Organizational culture will either fuel the fire for high performance and growth in a business or be the cancer that slowly kills it. Unfortunately though culture in a business can’t be defined as one particular thing. It’s combination of various aspects, personalities, standards, visions, markets and more.
In business you either have a good culture or a bad one. A good culture is something you can feel when you walk in the door. Common traits are high energy, high moral, high levels of productivity, employee retention, growth, innovation, excellent customer service, clarity of vision and high performance. Bad culture can only be described as depressing, negative, counter productive, untrustworthy, paranoid and narcissistic.
We mustn’t forget a leaders’ influence on culture. In fact out of all the things that make up an organizations culture, the owner, CEO or general manage is the most influential person on this topic. They control policy, employee moral, training, retention, energy, targets, hiring and firing and more. They control the look and feel of the working environment, customer service levels and standards within that business. Although being the driving force behind it, very rarely do they take responsibility for a culture gone wrong.
If you’ve got a great culture and your business clearly demonstrates the aspects of a great culture then you deserve a pat on the back. If not then keep on reading.
Despite being like an out of control bus, culture can be address but it takes hard and fast work. Firstly as a leader you have to decide and reverse engineer what your vision is for the business. It’s your vision that becomes your culture’s blue print. Write down exactly how in a perfect world you want your business to be and operate.
Once you know what you want to be then you have to assess what you currently have. Make a list of all the negative aspects to your business. Anything and anyone who is a detriment to your business. In many case this could be you. If this is the case then you either will need to adjust your attitude or replace yourself with the right person for the role.
Finally start by addressing the issue head on. Call a special meeting. Take your entire team out of their normal environment and opening discuss the matter. Do not pass blame or make accusations, ask questions about what everyone would like to see to improve the organisation rather than state things that require fixing. The key here is engagement from your people. As simple as it sounds, do not stand in front of your team and ask for their feed back, walk around at their level and discuss the topic. It’s vital to create an atmosphere they feel comfortable enough in to get engaged. Once you have engagement then you can start making your own improvement suggestions but only then.
If a business is to improve its’ culture it will have to do it as a whole and have everyone within that business buy into the vision. It has to benefit everyone, not just the owner, and everyone needs to understand this. Creating a brilliant culture in your business could just be the kick start you need to super growth.