Improving one’s company culture requires more than creating programs and establishing unlimited vacation policies.
These “cultural add-ons” are surface improvements only and don’t get at the heart of the matter.
If you’re ready for a real culture shift, you’ll need to do more than tweak a policy here and add a few programs there. Understanding the science behind your company culture is key.
Collect data about your culture
Now is not the time to rely on your gut alone. Your impression of your company’s culture may not match the actual culture. For example, you could believe employees feel comfortable suggesting new ideas, when the truth is managers consistently penalize employees for being outspoken, and your staff knows it.
Collecting information around your culture and the values behind it will allow you to truly understand it. The data can include information on processes, procedures, policies, management styles, and employee attitudes. Today, you can easily do this with software to help you.
What kind of culture do you want? Knowing the answer to this question will allow you to work front to back instead of backwards and in the process adopt a culture you might not have in mind for your company. Identifying how you want your company to operate and what you want it to be known for are important first steps.
Know that employee engagement occurs naturally in a healthy culture
Don’t be afraid that a culture of excellence will result in disengaged employees. Most employees want their work to matter and look forward to a challenge.
Learn from other companies, both inside and outside your industry, about how high-performing organizations manage the demands of employees, customers, and share holders.
The classic example of a strong company culture is Zappos, which has a reputation for being able to connect with employees across the board.
A strong culture plus engaged employees leads to good turnover and satisfied customers.
However, culture is much more than meets the eye. There’s a science behind creating a strong culture, and if you’re able to take elements (such as your perceptions) out of the equation that don’t necessarily fit into the puzzle you’ll be more successful long-term.
Working on your company culture? This whitepaper can help you: Creating a Culture of Learning