Company culture, either official or unofficial can really kill your employees. And do you know what kind of productivity a dead employee has? Not much!
So, have you ever looked at the culture in your business and analyzed what it could be doing to your company?
As with everything we do business, it is important to know how the things we do affect the outcomes we want. I have worked with several business that talk about a culture but never actually looked to see if the culture they promote is accurate or even effective in moving the business towards its goals. Here are two tips that ensure your culture is a help, not a hindrance for your employees, your customers, and your business.
1. Figure out what it actually is.
I am sure that you have an idea about what your company culture is, or at least supposed to be. You may have even written out some sort of culture statement describing what it is, but is it really that way? The fastest way to figure out your company culture is to simply interview your employees. Sit them down or give them a survey asking them to describe the culture of your enterprise. If their answers match what you think it should be, you have done a great job of infusing the culture you want throughout the business. If there are discrepancies, you can go to work correcting those. Knowing what is actually going on is the first step to correcting the culture and not killing your employees with a toxic environment.
2. Write out what the ideal is and what it looks like.
Many business when asked about culture say, “Yes we have a written culture statement.” That statement is a start but falls short of actually being the culture of the company. A good culture statement tells people what it is but also describes how it plays out within the company and the person. Here’s an example using the 7th point of the ActionCOACH culture statement:
7. Education- I learn from my mistakes. I consistently learn, grow, and master so that I can help my fellow team members and clients learn, grow, and master too. I am an educator and allow my clients to make their own intelligent decisions about their future remembering that it is their future. I impart practical and useable knowledge rather than just theory.
Not only does this statement show a key component of being an ActionCOACH, it describes how it plays out for the individual. You can read the statement and know exactly what it actually looks like. You can evaluate your performance based on that description and know if it is being achieved. If your culture statement does not describe what it actually means then you are killing your employees do to a cloud of confusion.
Your company has a culture. It is better if you business culture is defines by you the owner, it give you better control and ensures a consistent experience for you customers. A toxic culture will kill your employees, your customers, and eventually your business. I encourage you to determine what you culture is, and what it needs to be so that your dreams and ambitions can become a reality.