Culture seems to be confusing almost everyone in the business world.
It’s known as…
– Work Culture
– Company Culture
– Organisational culture
– Organisational health
For now, let’s use company culture.
Company Culture Is:
Company culture is trust
Company culture is the work environment you co-create It’s how people feel, yes feel
It’s the nonverbal’s, the cues and interactions
It’s how colleagues communicate, especially when not everyone is watching or listening,
It’s how colleagues work together, it is how colleagues show up and support each other
It’s the accepted behaviours
It’s how the data and information flows
And how confidence builds.
Company culture is how colleagues and the company are set up for success.
Company culture can be the simple things like meeting behaviours; example of having too many meetings, creating a meeting to make a decision or having meetings without agenda’s.
Company Culture Is Not
Company culture is not HR (or just owned by HR)
Company culture is not a marketing tool or a PR stunt
Company culture is not leadership dictating what works and does not work
Company culture is not a series of perks like an office dog, free beers and a ping pong table or quarterly sessions talking about culture.
It’s not a blog post or an email, not one internal memo and not a reminder on chat tools that we should be doing better or doing more. These are just baby steps towards company culture.
And yes a reminder, it is more than a mailing list or a dedicated chat channel to ask questions.
For many colleagues company culture is the why am I doing this when elements of the business become unclear.
There Is A Perk Problem
Perks have been a misconception for a number of years and masks what is happening and what makes a successful company.
Did you and your business get confused?
Did you join a co-working office to feel cooler?
Company culture is more than a buzzword
Company culture is more than a couple of old school pulse survey sent into oblivion
Company culture is more than a last resort
Company culture is how the company knows how the company performance is doing, how the company tackles obstacles together and continues to build better businesses.
Company culture is developing your people, improving understanding and objectives, developing communication, improving the environment, improving collective expectations and improving your companies performance.
Let’s be honest, almost all leadership and HR teams are too disconnected from the day to day, this means neither understand the pulse or heartbeat, nor are trusted internally enough to make the right steps forward when it comes to culture, this then impact strategy.
Company culture does, however, need the HR team and leadership buy-in and has to have complete backing in-front of the departments and in the boardroom, and yes even the CFO signing off on ‘soft skills’.
Managers: Company culture is more than disagreeing and committing in the management meetings.
Yes company culture is hard,
Yes it is long term
And yes, it’s about weeding out the work politics and setting up success across the business.
It’s imperative to know company culture is directly connected to company performance.
Company Culture = Company Performance
Company culture needs nurturing and developing and is an ever-evolving and a growing part of your organisation.
It’s not a one and done and it’s not a recurring agenda item for the senior leadership team don’t have time to skip through and hear about from just one of their trusted people.
If in doubt, remember:
Your people build and develop your products that drive profits.
Company Culture is more than just the word culture…
Factors Of Company Culture
The influencing factors are:
– Workplace and environments
– Sub Culture
– Company Compass
Subcultures, team and departmental “tribal behaviours” are far more influential than many businesses realise or work on understanding or proactively improving.
Subcultures often go on undetected and unspoken of.
Why are sub cultures are important?
You have subcultures within the same office, often within teams in departments.
For individuals: Trust, behaviours & belonging all essential at the individual level. This is before we connect with our team, our department, our company.
Work is: me and we (company), not one or the other.
Togetherness: This is why culture is co-created, this is why relationships matter, this why I belong, I want to add value, am I and we doing a good job and why we have created something together is so important to company culture.
Yes, Management is vitally important to your company culture, your company likely is not set up to allow a company culture to develop or to succeed properly. Your company is not likely built out to support leaders and develop the next generation of leaders throughout your business. These are all signals of company culture and belonging to this tribe.
The environment(s) is crucial. Working in the office, working from home, working remotely or the Hybrid model. Just because we are not within the same walls, it doesn’t mean anyone is less important, their situation is different and not to have a rule that applies to all.
All important lessons and learnings should apply no matter what your set up is or has to be.
Remember leadership is more than a job title or job description.
Something that will shock many:
Culture is set by the employees daily, guidance and principles set by leadership.
These factors help to set their company culture up. It’s the signals, actions, behaviours and the support that makes company culture win. This makes company performance.
Not writing statements on the wall, not a commitment to something that was written months ago and never revisited.
This is why culture cannot be decided upon from the leadership team or by one department.
Why has the company culture broken?
The truth is: Many leadership teams have got culture wrong as it was being directed by the wrong departments
By leaders who were completely disconnected from the teams and departments.
Culture became a buzzword and not an essential part of the business success
No one is in a better position to help address company culture than the right internal people, however, Without the right framework and being able to step back, scan the landscape and gain insights – you will struggle to make any progress.
Toxic company culture forms when employees are not heard, they are not actively asked for the expertise and do not feel they are supported by their manager, their organisation or by the HR teams.
(Read how to fix a toxic company culture)
Company culture goes hand in hand with strategy and it has to be treated as a constant priority.
Company Culture + Strategy = Company Focus.
Are you ready to tackle company culture?
Are you ready to prioritise and put company culture front and centre of your business?
Company culture should now be clearer, for leaders, the next generation of leaders and people who just a better workplace and those who just want to do their job.
2020 & 2021 have been challenging years for everyone, for the rest of 2021 and 2022 everything has to be clear, concise and ensure your people and your business is set up for success.
Take the Focus challenge!
Improve company culture and build an ongoing alliance with strategy to ensure it is treated as a business-critical item.
If you need help, happily reach out.
Danny – firstname.lastname@example.org – Focus Founder
Important Company Culture Resources:
– Do OKRs damage company culture
– Why hire a culture community manager
– Fix your toxic company culture
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