Delivering An Excellent Company Culture
What separates the mundane, kind of acceptable, middle-of-the-road company from a trend-setter, profitable and dynamic company?
It can be just luck – getting the right product out at the right time, hitting the exact sweet point of product acceptance and take-off.
Or, more likely, it is because the company has the right culture and approach to the task at hand.
So what pointers head the organisation on the right path to Excellent Company Culture?
- Give the responsibility for Cultural Growth to a nominated person. This means charging a key member of staff to develop the right cultural approach. They cannot do this on their own but they can push staff in the right direction.
- Get Leaders to endorse and promote Excellent Culture. Leaders inspire and are copied; strong leadership that has a clear focus on delivering a relevant approach in all aspects of the business is critical. Make sure that all of the SMT promote this as a single voice and do not default from a uniform message. If you have quality of product or service as the central pillar of your operation then you will expect al staff to adopt this and act accordingly. NEVER be afraid to have that difficult conversation with staff that do not/will not follow this mantra. Some may have to leave but this is necessary if an Excellent Culture is to be delivered.
- Does the Cultural Expert report to the SMT? Structure sends a message – the Deputy Junior Salesman is pegged on the organisation chart inexactly the same way that the Cultural Expert reports directly to the SMT. Staff understand, recognise and (possibly reluctantly) subscribe to the organisation chart. Publicise this widely. Frequently.
- Culture should not always be a tidy package. You cannot iron on a Cultural Excellence transfer onto an organisation – there will be challenges and issues will go unresolved for some time at least! Not all will willingly subscribe to it at the same time and for differing reasons. This will wobble and change.
- Have a clear focus. Utopian society may well be a worthy target and something to aspire to BUT the general direction and commitment must be there. Build upon teams that get the vision and process and then let them deliver and inspire others. Sell and sell again what the outcomes of Cultural Excellence look like.
- Always communicate. Share your values and culture explicitly, clearly and continuously, both internally and externally. Make sure that whilst your staff recognise and understand the culture you are working towards that your customers also see and recognise this also. Employees must understand your culture, and why it’s important. Reward employees who advance your culture, and be open and honest with those who don’t.