Leadership + Management | By Tom Murphy,

Are You Building Your Company Culture or Letting it Knock You Down?

Even the most noble and well-planned strategy won’t be carried out with enthusiasm and care if people don’t like working in your organization. At best, you’ll end up with a mediocre version of the ideas you envisioned. At worst you’ll end up with a toxic culture that drives employees, clients and supporters away.

Culture happens. Whether you’re paying attention or not.

If you ignore it, the culture of your organization will develop randomly. But if you’re paying close attention, you can be very intentional about building and shaping the kind of company culture you want to live, breathe and work in.

  • When you carefully manage and protect your environment, you will attract people who fit into your culture and who are excited to contribute to your mission.
  • But if you just let whatever happens happen, you will allow people who are in your company to determine your culture.

Culture is more than a fancy mission statement. It’s more than onsite espresso machines, or a dress code that includes flip flops.

Yes, those things can be manifestations of your culture, and good ones at that. But true culture is about your values. It’s about living and breathing your beliefs, and making sure everyone else knows them too. It’s about the care and development you pour into your people. It’s about making sure everyone feels worthwhile and sees themselves as a valuable part of the team. And, it’s about showing your employees the roles they play in making your vision a reality.

Organizations that don’t pay attention to culture:

  • Hire for skill and not for personality fit
  • Have little (or poorly executed) communication
  • Lack performance management, mentoring, and personal/career development
  • Don’t have defined or well-communicated company vision and values
  • Breed employees who don’t trust their leaders and don’t feel connected to their work

Organizations that are intentional about shaping the right culture:

  • Hire for personality and cultural fit, recognizing that skills can be taught
  • Communicate clearly and often
  • Request feedback, ideas, and participation from all team members
  • Integrate regular performance coaching and personal development opportunities
  • Have defined company values that are woven into the fabric of the organization
  • Share the vision of the organization and work collaboratively to make it a reality
  • Foster trust in leadership and commitment to something bigger

Which kind of organization are you?

Regardless of how your culture has developed, chances are it is fairly strong and engrained.

A culture will always rise up to defend itself, be it good or bad. If you’ve got a great culture, this strong defense should be very welcome. But if you’re trying to make cultural change, this defense can be very frustrating and tough to overcome. It takes a leader with a strong will to turn the tide, and some tough decisions and actions along the way.

But great challenges offer great rewards.

Don’t let a happenstance culture drag your organization down. Commit to building the kind of culture that makes your team excited to be part of your vision and you excited to go to work each day.

Recruiting and retaining employees is easier when you can proudly offer a comprehensive benefits plan that makes your team members feel as valuable as they are. At Sonus Benefits, we build cost effective, long-lasting employee benefits strategies to keep your business and your employees in optimum health.

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