Culture is one of the mysteries that organizations struggle to define and improve.
If you have ever worked in a high-functioning organization, you know that its employees are happy, fulfilled and motivated to excel without being pushed by their manager. These organizations have improved customer service, have increased overall sales and revenue, and improved employee engagement by significant margins over dysfunctional organizations.
For many years the debate of whether or not corporate or organizational culture could be shaped has raged on. How many books have been written about the most important cultural attributes?
One of the major stumbling blocks is that these cultural virtues are based upon past beliefs that often get in the way of true cultural transformation. This leaves an organization with the task of finding the right approach for its cultural growth.
Our firm has found surveys and data useful to understand an organization’s culture but nowhere near enough to change it. Understanding the motive behind and underneath each employee is important but is woefully inadequate in building a healthy culture within a workplace.
Practical steps to starting a successful cultural transformation:
- Align your employees to one core organizational strategy. For example, let’s say you’re in an organization that wants to drive performance in a specific area of its services. In this instance, by developing a clear purpose for the group and having everyone contribute each day to it, your organization over time, will become far more successful.
- Inform your employees of the major roadblocks that might get in their way given the current strategic reality they all face, and provide a roadmap to how they can change their experience.
- Sustain your employees by sharing your thoughts on what it takes to have an organization come together for one purpose using their work that creates a meaningful journey.
With all the turmoil of the past few years due to COVID-19 and the global pandemic, many people have suffered both physical, social and professional challenges that have left them unable to perform many of their duties in their daily routine. Many have had a difficult time fulfilling arduous tasks that depleted their resolve to be successful. Leaders who are empathetic to this set of challenges can help their teams understand their purpose and grow in a new and healthy way.
Every organization can be exceptional.
What is required are leaders who engage and empower their employees over and beyond their personal development. Caring for others is the most attractive characteristic that all employees appreciate and that motivate them. Creating a workplace that brings a team of engaged people together can overcome an organization’s complex business challenges. Improving the daily, real-world experience of employees will, in turn, enrich the experience your customers will receive. This is great culture in action.