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Did you know?
- According to 88% of job seekers and 94% of entrepreneurs, a healthy culture at work is crucial for success.
- In the priority list of millennials, ‘people and culture fit’ sits at the top.
- Companies with good corporate culture experienced 4X higher revenues.
A positive organisational culture has a powerful impact on business success. Yet, business leaders find creating such a culture challenging and even intimidating, primarily because it’s difficult to measure and track. But creating a strong, positive culture is necessary.
As a business leader, before you start building a positive organisational culture, it pays to understand what it actually is.
Understanding What Is Organisational Culture
Organisational culture refers to the collection of beliefs, values, norms, and assumptions that direct the mindset and activity of people in your company. If you believe it’s not important, think again, because every aspect of your business is influenced by your organisational culture.
A few business aspects impacted by culture worth mentioning here include:
- The norms related to work-life balance
- How people speak to each other, from peers to up or down the hierarchy
- How challenges and unexpected situations are dealt with
- The tolerance level of mistakes by employees
- How employees feel about their work
- The degree of collaboration between each team and department
By building a positive and rock-solid culture in your company, you can even bring financial benefits. Organisation culture impacts your employees’ motivation, which affects their work efficiency and quality, the drive to accomplish goals, set newer and higher goals after they have achieved the targeted ones, and retention rates. Creating and nurturing a culture that fosters innovation and doesn’t look down upon mistakes can also pay off in the form of unique product and/or service ideas and innovative solutions to problems.
Influencing your company’s culture and building a positive one is vital. If you don’t put effort into creating it, a negative one can materialize. In case you are at the helm of a large company, where you can’t directly interact with each employee, you will have to influence culture from a high level so it percolates down and creates a positive work environment, backed by a strong organisational culture.
How to Build a Positive Organisational Culture
Now that you know what organisational culture is, perhaps you are ready to build a positive one. If you aren’t sure how to go about it, know that culture links the three vital parts of any organisation:
- Business goals
- Company values
- People and people touchpoints
Having clarity on these matters, communicating it clearly across the company, and proper planning and execution are keys to building a positive organisational culture.
Here are the top three effective ways to do it.
1. Define Business Goals Clearly
What your organisation is trying to achieve in the marketplace and how it plans to get there are crucial things to figure out. Your company’s mission and vision, once they are finalised, should be communicated clearly to everyone involved, from organisational leaders and employees to vendors, business partners, and other stakeholders.
Clarity and good communication are keys to creating a good working environment, which in turn can help build a good and strong company culture. Quite often, work is siloed between teams and tools, which makes it hard to find, understand, and act. Unless your business leaders and employees have a clear understanding of what’s required and why it matters, they could feel stuck, similar to spinning a wheel without really going anywhere.
2. Focus on Building Shared Values
How people in your company approach work, mutual collaboration, and employee well-being reflects upon your company’s culture. Since everything begins with the values held by your company leadership, it pays to set an example by walking the talk.
The foundation of good organisational culture is to create shared values and live those values. Your company’s core values should describe how employees can expect to be treated, how members of a group should treat each other, and what central values everyone at the company shares.
Remember – your company’s values should be dynamic, living ideals that your people can believe in. Instead of creating top-down values and forcing them on the bottom rungs, you should encourage your people to co-create cultural values. And as time passes and your company grows, it’s important to revisit these values to redefine, refresh, refine, or rethink them, and even create new values depending on the stage your company stands at.
3. Nurture and Support Your People
Building a good organisational culture demands you to focus on the kind of communications, programs, and behaviours prevalent within your company. Your company culture is made of hundreds and thousands of people touchpoints.
Anything from the language you use in your job descriptions to how business goals and decisions are defined and communicated, everything impacts the culture. As a business leader, you should invest in DE&I programs to ensure everyone feels welcome in your company, irrespective of race, gender, identity, and appearance. This can be done by implementing inclusive recruitment and onboarding practices, creating inclusive spaces, encouraging candid, open conversations, and forming employee resource groups or facilitating access to resources.
Grounding your culture in mutual trust and encouraging employees to share ideas, do experiments, fail, and finally, succeed as individuals and teams are equally crucial. Distributing responsibilities, where suitable, is another way of making your people feel like valued contributors rather than mere cogs in a machine.
Offering adequate training, access to refresher courses and materials, and employee growth opportunities are other ways to nurture and support your people, which will keep them engaged and motivated, thus helping you build a good organisational culture.
Unless you invest time and effort to actively develop and shape your company culture, you run the risk of having an ambiguous and disorganised framework. It pays to remember that a good culture doesn’t grow on its own. You will have to build it intentionally so that both your business and the people who make it run thrive equally well.
If you haven’t focused on developing an organisational culture, do it now. And if you need help sourcing and hiring the right candidates who can support your positive organisational culture, you can always rely on us at InHunt World!