Organizational culture is what a tea bag is in a cup of tea; it infuses flavor by shaping an organization’s personality and the perception of the consumers and employees towards it. Creating an organizational culture takes slow, intentional efforts that penetrate deep into an organization’s core.
While most company executives know the importance of a positive organizational culture, many still fail at creating one. This is perhaps due to inadequate support from leaders, poor communication, and lack of vision. But it should not be the case for you.
If you are looking to build a solid corporate culture, keep reading to learn what it takes to create one. But before that, let’s first understand what company culture is.
What Is Organizational Culture?
Organizational culture refers to the core values, guiding practices, and expectations that guide employee engagement, productivity, and overall corporate performance. In other words, these are traits that define an organization.
While organizational culture may seem similar to a company mission statement, these two are different. The main differentiating aspect is that a mission statement is created through policy documents or press releases, while culture is created through consistent and authentic behaviors that usually take time.
Company culture is often evident in how a manager corrects an employee who makes a mistake, how a team adapts to new customer demands, or how a CEO responds to a crisis.
In most cases, companies with great cultures often attract top talent, have higher employee retention, and thus experience improved performance. On the contrary, dysfunctional organizational culture induces qualities that hinder progress even in the most established companies.
6 Ways to Create a Strong Organizational Culture
It Starts with the Right Talent
Most hiring managers do not look for skill alone; they also focus on shared cultural values to ensure that their hires are the right fit for the company. Hiring the right fits can be a challenge, and so is keeping them. Employees will only stay if they feel an organization has a positive culture that aligns with their values.
The best way to show your company as a proper fit to attract and maintain top talent is to get your company reviewed by an employer review site. Employer review sites like JobSage interviews your employees on their satisfaction with working in your company on your behalf. You can then leverage the information obtained from the interviews to help you see how attractive your company is to employees and make changes to ensure that you attract and retain top talent.
A Strong Mission and Vision Statement
A positive culture can only be achievable if your company aims to reach a set goal. Without one, even hiring right will not help. You may not even identify the right fit without having a goal or a purpose for the company.
A company’s vision or mission statement must clearly define what your company does, how it does it, who it is done for, and the value it brings for the company. This mission/vision statement must be clear and understandable by every team member.
Define Your Values
An organization’s values refer to shared behavior, language, and mindsets. These values are at the core of an organization’s personality. They create the picture that clients get when they interact with your company.
For example, you can’t hear a Disneyland employee use a curse word. This does not necessarily mean that they never use curse words. However, they know that they can’t use them at work because not using curse words is part of the organization’s values.
Lead by Example
Leaders are responsible for shaping their company culture. That means it is your responsibility as a leader or business owner to be your company’s strongest ambassador and reflect its values, both internally and externally.
A good way to do this is not by reciting the mission statement every time you want to solve a problem. Instead, you need to show an incredible passion for what you do, what the company stands for, and have a desirable work ethic. That way, you will inspire other team members to exemplify the same values as you, attract top talents, and, of course, more business.
Identify Your (Cultural) Representatives
Besides yourself, you need to have other cultural advocates on your team to help others understand who you are as a company and the values that define you. However, not everyone is suitable to be your cultural representative.
The best pick should be employees who breathe, eat, and live your company culture. Other than being your cheerleaders, these individuals love your company as much and will not hesitate to defend or represent its culture in the best way possible. At every opportunity, they will exude a positive attitude and lots of knowledge about your company (or brand), making it easy for all those they interact with, including customers, to remember you.
Building an organization’s culture is not a one-day or a one-month affair. It takes time before you get to your desired results. But there is no end to building a positive culture, and every day is a day to learn and improve on what you have.
Some ways of ensuring continuous improvement are training workshops, seminars, and conferences. You can also leverage the feedback given by employees and clients to make your company culture better with time which means you also have to embrace open communication.
So, Why Do Most Organizational Cultures Fail?
An organizational culture will not succeed if the tips listed above aren’t adhered to. Some of the signs indicative of a poor culture include employees being in a hurry to leave as soon as the clock hits their checkout time and voluntary resignation of the top talent.
Several factors can contribute to a failing company culture which includes:
- Your culture is not data-driven
- Lack of transparency
- Lack of defined values
- Ineffective managers
- Lack of open communication between employees and team managers
By applying the tips listed in this post and avoiding the pitfalls that lead to culture failure, you will be on your way to creating a strong culture that will yield positive results for your organization.