As a business owner, what would you pick to attract loyal customers, retain great employees and achieve long-term success? Culture, strategy or a combination of both?
Culture is the invisible stuff that holds organizations together, but if it isn’t clearly defined or doesn’t align with a business’s goals, it won’t be sustainable over the long-term. The result can be disorganized based on what the employees want and experience.
How then can a company establish a successful business strategy and a great workplace culture so the two work in harmony?
Companies can start by defining their culture, managing that culture and reviewing and improving their business strategy. Strategy is the ideas whereas culture is the action, or how things get done.
A good business strategy, which is different from a business plan, does several things. It gives an organization a sense of purpose and helps employees become engaged, focused, motivated and excited about the company’s branding. It also outlines a company’s goals, values, mission and vision and identifies what sets the company apart from the competition. It also defines how a company measures success.
To develop a sound business strategy, companies can get an overall view of the business. To do this, they can:
- Evaluate Vision and Mission Statements to align them with workplace practices.
- Develop Objectives for all areas of the business, highlighting the priorities that will help the business carry out its vision and mission.
- Define the Ideal Customer to target the key markets and figure out what makes the company’s offerings appealing to that audience.
- Add Community Value by figuring out how the business can make a difference in the community, for the environment or even at the global level.
Review performance on a regular basis to ensure objectives and action plans are on track and identify any areas needing improvement. This helps break down and prioritize what’s happening in the workplace and what needs to happen next.
Defining, setting and carrying out a great strategy involves getting employees on board, eager to share the company’s vision and goals.
Companies can do several things to increase employee engagement and improve workplace culture:
- Support Employee Growth: Offer incentives for employees to engage in additional education or training opportunities, provide on-the-job coaching and offer feedback beyond annual reviews.
- Promote Wellness: Be sure to include work-life balance and promote personal well-being.
- Think Mission and Vision: Ensure your employees understand the company’s mission, vision and values, so that they feel included in the company’s growth plans. Having a BBB accreditation shows employees that the business places stake in trust, transparency and integrity.