Culture is heralded as one of the most important factors for a business’ long-term success – second to the overall business model, of course! But what is it about company culture that will ensure your company’s adaptability, endurance and longevity?
Creating a great place to work by building an aligned and motivated team which grows and learns quickly, celebrates often, and genuinely cares for its people, not only frees up your time as a leader or owner/operator, but most importantly, delivers productivity and therefore happy customers.
How a healthy productive culture provides a pillar for a successful workplace previously, is well understood.
Knowing and articulating your company’s purpose, what it is there to do and why, and keeping this core purpose at heart to guide and lead great behaviour has always been fundamental. A company with a strong purpose is able to encourage more individuals to buy into that purpose and complete the feedback loop.
Likewise identifying the four core values which inspire great behaviour means decisions are easier to make because they are using core values as a guiding light. Sharing stories to reward, recognise and re-educate these core values keeps them alive and well lived.
Thirdly a great culture needs a destination – a three-year painted vision that’s inspiring, specific and possible. Hitting goals aligns a team, missing them destroys morale. A clear vision is inspiring, however more motivating again is constant communication to track progress, regular updates on development, and celebrating highpoints along the way.
However, where these symbols, systems and behaviours may have been the adequate activities to create a great culture previously, now we need to dig a little more deeply.
Change creates cracks in cohesion, when quite suddenly individuals perceive the world around them completely contrarily. Cultural messaging such as values and purpose may no longer be interpreted or embraced in the same way, nor be as relevant to some as before. How well do you know the individuals in your organisation when operating in a reshaped environment? Which team members are listening for which fears, concerns or challenges to be addressed for them?
Successful, sustainable cultures create an environment where team members all receive regular and genuine appreciation of these sentiments from someone that counts to them.
Now the cultural imperative is to pay very close attention to your people, their aspirations, their reservations, and what motivates them, particularly when you can’t see them face to face!