We thank Fred Noble and churchcentral.com for permission to rerun this article. Fred Noble is a recruiter for a hospitality/retail recruiting firm. He is also an elder and leads a pastoral discipleship training ministry at Chesapeake Christian Fellowship in Davidsonville, Md. In his free time, he hangs out with his family and likes to read and write. Check out more articles at churchcentral.com.
As a recruiter, I have experience in finding people as I talk about in this article, “Finding the right leader.” I’ve watched companies that have had great teams and companies that have not.
Here are eight important qualities that define organizations with a strong culture.
1. Learn from your history.
If a company does not look at both the successes and failures of the past, then the company is not learning from them. A past success doesn’t guarantee future success, but it does give you a great foundation to build upon. Past failures give you a growing perspective as well.
“Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come,” (1 Corinthians 10:11).
2. Make sure your culture lines up with your core values.
If one of your core values is excellence, then make sure your culture includes attributes of excellence. Reflect on who you are as a leader and infuse that personality in your organization. Then determine what personalities work well with yours. Build a culture from that personality and hire those who strengthen you.
3. Find people that complement your personality.
The core values you bring to the table should be the driving force behind the people you hire. If you have a core value of respect, then why would you consider someone who speaks crassly in an interview? If you have a core value of excellence, why would you ever consider anyone who was terminated from a job?
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another,” (Proverbs 27:17 ).
4. Communicate with your team.
As you develop your culture, talk to your employees. Successful companies and organizations do not live in a vacuum. They thrive on open and honest communication. People need to be able to share their ideas and speak openly without fear of retribution. Your team wants to be heard; they want to know they are respected for their opinions.
5. Be a fun company to work with.
Engage your team in activities that make the work seem less like work. It will look different in every organization, but there are ways to have fun in every company and organization out there. Do something that is out of the norm for your context, and give your team the opportunity to relax and show up in a different way.
“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,” (Ecclesiastes 2:24).
6. Make them believers.
You want people who are going to buy into your mission. You need to be your greatest cheerleader. Your team needs to know that you believe in the organization and are standing with them.
7. Be a team.
I always question people who say, “you work for me” or “this is my employee.” Everyone is part of the same team. If you unify under the fact that you are all in the company together, it will build a tighter culture and give some cohesiveness to the team.
8. Tend the garden.
Culture is not a “one and done” thing. It takes time to tend and grow it. It needs to be nurtured. It also needs to evolve. This evolution cannot be driven simply from the top down. It needs to be built from all echelons of the organization. Evaluate your people on the core values of the organization, not only on their production.
“Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him,” (Proverbs 13:24).