Culture is often defined as: “How your people think and act.” There is a lot of talk about creating culture, and a lot of confusion on how to create the right one. Every organization has a culture; in fact, yours is already there. The real questions to be asking about your organization’s culture are:
- Is it the culture we want?
- Is it a culture that most people want to be a part of?
- Is it people focused or outcome focused?
- Is it a culture that can be duplicated?
- Is it a culture that can be coached?
- Is it a culture that can be sustained over time?
Unfortunately, most organization’s cultures are based on people’s personalities and are, therefore, inconsistent at best. When your culture is based on a great leader or a great team, your company is at great risk. All that is needed for your culture to begin to diminish is for a few key people to leave. We have all seen great teams fall apart because a new leader stepped in.
Without a consistent process in place, everyone waits for what the next person expects. During this time stress increases, disengagement occurs, and people start passively (or proactively) creating a possible exit strategy.
To create a consistent culture you must have a concrete process that can be easily followed and coached. It needs to be a values based process so it will connect to the hearts of the employees, which is a much greater motivational force than either logic or emotions.
When an organization’s culture is based on a concrete, values based process stability and sustainability ensues. Instead of relying on a few key outstanding personalities you are now enhancing everyone’s personality, and helping them to do what they do best more often, more consistently and more effectively.
A concrete process sets expectations, increases consistency, creates accountability, and gives you the guidelines to hire the right people. All of these are necessary for a great culture to survive long term.
Lastly, a great culture is focused on people, not outcomes. No one wants to be treated as a number or a transaction. An outcome focused culture is one that will eventually see the attrition of its most talented people. Money will only trump respect for a short period of time. Eventually, your most talented people will realize “the money isn’t worth it,” and leave. Even if they do stay, they will cease to be the producers they used to be.
If you don’t have a concrete, values based process to help your people think and act as one, you need one! If you already have one, you need to ensure that your managers are trained on how to coach to that process on a consistent basis!
To learn more about how you can create a positive, long term, sustainable culture for your organization please contact us. We would love to help you as you take your organization to the next level.