The Value of Properly Defining Your Culture

Whether you consciously create one or not, your business has an organizational culture. And like a societal culture, it has a profound impact on how you and your team behave and interact. It affects productivity, colors every decision that is made, and sets the tone for all client and vendor transactions. Which is why when you properly define and establish your business’ culture, you can greatly improve your operations and the contribution of each team member.

Organizational culture results from what you do, not what you say, so it’s fundamentally essential that you align the culture with your vision, goals and values if that’s what you expect your team to deliver on. The way you do that is through your own example and how you manage and communicate with your team. So, for example, when you set priorities do they remain priorities or do you get sidetracked by unexpected emergencies? Do you share your goals with the whole team and regularly review progress toward those goals with them? Do you model good work habits, demonstrate mutual respect and recognition for all team members, and set clear standards for quality work and excellent service?

There is no one right organizational culture, but there are right and wrong ways of managing culture. It’s like the difference between a laser and a prism. When you explicitly define and share the desired culture with your team and explain why it matters and how it relates to business goals and everyone’s success, you create a synergy that can produce amazing results because everyone is working toward the same ends according to the same means. On the other hand, when, as they say in the business jargon, you don’t “walk the talk,” you create confusion, disperse employees’ energies and focus, and undermine morale and their sense of security.

Absenteeism, high employee turnover, underperformance, apathy, frequent requests for clarification or direction, and conflict among team members are all signs that something is wrong with the organization’s culture.  Even if you’re not experiencing these issues, you can up everyone’s game by properly defining and collectively embracing the culture you want your business to have. With everyone singing from the same song sheet, you’ll achieve greater harmony and stellar performance.

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