“Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch” – Peter Drucker
Every organization has a culture which is formed by the beliefs, ideologies, principles and values of the people within the organization. The culture of the workplace reflects, and also controls the way employees behave amongst themselves as well as with people outside the organization. Often, a workplace can have a variety of sub-cultures based on team location, the leadership and workforce within a department, and other factors that organically develop and may or may not be in line with the values and mission of the organization.
It is essential that leaders intentionally work to build and maintain a positive and healthy culture that is 1) consistent regardless of location, leadership, or other factors, 2) reflects the current values, principles, and beliefs of the organization, and 3) part of a constant thread of conversation, reflection, and celebration. Building a positive workplace culture can have a significant impact on employee and customer experiences including: morale, productivity, psychological safety, inclusion, creativity, and retention.
Consider these five steps to build a positive workplace culture:
- Clear Expectations and Goals – We need to know where we’re going. Healthy cultures outline behaviors, values, and priorities are aligned with the mission, vision and purpose of the organization and, more specifically, visible strategic goals help focus activity, investments, and energy. Leaders must work within this culture to build an ecosystem of transparent, two-way communication where expectations of each person and team are clear and tied to outcomes with high accountability and engagement. Read more here.
- Connect to Tell the Story – We need to know WHY. Whatever the WHY of the organization is should be clear and readily discussed with and among team members. This includes immersing new hires in the company story (history, impact, purpose, values, etc.) during the interview and onboarding process. It includes connecting awards, promotions and celebrating team accomplishments in line with the values and purpose. It is in the language you use, how we live out the “story”, and how people feel at work that make the culture robust, meaningful, and reflective of a crystal-clear picture of who “we” are. Read more here.
- Invest in Your Team – We need to feel valued. Engaged teams are more profitable. Those teams who score in the top 20% in engagement realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism, and 59% less turnover. Invest in your team to make them feel valued, supported, and equipped with the resources they need to do their jobs well. Read more here.
- Recognize and reward achievement: We need to know if we’re doing a good job and what to adjust in our performance. Clear, timely, and genuine feedback is something we all crave. Thoughtfully find ways to recognize and reward employees for their hard work and achievements, while also creating regular openings for two-way communication for constructive development dialogue. Consider this research article.
- Communicate regularly: We need details that help us understand our workplace and how it impacts us (or how we can make a difference)! Regular and transparent communication is key to building a positive workplace culture. Build trust by encouraging every person to have their voice heard and engage in open and honest communication consistently. Ultimately, communication is one of the most effective ways to connect, influence, and celebrate and it is the most common “Achilles heel” of teams that we work with. Your goal is to use effective messaging to create a culture of transparency where employees feel like they are part of a team and can contribute their ideas and perspectives. Read more here.
By taking these steps, you can build a positive workplace culture that will benefit both your employees and your organization.
At Dame Leadership, we provide the tools you require to manage your operations and ensure you’re able to provide the best support for your team while empowering them to pursue purpose in your organization.
See related article: Strategies for Transforming Your Workplace Culture