Every leader and entrepreneur is familiar with the saying “structure follows strategy” but legendary Peter Drucker is the author of one of my favourite quotes, because he added what makes the true difference with really good leadership: “…and culture eats strategy for breakfast!”
Company Culture is the sum of individuals
Every organization has its own distinct culture that evolves based on its purpose, priorities, values, and most importantly, the individuals who are part of this business structure. It is a combination of these factors that contribute to a company ecosystem, which is also referred to as the company culture or company spirit. So, how do we define a healthy and positive work culture? Is it one that helps employees feel comfortable, safe, and valued? Is it one where there is an ample scope of prosperity and growth? Is it one with high levels of productivity and team spirit?
The Fundamentals of Company Culture
Company culture plays an integral role in the operation of any business. It is the backbone of a happy and high performing workforce that not only helps in recruiting the cream of talents in the industry but also enhances your overall employee experience factor. On the one hand, many employees struggle to find meaning and real value in the work they do without a positive company culture. And on the other hand, organisations with a strong and positive work environment witness bottom line financial success by helping employees produce best results.
Talking about “Human Resources” is misleading
Employees are humans, not “human resources” and humans want to be valued. No doubt about it. They want to enjoy their work, have a feeling of autonomy, relatedness and competence which motivates them to go above and beyond. A successful organisation has a company culture that is strongly maintained and widely accepted. Not only are the structures, habits and strategies implemented in a way that is in sync with the anticipated culture of the organization. Even top management is interacting with their talents across levels in a way that reflects the purpose, values and principles of this ecosystem and the implemented reward systems are aligned with the present company culture.
Why you should care about company culture as top-level leader
Successful companies have a consensus on their top priorities, focus on individuals as well as the enterprise as a whole and make sure their goals and objectives are in line with their values. Here are top 3 reasons why you should make your employee’s experience and your company culture a personal priority for 2021:
#1 – Hiring the cream of talents
Let’s start at the very beginning. As leaders we understand that a strong company culture helps in attracting the best talents in the industry. Positive employee experience and workplace atmosphere ensure that all individuals have a fair chance to achieve healthy high performance which will become more of a competitive advantage than we‘ve seen in the past industrial age. When the best employees work for an organization with a healthy company culture in place, the outcome is not simply about employee satisfaction but the ultimate customer experience as well, which directly relates to bottom line financial success. Yep, this is the new KPI you should look out for as a visionary leader building an organization for the digital future!
#2 – Having a herd of unicorns
It’s in the DNA of any good leader to develop things further, not to be satisfied with the status quo but to outperform and to reach new horizons. In a perfect world, you want your employees all to be potential “unicorns” regarding the skills, talents and the passion they bring to work. This means though, that employees can’t be treated equally with a standardized approach when it comes to formal training or personal development. Instead, companies with a true employee experience commitment, understand the value of treating each talent individually, ensuring the growth of the entire organization by best possibly supporting the growth and development of each and every employee. Effective leadership development and people development programs at this kind of organization aim at providing key talents with 1:1 sparring partners or leadership coaches as well as facilitated peer groups and mastermind programs, making sure that all the potential within each team member and leader is given a chance to rise and grow.
#3 – Outperforming your not-yet-known competitors
All companies at some point arrive at the decision of documenting not only shared beliefs as value statements but also strategies, processes, procedures, etc. All of these documentation efforts are worth nothing, if at the core of your organization’s operations the talents at work do not FEEL what your organization, your products, your service level and your defined values are truly about. As responsible leader, you have to make sure, that every talent in the organization understands how the company’s values impact the experience your customers have with your brand. And every talent should be able to identify the organization’s core values and purpose when experiencing your leadership and way of guiding people. If you picked the purpose and values carefully, if you can make sure they are reflected in every day work, every customer touchpoint and in your leadership style, then you are for sure way ahead of the competition when it comes to employee experience.
Conclusion: It’s a mix of 3
Making it a priority to be spot on purpose and values with any business initiative and assuring as top level leader, together with your leadership team, to live according to these principles, you’ve for sure won half the battle. Adding then the right dose of listening to your people and providing them the best possible environment to grow their skills but also to leave their comfort zones and develop themselves as human beings, that will empower your organization to achieve the bottom line impact you might be dreaming of.
Unsure where to start? No idea where your organization is now? No clue about your status quo as a leader with the way you work today? Feel free to reach out to me personally as a reader of the GlobalBusinessPlaybook and we get on a personal 1:1 momentum session to identify possible strengths as well as areas for improvements. Contact me via email@example.com