Five expert tips for building a strong company culture

January 16, 2017
Five expert tips for building a strong company culture

We have a culture-first mentality here at People®, and it’s helped us produce some excellent results.

If you’re trying to build a strong company culture for your employees, or at least trying to promote creative thinking and brand loyalty, then this article is for you.

We’ve collected five super helpful quotes about company culture, from leading HR influencers all over the world. Each teaches us an important lesson about building a strong company culture.

1. Focus on total quality of life (by Meghan M. Biro)

Our first quote comes from @MeghanMBiro.

“Developing a culture-first mentality means focusing on employees’ total quality of life – including physical, mental, social, emotional and financial health”
Source: “7 Steps to Tie Wellness Programs Into Your Workplace Culture”.

In other words, you can’t just throw free gym membership at your employees and expect your company culture to spring to life. You need to think about the bigger picture, and how you can support your people in all areas of their wellbeing.

About Meghan

Meghan is a talent management and HR tech brand strategist. She is the founder and CEO of TalentCulture, and the co-author of The Character-Based Leader: Instigating a Revolution of Leadership One Person at a Time.

2. Trust your employees and remove fear (by Jason Averbook)

Our second quote is from @jasonaverbook.

“Build an authentic culture of innovation by trusting employees, removing fear, and keeping your finger on the pulse”
Source: “What HR Can Learn from Hipsters, Slackers & Squatters”.

Jason isn’t telling us to “set and forget” with our employees – he does say to keep your finger on the pulse, after all. But he is saying that we should trust our employees to use their own knowledge and skills to make decisions, instead of telling them what to do. Don’t make them feel scared about making mistakes, either – they’ll stop trusting themselves if every failure is met with fierce retribution. Trusting employees and removing fear will help them feel less like they are part of a puppet show, and more like they belong to an inclusive company culture.

About Jason

Jason is a leading analyst, consultant and keynote speaker, with more than 20 years of experience in the HR and technology industry. He wrote the book HR From Now to Next, which was published in 2014, and is used in over 19 universities across the world.

3. Get the basics right first (by Laurie Ruettimann)

Next, we have a quote from @lruettimann.

“[Culture is] only possible to discuss once you do the basics: pay people well, treat them with dignity and protect their civil rights”
Source: “The Four Components of Company Culture”

Naomi has a fairly cynical attitude to company culture. In her opinion, it is an overused term, and what employers really mean when they say they have a culture, is that employees like working for them. Either way, her advice is very useful and reminds us of reality. Especially for employers with a habit of trying to run before they can walk!

About Laurie

Laurie is a former Human Resources leader turned influential speaker, writer and entrepreneur. She is the founder of GlitchPath, and owns a consultancy that offers services to HR departments and technology companies.

4. Don’t be afraid to jump into the trenches yourself (by Jessica Miller-Merrell)

Quote number four is from @jmillermerrell.

“Management should be approachable and work “in the trenches” with their employees in times of need”
Source: “Turning your workplace into a community”

Jessica’s advice reminds us that we can’t dictate company culture while sitting on our high horses. If we want to create a true sense of community, family and togetherness, then we need to learn to pitch in as equals.

About Jessica

Jessica founded Blogging4Jobs in 2005 – a workplace resource destination for HR, recruiting professionals and business leaders. Her website was listed twice as a top 75 career resource by Forbes Magazine.

5. Culture will happen whether you like it or not (by William Tincup)

Today’s final lesson comes from @williamtincup.

“Throw 20 people into a room, give them time, energy, a budget, and initiatives, and culture will happen. It might not be the culture you like! It might not align with anything you have going on, but culture will happen”
Source: “William Tincup Shares His Thoughts On People And Culture”

William’s lesson is very important. Culture WILL happen. People WILL establish a hierarchy, ways of working, attitudes, and more. But with no guidance or inspiration from you, the way this culture shapes up will be unpredictable at best. If you want to create a strong company culture that aligns with your visions and values, then you cannot afford to sit back and do nothing.

About William

William has been blogging about HR related issues since 2007. He contributes to many popular HR platforms, including HRExaminer, Fistful of Talent, and the daily HR podcast DriveThruHR.

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