As someone who manages a business, you’ve probably heard countless times that having a strong internal work culture is essential to achieving success.
Having a positive company culture reflects how people in your company think and behave. It encompasses your values, practices and expectations, including your overall approach to customers and stakeholders.
So, how can you actually shape your culture to be better? What’s the best way to optimise organisational culture?
Let me guide you towards how to nurture the right culture for your organisation.
What creates a business’ culture?
Organisational culture is your company’s unique personality and reality, and tends to naturally manifest on its own, whether you’re proactive about it or not.
While a company’s culture can evolve without your intervention, taking a more active approach helps in aligning the culture with your business’ goals.
As an example, RedBalloon works on ensuring that its employee experience is happy and having a great time at work. This enables the business, an online experience-based gift retailer, to also deliver the best services and products to its customers.
Another good example is Netflix. Netflix has a “people over process” philosophy which empowers employees to practice autonomy and good judgment. Paying attention to your employees pays off. As a result, the company benefits from its team’s creative ideas and innovative insights.
How do you rate your business’ culture?
Business owners typically believe that corporate culture is either “good” or “bad”. But in reality, it’s neither.
The way I define organisational culture is by using this matrix:
Your culture is either ‘strong’ or ‘weak’ depending on how much your people embody the values, vision and mission of the company. If your employees are united to achieve a shared goal or purpose, you have a strong organisational culture.
Meanwhile, the level of ‘appropriateness’ and ‘inappropriateness’ determines whether or not your existing culture fits the environment in which it operates. For instance, the competitive, innovative and results-driven workplace culture of Tesla is suitable to its fast-evolving market.
Considering this, where does your organisational culture stand?
Is it strong and appropriate?
Always remember that every business is different. What’s effective for others might not be the perfect culture for you. That’s why it’s important to focus more on developing a strong culture that is appropriate to your organisation’s landscape, goals and requirements. Here’s how.
How to develop a strong business culture
A strong culture is paramount to achieving great outcomes for any business.
Unfortunately, this gets overlooked often. Your culture supports a healthy working environment which puts your strategy into action and fosters business growth.
As the leader, achieving a strong culture is in your hands. To help, I’ve compiled 5 ways that can assist you in building a culture that is both strong and organisational:
- Determine the right values for your organisation.
Culture is rooted in your organisation’s values. This is why it’s crucial to establish the right values that will motivate employees to make a positive impact and contribute. When setting values, keep in mind that they should be genuine, inspirational and aligned with your overall purpose as a business.
- Set a good example.
As your team look up to you, leaders should always walk the talk. You must show employees that your values, vision and mission are more than just statements on a wall – they act as a commitment and it all starts with you. This way, you’ll inspire them to follow your lead, so this behaviour becomes the norm, and a culture grows from this.
- Communicate effectively and apply a feedback system.
Everyone in the organisation can influence your culture, regardless of their role or position. That’s why it’s important to encourage all employees to get involved. Let them know your plans to improve your culture and encourage them to share their feedback, so you’ll always be well-informed.
- Include cultural standards in your hiring criteria.
When it comes to qualifying candidates when recruiting, don’t focus solely on skills, expertise and educational background. Make sure you’re also hiring people who are a good business culture-fit for the organisation. I always say that this is the only attribute where you can discriminate for a good reason – so, ask applicants what, why and how they will contribute to your culture.
- Start improving by being aspirational but still grounded in reality.
If you want to strengthen your business culture, don’t simply ignore the existing culture you have. You can only start taking control by thoroughly assessing what it is now and then taking more proactive steps from there. Is it already strong and appropriate? Or do you need to transform it because it’s weak and inappropriate? Use the culture matrix above to plot a starting point – this will ensure you’re moving in the right direction.
Let me help you strengthen your organisational culture
Having a strong and appropriate culture can really take your business to the next level.
It creates a productive internal environment of increased employee enagagement and helps build loyal employees who will strive to improve customer satisfaction – which, in return, drives your overall profitability.
Fortunately, you don’t have to develop a strong culture all on your own – I can guide you in assessing your culture, learning how to improve it and making it work well for you.
As a Business Coach and Mentor, I work with business owners like you to help you achieve your business goals.
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