Top talent and a strong culture are what power most high-performing organizations. Executives are well aware of the value that culture adds to their company’s ability to evolve and thrive. In fact, 91% of executives believe that improving their company’s culture as it enters a period of growth would increase its value.
Thought leader Josh Bersin shares his thoughts on the value of company culture with our CEO Ronni Zehavi in a video centered on the benefits it proposes to the modern working world. As Josh and Ronni explain, culture is way beyond an industry buzzword. It’s a means to recruitment, a way of retention, and a state of being that prioritizes your people’s happiness.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”Peter Druker
There are several proven ways to ensure that the awesome culture fueling your success continues to have a positive impact on your people and your organization.
Hire the right person for the right reasons
It’s relatively simple to train someone who’s qualified to develop the specific skills you’re looking for. What’s impossible to do is change a person’s attitude. This is why it’s important to only bring people into your organization who are likely to fit in with its culture and long-term vision. While individuality, innovation, and risk-taking should be encouraged, these should all serve your organization’s mission, vision, and values. An effective way to find out if job candidates are likely to fit in with your culture is to place them in various workplace situations and see how they connect with other team members. As Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb says, “Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion.”
Educate and enlighten your new employees
The next step in building a culture that can scale is to implement an onboarding process that ensures that every new employee learns and internalizes your organization’s defining principles. One study found that approximately one-quarter of employees are either indifferent or don’t know much about their company’s mission. Your organization’s mission informs every decision it makes. Therefore, your newbies’ approach to their work needs to be informed by your organization’s unique golden rules. One idea for driving home what guides your organization is to hold frequent meetings that clearly show your new talents the success and impact of your services and products.
No matter what, stay transparent
Growing organizations find it more and more difficult to keep the lines of communication open between executives and team members. Staying transparent becomes an even greater challenge once an organization starts expanding into different locations. But culture will cease to have a positive impact if employees aren’t kept informed about new developments in the organization. This is because constant communication is key to giving your people a sense of purpose about the work they’re doing. Indeed, purpose-oriented employees experience 64% higher levels of fulfillment in their work compared to non-purpose-oriented employees. Communication tools like Slack are a great way to keep all your people in the loop.
Make changes, but keep it consistent
A culture of success is one that’s constantly evolving. This is because as an organization increases its amount of clients, revenue, and staff size, policies will inevitably change as well. In such a state of growth, change becomes inevitable. And it’s crucial to communicate and implement changes clearly and consistently. One study found that companies effective in change management and communication are three and a half times more likely to significantly outperform their industry peers that are not as effective in these areas. On the other hand, applying policy changes in an inconsistent manner will cause many of your people to feel like they’re being treated unfairly. A growing body of research shows that perceived injustice in the workplace is connected to emotional burnout, absenteeism, and health problems.
Remember, it takes a village to scale successfully. What these ideas for maintaining and strengthening culture have in common, is that they’re focused on your organization’s single most important asset: its people. Creating open and supportive relationships and treating your people like they’re indispensable to your organization’s growth will reinforce the culture of success that initially propelled it. In today’s increasingly competitive and rapidly evolving global economy, it takes a unified team, department, or community of talented and committed individuals to positively impact an organization’s long term viability.