These days, it’s simply not enough to offer competitive pay or good benefits to retain employees. Yes, these are perks talented job seekers are searching for, but keeping your staff engaged and motivated in the long-term requires more pointed efforts. One of the best ways you can do this is by fostering a great company culture.

Building an organization that values inclusivity, passion, and work-life balance are just a few of the qualities modern workers are looking for in their next employer. In fact, 72% of employees say that positive work-life balance is a key factor they consider when evaluating potential employers.

But how do you establish a company culture that’s authentic and well-received by your existing and prospective employees? Check out these 5 tips.

1. Pinpoint your core values

Establishing your core values is a necessary step in the launch of any business. Not only do these statements guide your company culture, but they also dictate the way you do business, interact with customers, hire, and differentiate from your competitors.

Using your mission statement, brand story, and position, come up with 3-4 core values. Not sure where to start? Take a look at these stellar examples to get those wheels turning:

  • Adobe: Genuine, exceptional, innovative, involved
  • Teach for America:
    • Transformational Change
    • Leadership
    • Team
    • Diversity
    • Respect and Humility
  • Ikea:
    • Humbleness and willpower.
    • Leadership by example.
    • Daring to be different.
    • Togetherness and enthusiasm.
    • Cost-consciousness.
    • Constant desire for renewal.
    • Accept and delegate responsibility.

2. Evaluate your past and present

Everyone’s dealt with a “bad job,” “terrible boss,” or an “out-of-touch executive” at least once in their tenure; and if they haven’t yet, they likely will. While it’s difficult to press on through these obstacles, they create great learning moments that can improve our own management styles and inspire change.

Whether you’re a manager, company culture director, or owner of your own business, looking back at your past is an important step to take as you cultivate company culture. Ask yourself these important questions to identify positive elements of your culture and find areas where you could make some changes:

  • What do my employees love most about working here?
  • What is their biggest obstacle?
  • What feedback have former employees offered in the past?
  • What do I love about our current culture, and what would I change?
  • Do we align with other leaders in our industry?
  • What makes our company culture stand out?

This exercise is most effective when you can get a myriad of perspectives involved! Make it a management meeting activity, or open up the discussion with your employees using Typeform.

3. Recruit the right talent

What good does a company culture do if you don’t have a great staff to create and exemplify it? After you’ve built an outline of your culture, make it a point to search for talent that fits into that mold.

Here are a few hiring hacks to help you do so:

  • Make your culture known: Your job postings and website should loudly and proudly display what it’s like to work at your organization. This will help you attract candidates that will commit to your cause for the long-term.
  • Ask the tough questions: During your interview process, be sure to ask why your applicant wants to work for your company. This will help weed out candidates who are “just looking for a job.”
  • Screen prospective staff: You want your employees to be as professional and authentic as possible, right? Well, learning how to do a background check should be your first step. By properly vetting interviewees, you can glean important insight into their employment history and other important records to make sure they’re the right fit.

4. Infuse and include

As we mentioned before, it’s important to make sure that your culture is evident throughout your work, social media presence, and general efforts. But that doesn’t mean it should go unchanged. As political climates change, your employee makeup evolves, and your priorities shift, it’s a wise idea to evaluate your values over time. Get your staff involved, too!

5. Provide great resources

One of the most important ingredients in building a solid company culture is supporting your staff with supportive resources. Keeping an open dialogue, prioritizing Human Resources roles, and offering comprehensive health insurance are just a few of the ways you can show your employees that you care.

How is your small business crafting culture? Share your tips in the comments below!

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