Does it seem like the values have all changed?
The personality of your team, goals, and expectations are now different?
Is it frustrating?
Are you wondering what has happened to your company?
It might be the culture.
Culture is one of the most important, yet often times intangible pieces to an organization’s success.
Defined as the personality of a company, the culture includes many things such as work environment, team values, individual expectations, and in behaviors exhibited by team members. A common occurrence is an organization with incredible potential experiencing limitations due to a toxic culture.
The good thing is that there are few things that can positively impact culture, and it comes down to leadership and process.
Impacting Culture: Redesign the structure.
The first thing you can do is rebuild trust, and one of the quickest, and most effective ways to do that includes tearing down walls; walls dictated by title or department. When a culture is broken, it longs for some consistency (think abou the “back to the basics” terminology). When you break down the walls, literally and figuratively, you open the door for collaboration, coordinated efforts, and trust to be rebuilt (Note: this will require leaders to be humbled). This sounds simple enough, but rebuilding trust takes time, commitment, and a lot of intentionality from organization leaders on down.
Impacting Culture: Give your team a platform
When trust is broken, so is an employee’s motivation. As mentioned above, you’ll need to rebuild trust in order to effectively communicate and maneuver through the problem(s). Once trust is build back up, be sure to give your employees a platform to express concerns, ideas, or what they’re seeing from their perspective. This platform may come in the shape of 1:1 meetings, small coordinated conversations, or whole team collaborations (note: these are determined by the size of the organization the extent of the brokenness of the culture). By giving your team a platform you give them a voice, while also motivating them with their own verbiage; you also receive invaluable information / perspective regarding the culture.
Impacting Culture: Don’t hire just yourself
“A manager cannot be 100% objective when working with employees on their personal and professional development. On one hand they may truly want to help you with your development. On the other hand, they can’t “un-hear” something.” One of the most common mistakes made while trying to fix a culture is to try and do it completely from within. By trying to change culture internally, you actually may just be enabling the negatives of it. While that is a tough pill to swallow, it’s also necessary to accurately understand and determine the best responses for an organization’s culture that is wobbling.
Changing a culture is difficult work.
It’s sometimes ugly.
It takes time.
But, it can be done!
If you think that your company’s culture isn’t what you want it to be, our team would love to chat. We’re not here to tell you how to run your organization. We’re here to consult you in advancing the culture of the mission you’ve worked so hard to create.
Remember, culture is one of the most important, yet often times intangible pieces to an organization’s success.