If you lead or manage in any organization, you know that the culture can make or break or success. You simply can’t open up a leadership, management or business journal any longer without seeing an article on the importance of organizational culture in driving business outcomes.
What is organizational culture?
Organizational culture represents the shared values, attitudes, and behaviors that characterize an organization. It’s founded in an organization’s ideology, strategy, goals, structure, operations, and employee and customer relationships.
It might be described as: “how things work here.” You generally can see it and sense a culture when you spend time with employees or watch them interact. It’s also been described as what your employees do when you’re not looking! And remember, culture exists whether you create it deliberately or not!
What can a consciously created culture do for your organization?
A consciously created culture recognizes the importance and value of its people (not just employees, but all stakeholders) and creates clarity around and shared understanding of vision, mission, values, and goals. A well-defined culture is built upon core values that are tied to specific behavioral expectations (how we get things done and how we interact with one another) and is designed to drive results. Everyone knows what’s expected, is measured and held accountable for it and recognized and valued for their contributions.
In this environment – when the desired behaviors are tied to specific business goals that individual employees and teams are measured on and rewarded for – the possibilities for success are multiplied and accelerated. This approach to culture ensures both a high performing and a high functioning organization.
Organizations that consciously create their culture can expect:
- Increased employee performance through appropriate support, feedback and incentives/recognition
- Reduction in the common team dysfunctions that can impact efficiently and effectively delivering results, as well as create frustration and negativity
- Better and/or accelerated outcomes through personal, team and organizational leadership and accountability
- A stronger sense of passion, purpose and organizational loyalty that leads to enhanced employee satisfaction, motivation and commitment
- The ability to attract and retain the best talent in your organization
- Increased customer satisfaction through more consistent and inspired service from your employees
The culture leaders cultivate can help team members feel connected to the organization, its leaders and to each other… or not. When you consider that employees are significantly more productive and effective when they have a strong connection to the organization’s mission, to their leader and to their co-workers – workplace culture really matters. It’s not a “nice-to-have.” It’s a “need-to-have.”
How Purpose Journey makes creating, cultivating and capitalizing on a great corporate culture possible
We facilitate a comprehensive process and strategy for helping organizations build a great culture that drives outcomes, and we customize it based upon the needs, resources and priorities of individual clients.
While cultivating a great culture certainly happens over time, we are mindful of identifying quick wins to make an immediate difference. You might be surprised at how quickly performance, behavior and relationship improvements can occur when the leadership team is behind the initiative and employees at all levels are engaged in the process.
Some of our organizational culture related services include:
- Organizational Assessment/SWOT analysis to identify opportunities and challenges to drive performance and build a healthy, results-driven culture.
- Culture Road-mapping: Defining/refining vision, mission, and values and supporting behaviors. Developing the cultural/people processes, tools, metrics and support to drive outcomes.
- Selection and Performance Management: Refining hiring, reward, measurement, feedback and improvement plan practices to ensure inspired accountability that drives results.
- Change Management: Organizational strategy, employee engagement strategies and communications to effectively prepare for and work through challenging transitions.
- Stakeholder Engagement: We help you identify your key stakeholders and develop engagement strategies and communications to develop the meaningful, trust-based relationships you need for mutually beneficial outcomes and sustainable success.
- Ongoing or as-needed Consulting: Expert insights and ideas that you can implement on your own as specific organizational or employee issues surface.
So, why don’t all companies focus on culture?
With the daunting pressures and responsibilities associated with running a business, it’s understandable that many leaders do not consciously create their culture. For many businesses it can be an intimidating notion (where do we even start?) Perhaps there is not the internal expertise or bandwidth to manage the initiative. For others it might be the real or perceived cost. Others might simply believe that it’s not worth the effort. (If the latter is true, let us send you some recommended reading!)
If you are ready to put even more focus on your cultural initiatives, please contact us for a complimentary consultation. We would love to help you get started…or get better!