How To Build A Company Culture For Your Business In Nigeria. A company culture is a reflection of what your business stands for, and as the voice of your business, your employees are key to ensuring that it succeeds.
According to this post by David Smith
A company culture is its identity. It is how the company views itself and how the company wishes to be viewed by the outside world… but, building the culture you want is not quite as easy as you may think. Simply claiming some set of values or plastering catchy phrases and core values on the wall won’t build your culture
So what does it take to attract and retain top talents?
When employees come in for their first day of training at Amazon, they are given laminated cards printed with 14 principles to help guide their work. This is great. However, an organization’s culture is represented by the values which it truly lives by, and not just by words that it chooses to showcase on a wall or card somewhere.
When you provide a work environment that your employees like spending time in, it can help improve their performance and input each and every day.
Here are some steps to be taken when trying to build and formalize your company culture in Nigeria.
- What are your company’s values?
Your company’s values should essentially be a guide on how you want to run your company; these are normally integrated into the company’s mission statement. When starting up your company in Nigeria; you’ve got to establish your company’s values as a team instead of just solely you and your management team. By doing this, everyone in your company will have a sense of belonging and not feel neglected or like some object for drawing revenue for your business.
Here are some examples of great company values from big companies;
- Passion is at the heart of our company
- We are honest, open, ethical and fair
- Sports is at the foundation for all we do and executional excellence is a core value of our group.
- We know it takes people with different backgrounds, ideas, strengths and interests to make our company succeed.
- The courage to shape a better future.
- Leverage collective genius.
- Be real
- If it is to be, it’s up to me.
- Committed in heart and mind
- As inclusive as our brands.
- What we do we do well
- Focus on impact
- Move fast
- Be bold
- Be open
- Build social value
- Focus on the user and all else will follow
- It’s best to do one thing really, really well
- Fast is better than slow
- Democracy on the web works
- You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
- You can make money without doing evil
- There’s always more information out there
- The need for information crosses all borders
- You can be serious without a suit
- Great just isn’t good enough.
- A focus on success
- It is our nature to innovate
- Nike is a company
- Nike is a brand.
- Simplify and go
- The consumer decides
- Be a sponge
- Evolve immediately
- Do the right thing
- Master the fundamentals
- We are on the offense – always
- Remember the man( the late Bill Bowerman, Nike co founder)
- Grow our business in a way that makes us proud
- Recognize that passion and personality matter
- Communicate fearlessly to build trust
- Defend and respect the user’s voice
- Reach every person on the planet
- Innovate through experimentation
- Seek diverse perspective
- Be rigorous. Get it right
- Ship it.
- Customer fixation
- Team work
Your company’s values are vital to the overall success of your business. So you’ll need to take ownership and define your company values. Make sure that your company values are constantly reinforced and reviewed as they play a key role in the longetivity of your business in Nigeria.
- How do you communicate your company values to your employees?
The kind of people you hire will help shape your company culture and be instrumental in communicating your values to your new workers, customers and the general public. So how do you communicate your company culture to the people you work with?
- First of and most importantly; leading by example, you can talk about your culture as much as you want, paste it on walls and all; but if it’s not reflected in your actions it really all amounts to mere words and nothing more. How you and your management team act matters to the rest of your employees. When trying to build a company culture for your business; you’ve got to walk the walk. Don’t tell your workers they can’t show up late at meetings; when it’s obvious that you’re the only one that ever conveniently shows up late for meetings. This kind of attitude will negate what your company culture represents and stands for. Don’t do it. Lead by example. Live your company culture.
- As stated earlier; the people you walk with will help shape your company culture. So it’s important to be able to figure out if they’ll be a ‘good fit’ from the very moment they walk in the door for recruitment. Don’t wait until after they’re hired. You can actually communicate your values during the recruitment phase. Your interview style and format, as well as the questions you ask, will all communicate a certain culture to your potential employee. So ensure that your recruitment process is aligned with your company culture.
- Training/orientation. After you hire employees, it’s important that you conduct trainings and seminars that explains job responsibilities as well as the company culture. For some businesses in Nigeria; there is usually daily interaction between bosses and employees.
- HR policies
Do your HR policies reflect your company culture?
Aside from leading by example; you should also create official policies that reflect your company’s values.
An example can be; if you say that having work/life balance is important to your company, will you offer paid family leave for your employees? Will you celebrate employees birthdays? Will you offer them access to professional development?
The more aligned your policies are with your company values; the more your employees will believe in your values and work hard to uphold them. An additional benefit is that you’ll earn the dedication and loyalty of your employees who will see you as someone who delivers on promises.
- Does the physical work space promote your company culture?
“Creating a cool office space can and should reflect a company’s culture”, says Samantha Zupan, a glassdoor spokesperson.” It can be a sense of pride for employees and an attractive selling point to recruits”
The type of work done matters too. Are you trying to promote a collaborative culture? Then high-walled office cubicles may not be the best move. Do your employees need focused, quiet time to focus? Then soundproof mini conference rooms will come in handy.
Whatever you do, make sure you develop an office space that promotes your company culture.
- Evolve with your company
As your company changes, ensure that the company culture also evolves with it. If you’re a small business having a larger growth curve; it’s safe to assume that your business will change within the next three to five years. So stay open-minded and flexible enough to be able to incorporate a newer company culture when that change happens.
- Giving back to the community
Your business is not an island. The way you interact with the community speaks volumes about your values to your employees, potential customers and your neighbors.
In Nigeria; mostly oil companies are involved in rigorous community service; this shouldn’t be so. Every business, no matter the size, needs to be involved in giving back to the community. This should form an integral part of your culture.
So, what will happen when a business isolates itself from the community, in the belief that it exists purely for the financial interests of its stakeholders and majorly to make more money? The result is; serious backlashes from customers and consumers. A more extreme consequence of corporate self-isolation, can be a total breakdown of the business.
Make sure your company culture embraces giving back to the community.
- Enlist, empower and encourage
Laurie Sudbrink, a member of Forbes coaches council said this about building a company culture.
” The key is aligning people to the culture. It’s one thing to say you want a great culture, it’s quite another to mindfully shape people’s thoughts and beliefs around this vision you have. You have to get people excited, proud and appreciative of the culture. Enlist them, empower them and encourage them. When they ‘own’ it, the culture will thrive.
Finally, building a strong company culture takes time and commitment, but is arguably the most important aspect of your business. Likewise, it’s not only important to find people who fit your company culture, but also to find people whose personal values fit your company culture