Great company culture can improve people’s lives as well as your bottom line. Having a great culture does not mean you’re “done”. As the organizational goals and strategy change over time, the culture should intentionally be changed. But, what can you actually do to make your culture great?
82 percent of the respondents to Deloitte 2016 Global Human Capital Trends survey believe that culture is a potential competitive advantage. Therefore, it is worthwhile spending the time to define it and outline what your organization stands for.
As a business owner with human resources expertise, when I am partnering with other small business owners, I let them take the lead on defining their culture. Because true culture is a reflection of the way the organization lives and breathes. When business owners own culture, they are accountable for making it real.
The Concept of Culture DNA
Interviewed at the Annual Culture Conference, Edgar Schein said that he is more interested in the DNA of the culture. He explained the importance of understanding why things cannot be changed with a culture change. For example, if an organization defines “innovation” as one of their core values, employees must feel empowered to make positive changes. Whenever there is a strong disconnect between your business culture and your core values, your culture will not be coming to light.
As a business owner, you have to think about the big picture. You need to consider issues such as what trends are affecting your business markets, how your company’s strategy should evolve and what new technologies or initiatives your organization should adopt. These are the areas you probably spend the most of your time, as they are a critical part of your job.
But when it comes to the execution of your plans and strategy, it comes down to people. Meaning how they work together, their alignment with the changes ahead, the organizational structure, the roles and processes in place to support the strategy.
In other words, you need to connect the dots between the type of organization you want and the culture.
Culture Drives Performance
A new study by Eagle Hills Consulting revealed that business culture has a direct impact on organizational success. In fact, culture lapses can negatively impact recruiting, retention,
morale, performance, future growth, and overall reputation of your business.
It all starts with your core values. Your business core values are the fundamental beliefs that should guide your employees and business owners. They define who your employees are, how they work and what their believes are as a group. Core values are not to be confused with rules, but rather, set the foundation for behaviours across the business.
However, as stated above, for these core values to be imbedded into your day-to-day, your employees need to feel safe to behave in accordance to these core values. You will need to reward and encourage your employees whenever they exemplify your core values.
Strong, trusted leadership is required for a strong culture
Leadership is by far the largest and most direct effect on company culture, which revolves around employee engagement, environment, and the success of the company and its clients.
Leadership impacts the employees and whether they see mistakes as opportunities for learning or failures that damage the self-worth. Micro-management can have a devastating impact on the productivity and the engagement of your employees. Conversely, a strong leadership cultivates the foundation of culture to empower employees to achieve the company mission and realize how vital each of their contributions is to the bottom line.
The ability to have courageous conversations is essential for transparency and teamwork. The key to your business’s success is to be open. openness and have frank conversations with your employees. When you foster transparency, your employees will be willing to shift their opinions as they learn.
Developing your organization culture is certainly worthwhile spending the time. A great culture is the reflection of your leadership and your core values. When your employees are aligned with your culture, they will (like you) live and breathes what you stand for. Resulting in improving your employees’ engagement, increasing productivity, fostering a climate of communication and transparency, which will have a direct impact on your bottom line and the growth of your business.