Are Your Behaviors in Alignment with Your Company’s Culture?
What is company culture?
We define company culture as the collective human behaviour within an organization and the meaning that people associate with their actions and behaviour; both the way they are treated and the behaviours that they themselves exhibit. It includes aspects such as values, systems, beliefs, habits, language, and behaviour that is displayed internally and externally. It affects how people think, feel and how they will perform in their roles, and it has a tremendous impact on the way in which people interact with each other and how they will treat your customers.
We hope that our definition of company culture resonates with you and reinforces the importance of culture in the workplace.
A company’s culture will define and structure the difference between success and mediocrity that is found in most organizations.
Let me share an example to bring this to life for you. Often a desired company culture is a culture that is people focused - we care about our people; our people are our number one priority. How often have you heard this or been part of an organization that defines this as an area that is critical to their success? Why is it then that you see behaviours that do not support this premise and employee survey and engagement results that reflect the opposite of this desired culture?
Defining Company Culture
Here are a few of the most basic and important aspects to help you structure and establish the desired culture for your organization:
- Company culture starts from the top
It is up to leaders to define the culture they want to establish within the organization. Leaders set the tone that everyone else follows and they have the ability to shift the culture significantly. When leaders fail to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the cultural values they desire to have, it can lead to serious organizational problems and lack of employee engagement and overall performance. Leaders will lose credibility and the visions and values that are established to help support the desired culture are diminished and become meaningless to the employees in the organization. Leadership is about living up to and displaying the desired behaviours on a consistent basis with authenticity and caring for others in the organization.
- Company culture is internal and external
A company's culture – no matter how positive and engaging you believe it is, it will bear no impact unless it is consistent both internally and externally. Some companies will go the extra mile for their customers and always “do the right thing” but their employees receive the opposite treatment and attention. This inconsistency is evident to everyone involved and will eventually overflow in the way in which your customers are treated by your people. The old cliché stands firm: Happy and engaged employees will lead to satisfied customers. By creating and fostering a positive culture, companies will thrive and establish the desired culture and reputation.
- A positive company culture will boost employee engagement
If you've been paying attention to our blog posts, you know that employee engagement is the single most important factor when it comes to organizational success. There are many ways to improve employee engagement, but nothing is as powerful as a positive company culture. In fact, the concepts of company culture and employee engagement go together. When employees are trusted and empowered to bring their “A” game everyone wins. This leads to a culture that thrives; employees feel inspired to operate at the highest level and this is reflected in your results and overall customer satisfaction.
Taking Steps to Improve Company Culture
Think about your company's culture for a moment. Is it fostering an environment where employees will deliver their best work? Is it consistent both internally and externally? As a leader, are you displaying the right behaviors that support the culture your company needs to be successful?
Remember you set the tone for how others behave in the organization; your employees are looking to you after all to set the right example. If your company's culture requires improvement, it is up to you to drive and foster the desired tone and behaviours. Establishing the ideal culture may take some time and effort, but it will make the difference between success and failure.
What is your company’s culture? Are leaders leading by example or are you seeing opposing behaviours? We would love to hear from you! Feel free to contact me at 1-855-871-3374 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.