You’ve got a great business model and a hot market, but you’re not achieving what you know you could.  You suspect it could be a culture issue.  What can you do?

Strengthening your culture is doable, but be warned: there are critical success factors that will make or break your cultural transformation efforts.  Here’s what we’ve learned over the years of working with a lot of unique leadership teams.  These principles apply, no matter what market you’re in or who is on your team.  Let’s dive in.

  1.  OWN IT. It’s got to come from the top.  If the top dog isn’t living and breathing the desire to develop the culture, it will be a long hard slog with limited impact.  In fact, cultural efforts led by HR without strong leadership at the top can do more harm than good. Even though you will need to engage everyone in the organization in your cultural transformation effort, this is not a grassroots effort.  

Behaviors are going to need to shift – and that means authentic self-reflection and personal work for everyone.  There is nothing more powerful than a CEO who leads by example and examines how they could be more aligned with the values needed to drive the organization forward.  When you create an environment promoting self-improvement instead of perfection, it opens the door for everyone to increase their self-awareness and grow.  

Tough decisions will need to be made too.  Sometimes structures and processes unintentionally foster dysfunction in the organization, and those in positions of power need to help untangle the elements needed to help drive change.

  1.  CLARITY IS KING. Values need to be crystal clearWhile we love the simplicity of one word that captures a whole concept, the interpretation of those words can differ greatly.  Organizations that align their staff to company values have done the hard work of discerning and communicating the definitions and behaviors they are committing to and looking for.  Without this granular element, it’s near impossible to coach people into the culture you’re looking for.  It’s all too vague and heady.
  1.  INTENTIONALITY WINSIt’s got to be disciplinedEmployees can sniff out the “flavor of the month” a mile away.  Without a coherent and communicated pathway, you will have a hard time getting people to buy in and engage.  Regular cultural measurement, tight action items and ongoing updates are elements that can help you gain traction and maintain it.  Remember, nothing drifts toward greatness – especially your organization’s culture.  You wouldn’t consider neglecting process improvement efforts, why would you neglect intentional management of your culture?
  1. REWARD AND RECOGNIZEThose are the things that get repeated.  Good leadership not only models desired behaviors but also points out when others are walking the talk.  Pay attention to how you are recognizing great examples of values-driven behavior – both publicly and privately.  It’s amazing how powerful positive affirmation can be to move the needle on desired behaviors – many of us just don’t slow down enough to do it consistently and authentically.

So how are you doing with these 4 success factors?  

I can guarantee that if you begin doing these four things, your culture will begin to shift and you will see the impact on your performance, your retention, and the energy and passion of your people.  It’s worth the effort.

Want to ensure your team has what it takes to have a winning culture? Contact The LEGACY Center today!