For the most part, the kinds of things that people associate with “being an entrepreneur” or “starting up a new business” have to do with the material success that a business venture can bring.
Things like, for example, nice suits, fancy cars, and the ability to expand the business into new markets and areas.
For any business to thrive, though — and certainly for any business to do as much good as it can — it’s important for that business to place a real emphasis on developing a good company culture.
Here are some ideas and suggestions on how to foster an empowering company culture that can lead to a happier team and a more productive professional setting as well.
Model the kind of traits you want the company as a whole to adopt
Even though a company may be made up of a significant number of different individuals, it’s almost always the case that the leadership of the company will have a disproportionately powerful impact in shaping company culture as a whole.
To put it simply, management — and especially the owner of the company — essentially “sets the tone” that the rest of the company will adopt. So a company leader who is constantly stern and unforgiving, inflexible, and low on personal accountability, will end up fostering those sorts of traits throughout the rest of the company as a whole.
By contrast, when leadership demonstrates traits like a willingness to listen and consider different viewpoints, accountability, and reliability, those things are much likelier to become general standards of behaviour throughout the company at large.
First and foremost — model the kinds of traits you want the company as a whole to adopt, if you want to foster an empowering company culture.
Build a sense of community and shared investment through regular activities and perks
An empowering company culture naturally tends to have a lot to do with the sense, among the members of the team at large, that everyone is “in it together,” in a mutually supportive kind of a way.
This, of course, should be a fact rather than just an impression, and you should take whatever steps you can to encourage this sense of trust, reliability and enthusiasm among the different members of your team. Here are some examples of organisational citizenship behaviour, that highlight some of these points.
To build a sense of community and shared investment, it can be a great idea to organise regular joint activities (in and out of work), and to offer perks such as remote working flexibility.
Offer good training, skill development and advancement opportunities
The idea of an “empowering” company culture naturally implies that the members of your team will be able to grow, advance, and develop themselves — personally and professionally — through working with the company.
To this end, you should do whatever you can to offer good training, skill development and advancement opportunities for your employees, whether this means providing sponsorship for certification courses, or facilitating mobility within the company.