We’ve all heard how important organizational culture is to success…most have heard the names of some businesses often used as examples of high performance cultures – Zappos, Google, Southwest .
Information on their cultures, values, and business practices can be found in abundance. But the rest of us, regardless of size, industry, and brand recognition, also need to pay attention to culture. I was recently asked by a client “how do we create a kick ass culture…?” The question generated some interesting conversation. Creating a kick ass culture is one (yes I said one – I don’t believe that culture alone is the key to success but it’s certainly a key ingredient) thing not to be overlooked for long term growth and success. So, how can you create a kick ass culture?
Here are 3 tips to help your business SUCCEED:
- Communication – To achieve a kick ass culture and sustainable business, frequent, transparent, and authentic communication amongst leadership, employees, stakeholders, and customers is a necessity. Often leadership tends to under communicate, not share details regarding strategy and initiatives. To keep employees engaged in your products and services and committed to the organizations strategy, mission, and vision, they need to know what is going on and why, the good and the bad, (within reason). If you want to create a kick ass culture you need to know what that looks like and what that means to people. Frequent and transparent communication in all directions is a great place to start to find out.
- Leadership – Leadership is a driving force behind creating and maintaining a kick ass culture and building a thriving business. Many of those businesses we hear about that have great cultures, are because the leaders that helped to create them evangelize the culture, and practice what they preach. Leaders serve as role models through their actions and behaviors. High performing organizations have committed leaders who can rally people around a deeper sense of purpose. In most cases these leaders are also expert communicators. Through their management, leaders of organizations with a kick ass culture have the ability to translate ideals into action. Leaders who help achieve a high performance culture are ethical, approachable, relatable, and involved. These leaders not only know their organization; they know the type of people in their organization and how those people’s contributions help to achieve the strategic goals.
- People – To achieve a kick ass culture you must recruit, engage, and retain the right people. Hire for skills AND culture fit. Many things may bring employees through the front door, but bad work environments drive them out. Build a highly engaged and committed workforce. Let employees know they and their ideas are valued and provide a culture where their voices can be heard. Creating this type of environment increases employee motivation and retention and reduces employee turnover. This type of positive environment helps people reach higher levels of productivity. People are the company. High performance organizations recognize and embrace this fact. They acknowledge in all decision making that it is the people who execute the organization’s strategy. It is people who measure the organizations progress and steer its direction. It is the people that ultimately deliver products and services to customers and create the customer experience. It is the people and their capabilities, individually and collectively, who create a kick ass culture. Organizations can’t exist without people. People make the difference in every business – and happy people make the biggest difference.
So focus on these 3 things to help get started at creating a kick ass culture for your business. To see a full list of tips to creating a kick ass culture at your organization click here to request a checklist on creating a high performing culture.
About Scott Span, MSOD: is CEO & Lead Consultant of Tolero Solutions – an Organizational Improvement & Strategy firm. He helps clients in achieving success through people, creating organizations that are more responsive, productive and profitable. Organizations where people enjoy working and customers enjoy doing business.
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