benefits to the future of the company. The trajectory can only be positive if you value your culture and the people who benefit from it.

MadeSimple is a business services provider offering a variety of different products to startups. This includes company formation, credit checks, virtual office services, domain name hosting and tax returns.

For more information on how MadeSimple can help your business start, run and grow – see here.

Further reading: Five business giants who failed first time round

Alan Dobie

Alan Dobie

Alan Dobie was assistant editor at Vitesse Media Plc before moving on to a content producer role at Reed Business Information. He has over 17 years of experience in the publishing industry and has held...

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Company culture