Organisations like Google and Zappos make headlines for their unique company cultures. Both report highly motivated, engaged and happy workforces. They have thought hard about the culture they want to create, how to get people on board with their ideas and how important a company’s culture is when it comes to productivity, engagement and retention of talent.
What do you think about the impact of your company’s culture on your workforce? Here are some pointers to consider when addressing the culture of your organisation:
Acknowledge its role — an organisation’s culture is not an add-on, it is an integral factor in its success. Culture has much to do with how we feel in our work, our physical and emotional environment. Studies have shown that when people are happier, they perform better. It’s important to remember that an organisation’s culture has a huge impact on the happiness of their people.
Create a vision — what does the ‘right’ organisational culture look like for your organisation? What does it feel like? What are people saying when they describe the culture of your organisation?
Get clear on your starting point — having established what the right organisational culture looks, feels and sounds like, take time to review where you are now. How close are you to achieving your desired culture? What’s working? What’s missing?
Allow for change — a rigid culture favours neither leader nor employee. Capturing the essence of your culture and then allowing for a myriad of ways in which this can be expressed is far more effective than laying down the law on what your culture should or should not look like.
Involve and evolve — whilst traditionally organisational culture is ‘set’ by leaders and managers for others to follow, creating the right organisational culture is actually about involving your employees and getting buy-in at every level. The right organisational culture will evolve when its people are involved.
Model behaviour — as a leader it is imperative that you model the behaviour you wish your employees to adopt. Behavioural change is not something that will happen overnight. Leading the way by setting a positive example will provide guidance and assurance to your employees.
Reward and challenge — rewarding employees who are actively embracing the right organisational culture is a form of positive re-enforcement. Praise of behaviour tends to lead to repetition of that behaviour and also acts as sign for others to follow suit. Similarly, challenging behaviour that does not fall in line with your desired organisational culture allows employees both to reassess their behaviour whilst simultaneously recognising the importance of embracing the right culture.
Tania Watson is the founder of Creative Coaching and an executive coach, organisational consultant and leadership specialist. Creative Coaching is a successful company dedicated to the development of senior leaders in organisations through one to one coaching, intact team development and group facilitation. If you or someone from your organisation would like to have a no obligation conversation about how Creative Coaching may be able to help, please email Tania directly at email@example.com.