Company culture is a combination of a company’s values, vision, systems, language, behaviors, beliefs and habits. It is the essence of a company’s DNA and is contributed to by every employee regardless of position.

It is critical for a company to quickly establish a company culture in order to establish norms, retain employees, hire the best possible candidates, and foster a sense of community. Creating a positive company culture can have a major effect on motivation, behaviors, leadership decisions, and collaboration.

Creating a company culture that embodies the vision of the company for which you work needs to be consciously built and cannot happen overnight, but how to do we go about creating that perfect company culture? Here are a few ways:

Clearly communicate the vision for the company culture

Most companies have a core set of values they establish when founding their business. Communicate those with employees to help them understand the values and goals the company culture should embody. If your employees know exactly what is expected of them they will help mold the culture to those values and incorporate them into everyday business practices.

Hire new recruits who embody the company values

When hiring a new employee you want to clearly communicate what the company stands for to make sure the new recruits’ values align with the company’s. Make sure to follow up with the new employees and have them be a part of a team that can bring them fully into the culture and show them how everything is done. This will help new hires feel like they are welcomed and ensure they know what is expected of them from day one.

Recognize positive behavior that embodies company culture

Culture begins to form and morph through interaction and is all about learning to incorporate new ideas and methods in a way that works with the established norms. Did an employee go above and beyond in a way that positively impacted the company? Make sure to send out an email about this victory or highlight the behavior at a meeting. When employees see others being recognized for their contributions to the values of the company they can strive to do the same.

Be a consistent role model

Make sure you are consistently working towards the values and goals you’ve set to match policies and procedures to the culture you are trying to shape. For example, if a company rewards employees for bringing in a major client by having a free breakfast celebration and this only happens when certain employees achieve this goal then the company culture is not matching the established values and expectations. Be the embodiment of the behavior you want your team to exhibit. You will lose all credibility if you act in opposition of the culture you are trying to establish.

Make your employees feel valued

Going the extra mile to show your employees that they are a valued part of the team can increase motivation, work ethic and overall workplace happiness. Happier employees will automatically strive to contribute to a positive company culture. Getting employee feedback through a survey or meeting and asking for improvement suggestions is a great way to do this.