The shared assumptions, values and beliefs in your business, are the culture producing your results.
How people in your organization dress, behave and execute their jobs is influenced significantly by this system. It’s everywhere. It permeates everything. It’s an invisible yet powerful force. It’s the corporate personality.
The cost of a toxic culture can be high turnover, customer defection, infighting, inferior quality products, and more. Save yourself the effort of a brilliant strategy to solve the problem. The underlying issue is the culture your team and you have created.
One summer I worked for a large state agency. I vividly recall looking up at the end of the day to see a line of my fellow workers waiting to walk out the door at 4:55 pm. I quickly learned that quitting time was 5 pm and not one minute later.
Leaders set the course for the culture of an organization by their own behavior and action. Behavior that is rewarded persists and becomes stronger. What you pay attention to indicates it’s important. Allocating resources to something means it is of value.
As an organization grows, leaders like to hire people like they are. So the behavior continues and it spreads. People who do not conform to the culture will either self-select out of the organization or will be fired. If they stay, it is at great peril to their wellbeing and that of the company. So to say they are “not a good fit.”
If your corporate culture is counterproductive to your goals, you can take steps to change it. It’s not a quick fix and it is not easy. You, however, can change the culture by changing the behavior. It’s time for a culture makeover.
Address a culture change with these steps:
1) Identify a few critical behaviors that impact your business
2) Define clearly how these behavior make a difference
3) Enroll the informal leaders in the organization in the effort to change critical behavior
4) Choose informal leaders who see the benefit of the behavior change and who can be advocates
5) Devise a way to monitor the progress of the behavior change
6) Communicate the results of changing the targeted behaviors
To make your meetings focused and productive, unplug. Conduct your meetings without electronic devices in the room. This allows participants to put all their attention on the person speaking without distractions of an electronic screen. Listening to someone demonstrates respect. This one behavior could have a significant impact on your business.
The corporate culture you have fashioned is creating your results. The good news is that if you generated it, you can design something else that serves your company. You can create different results with a different culture. You decide. Is it time for a culture makeover?
© 2017 Ann Elliott All Rights Reserved