It’s no secret that assembling a superstar team for your organization is a tough and time-consuming process. Finding the right person to fill each role as your vision for your organization takes shape is no easy task. But something that is equally important–but which can be equally tricky–is building and maintaining a healthy organizational culture.
What is a healthy organizational culture? Many organizations do not even define their culture, which can make expectations murky and lead to dissatisfaction and even confusion among team members. This is why it is important to explicitly define and maintain a healthy organizational culture at all levels.
So what are the four things you must do to have this healthy culture in your organization? Here is what we have found to be invaluable.
1. Define a set of values and standards that is cohesive and understandable
As I mentioned above, it’s of the utmost importance that you define a set of values and standards for the organization. An extremely effective format for creating this set of values is to have the team members sit down and brainstorm together the things that are important to each person, both professionally and personally. Then, you can boil down these ideas to a finite set of core standards by which you want to conduct your business and yourselves. The set of values does not have to be fixed. It is great to review it from time to time and improve upon it as your team evolves. However, whichever stage it’s at, it must be cohesive: each standard must mesh with the others and be all-encompassing. It must also be clear and easy to understand for all team members, so that each point can be fully embraced. Thus it is very important to discuss these values or standards with new hires to get a sense of their enthusiasm for and willingness to uphold them every day.
2. Make your organization’s culture as high of a priority as your results and productivity
Business is, without a doubt, a numbers game. Metrics and targets are most often expressed in numbers, and success is often defined in quantities. However, if the numbers are your only focus, your team’s morale suffers in several ways. They may be hyper-focused only on results, rather than collaboration, an important part of professional development and growth. They may become quickly burned out and exhibit decreased productivity, which is of course the opposite of what you want to see when it comes time to look at those numbers. Their camaraderie with one another will certainly suffer: heck, they may not even really know each other! In prioritizing your organization’s culture as much as your results and outcomes, you prioritize the individual. This will be rewarded in higher degree of employee satisfaction and retention, and better productivity over the long-term. It will build an environment that team members look forward to participating actively in every single day.
3. Embrace individuality
Even among colleagues in the same field, there can be a wide range of talents, personalities, and attitudes. In any organization, each employee brings different things to the table and has different strengths. Play to these and allow each individual to develop and flex their creative growth muscles. Don’t go in assuming a new hire has a particular set of strengths and weaknesses: the person with no marketing experience could end up being responsible for your next big hit! The knowledge that there is support and acceptance of that spectrum of strengths and potentials creates a more relaxed environment for teammates and will allow them to embrace and pursue growth.
4. Live your values daily, in every interaction, with every person
Finally, the values and standards you set forth should be an integral part of your daily behavior and should be present and identifiable in every interaction and with every person. It doesn’t matter whether this is between a manager and a young, new hire, or someone from the tech department and an outside vendor, or even two C-level individuals. Fully absorbing and implementing those values fosters a stable, growth-promoting environment. And as a leader, you want to lead by example. The more you embrace and live out your organization’s values, the more your team will, too, and you will all be able to reap the rewards.
When you set forth your organization’s values or standards, it’s important that everyone be on the same page about what each means and that each team member fully embraces each one. The process doesn’t have to be tedious. It can be a great team-building exercise that can ultimately result in a positive and productive working environment for everyone.
Are there any pointers you have when it comes to having a healthy organizational culture? Share with us in the comment section below.
For a one-on-one, cost-free consultation and support in establishing and maintaining a healthy culture within your organization, contact us.