As Peter Drucker once said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” And lunch. And dinner. In fact, culture eats everything for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Establishing a corporate culture is so important to your company’s success because it determines all of the other areas of your organization. In addition to branding and strategy, culture also determines hiring decisions, and affects how well employees fit within your company.
A survey by OfficeTeam reveals that 64% of human resources managers have hired employees that didn’t fit the company’s culture and 66% have lost employees who didn’t fit in. When interviewing, Office Team recommends a series of questions to help determine an applicant’s fit within the organization but these questions can also help an organization identify its culture.
A note on values: most companies have core values, such as integrity, excellence, customer service, etc. However, listing core values on paper, and framing them in the hallway doesn’t indicate that these are driving forces in the organization. For example, a company may say that integrity is a core value, but then it sells its clients’ information to other companies without permission. Or the organization may list customer service as a core value, but then penalize customer service representatives for spending too much time on the phone answering questions from those customers.
When you’re diagnosing your organization’s culture and recognizing its strengths and weaknesses, your diagnosis should include several key principles, according to a recent report by Strategy&, a part of the PricewaterhouseCoopers network:
- Naturally entrepreneurial, financially motivated
- Respectful, consensus-seeking, compliant
- Proud, protective, and loyal to own group
- Ambitious, aspirational, financially enabled
- Transactional win-lose mind-set, focus on monetary rewards
- Adverse to accountability, uncomfortable giving feedback
- Natural tendency to silos, distrustful of other groups
- Inefficient, complacent, unrealistic
1. Manage work performance effectively by doing the following:
2. Empower employees at every level, which will allow them to:
3. Ensure that leaders are visible, accessible, and:
4. Make sure the strategy is customer-centric. Connect the brand, employees, objectives, and mission to the customers.
5. Create a collaborative approach to problem-solving.
6. Invest in training and development opportunities. This not only improves performance but also allows the company to identify high-potential employees and prevents talent hoarding.
Creating a culture that drives success isn’t easy, but organizations that fail to evaluate themselves and take the necessary steps in the right direction will not be able to create sustainable growth.