Executives often understand the importance of goals and solid business strategies. However, many fall short in understanding, embracing and shifting the culture to meet or exceed those goals. To become a high-performance organization, companies must address people issues before they get out of hand because when people leave, cash bleeds. Companies can forget the strategy and the execution when they don’t have the right people or the cash. Every organization has objectives and some have financial plans, but most don’t optimize their talent or plan in a way that moves towards a solid – defined – strong workplace culture. Business objectives = results (some sort of results, but are they always what you intended, what you needed?)
What happens in the white space between objectives and results?
- The defining of the organizational structure.
- The hiring with intentions to meet specific objectives that yield intentional results.
- Are leaders continually inspiring their teams, the individuals that will keep the organization growing in both sales and profits? Is your talent being optimized?
Workplace culture is alive in every organization, but does it exist as leadership intended? Is it described consistently at all levels inside the organization? Over the years, company culture is often taken for granted, with leadership not realizing how important it is to employee morale, quality of work and profitability. Culture cannot just be a sign on the wall and bullet points on a website saying what your organization stands for. Great companies have solid, consistent culture infused throughout the entire organization, starting with leadership and including every employee.
Culture is what makes or breaks a company. A culture transformation must involve all levels of the organization. Today’s workforce includes multiple generations trying to get along, communicate and bridge the technology gap, and sometimes it is a hurdle. Newer generations want more NOW. They are used to speed; and the more automation and technology we see, the greater the gaps will become.
Our future workers will be:
- Even more tech-savvy. The future work force doesn’t know life any other way.
- Socially conscious.Workers expect their companies to support social causes.
- Quicker promotions, team collaboration, agility as a norm.
- The big unknown. Scary for some. Thrilling for others. A game-changer regardless.
Are you ready? Is your leadership team ready? Where are you on the culture maturity level?
Establish your culture intentionally.
This includes establishing shared beliefs, values and norms to guide workplace behaviors and achieve objectives. It also includes culture’s ability to determine engagement.
- Level 0 – Our culture is negatively impacting performance and engagement. There’s an attitude that culture doesn’t matter, and/or there are inconsistencies between what’s said and what’s done.
- Level 1 – Our culture is clearly defined and communicated, and cultural fit is seen as an important contributor to individual and collective success. We evaluate behaviors relative to our culture.
- Level 2 – Strategy is a lens through which we view our organizational culture. Cultural analytics are reviewed at the senior levels of the organization, but culture is still seen as an HR task.
- Level 3 – Our culture maximizes employee engagement, and all members of the business are responsible for cultural alignment and preservation. Culture is transparent, discussed often, and reinforced.
For More Information
Shelley D. Smith is a best-selling author, consultant, founder and CEO of Premier Rapport consulting firm. Her 35+ years of experience has earned her the reputation as the creator and implementer of the Culture Inquiry in businesses all along the East Coast and beyond. Her culture approach includes four phases: inquiry, analysis, creations, and curation.
A highly sought-after speaker and business culture inquiry consultant, Shelley asks tough questions to hone in on pain points and areas of opportunity for companies to grow. The most recent of her five books, How to Avoid Culture Big Fat Failures (BFF), has rattled and disrupted corporate America. Numerous C-Suite executives have tapped Shelley for her sharp insight and professional recommendations to shape the culture they’ve envisioned to increase profitability, decrease employee turnover and retain top talent.