One simple definition of culture is ‘How we do things around here’ and it is reflected in the way people act and behave.
A business culture will encompass an organisation’s vision, values, beliefs, working style and habits. It influences management decisions and all business functions from Finance to Marketing.
So, how can you sustain a culture that allows people to do their best work and create great results?
There are a wide range of cultural factors behind people’s behaviour at work. Management mould the company culture through their behaviours, decision, attitudes and ability to communicate. As a leader or manager, you can influence the culture in your company when you lead by example. Here are a few tried and tested tips to support you:
- Communicate the Vision and Mission of your Company; ask yourself why the business exists and communicate the Purpose and Direction to everyone to ensure they are aligned. Build this into your induction programme and other business communication vehicles. Strong communications on all important issues is key to creating a high performance culture.
- Resource and Support; Be clear on what it takes to effectively deliver your product or service and ensure people have the tools, training and resources to do their job well.
- Learning and Development; make sure all employees are adequately trained to perform to expectations. Encourage continuous learning and growth and provide opportunities at all levels of the company. Create a Learning and Development Initiative with career paths and KPI’s and hold management accountable for developing their people.
- Influence and Accountability; create an environment where people are vested contributors. This fosters a culture that makes people proud to be a part of the company. Allow all employees to have a voice and share their thoughts and opinions on how to help the company succeed. When this is combined with a flexible work environment, it fosters creativity, innovation and career growth.
- Reward and Recognition; People want to know you care about them and notice their contributions. Actions speak louder than words here and nothing makes people feel valued more than acknowledgement and recognition. Leaders and Managers have a responsibility to recognise and reward strong performance. You can also create forums where every employee can recognise a team member who goes above and beyond the call of duty.
- Customer Focus: Every business needs happy and satisfied customers to survive and thrive. Your employee value proposition and culture drive the behaviours of the people who deliver your product or service to your customers so it’s vital to have a culture that supports excellent customer service.
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