Cooking Up A Better Company Culture

What is your company’s purpose? What are its values? What is it’s vision? Can all employees articulate the organization’s values and practices? If you need help answering these questions, follow this recipe for creating a successful company culture:

3-Step Recipe For Company Culture

Serves small, medium and large sized companies


  • Organizational values and practices
  • Communication and adoption
  • Employee Value Proposition (EVP)


Step 1: Define And Communicate The Values And Practices Of The Organization

Values are the operational beliefs shared by those with a vested interest in the organization. They are what drive the company’s priorities and form the basis for the company’s culture. Values structure how a company makes decisions and manages its operations. For example if an organization identifies one of its values as innovation, it may structure its efforts to promote and reward innovation among its employees and produce innovative services or products for its clients.

Step 2: Create A Framework For Employee Adoption Of Company Values And Practices

Encourage the adoption of organizational values and practices by company employees with these simple tips:

  • Practice what you preach. It’s a cliché saying, but when it comes to getting employees to embrace organizational values and make them a part of their performance, it’s a crucial mantra.
  • Be transparent. The more information that a company shares the more employees will feel like they are part of a team and have a sense of shared responsibility.
  • Celebrate success. Recognize everyone’s efforts in company achievements, especially employees who were primarily responsible.
  • Be open about mistakes. Failures teach us how to be better the next time. It is important that mistakes be talked about, rather than covered up. Don’t place blame but do educate.
  • Integrate questions in employee surveys that emphasize and gauge employee familiarity with company values, practices, and vision.
  • Include a line of sight agenda item in all organizational meetings that emphasize organizational values etc. in relation to the company’s business results.

And don’t forget to communicate and promote organizational values and practices so employees understand what’s expected of them.

Step 3: Devise An EVP That Employees Are Happy With And That Sends A Positive Message About The Company’s Employment Brand

On the outside EVPs detail compensation and health and wellness benefits. Internally, however, an EVP is the subjective reasons why employees choose to work with and stay with a particular company. If you can define the subjective reasoning for why people choose your company you can get a better idea of the existing culture and determine whether the EVP needs to be tweaked.

  • Start by identifying high-performing employees.
  • Define what behaviors and characteristics make these employees high-performers.
  • Interview these employees and ask them why they work here and what makes them stay.
  • Using their answers, determine what makes your company unique and defines the culture.
  • Analyze whether the existing EVP can be changed to encourage low-performing employees to be more engaged.

“A culture is the values and practices share by members of the group. Company culture is therefore the shared values and practices of the company’s employees” – F. John Reh, management and leadership expert, About.com.

If you follow this recipe you will be well on your way to achieving your goals. However the ideal company culture isn’t grown overnight—it’s a process that requires continuous improvement each year.

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