A Great Culture is the Secret Sauce for your Organization’s Success

When you step into a workplace, most people can feel the vibe right away. Do team members look engaged or are they just getting through the day? Are people working together or just near each other? This vibe is the organization’s culture. It’s the internal brand of the company.

Let’s dive into what organizational culture is, why it matters, and how you can build an All In place to work.

What is Organizational Culture?

Think of culture as the unwritten rules of a workplace. A culture is made up of shared values, beliefs, and behaviors. It’s how people interact, how decisions are made, and how work gets done. Culture is influenced by many factors from the history of the organization, to the products that it offers, to the markets it works in, to the leadership style expected of managers.

Organizational culture is the invisible glue that holds everything together. It influences team member behavior, their engagement, and their performance. A strong culture aligns everyone toward common goals, boosting productivity and customer satisfaction. A weak culture can lead to low morale and inconsistency in how service is offered to clients.

How Culture Impacts Loyalty and Performance

A positive organizational culture can significantly impact employee loyalty and company performance:

  • According to Gallup, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202 percent over time.
  • The Harvard Business Review highlights that a strong culture can increase employee retention by up to 50 percent.
  • Research by Deloitte found that 94 percent of executives and 88 percent of employees believe a strong workplace culture is vital to business success.

Investing in a strong culture isn’t just a feel-good initiative; it’s a strategic business imperative that can lead to higher productivity, stronger employee retention, and improved financial performance.

Building a strong organizational culture doesn’t happen overnight. From Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton’s New York Times bestselling book on corporate culture “All In,” here are some practical steps any leader can take:

Define Core Values. Your core values are the foundation of your culture. They guide behavior and decision-making. Involve your team members in defining these values to ensure they resonate with everyone and are more than just words on a poster on the wall.

Lead by Example. Leaders play the most crucial role in shaping culture. They should model the behaviors and attitudes they want by being transparent, approachable, and consistent.

Communicate Clearly. Regular, transparent communication helps keep everyone aligned on what matters most. As a leader, share updates, celebrate successes, and openly discuss challenges.

Foster Inclusivity. An inclusive culture values diversity and ensures everyone’s voice is heard and they feel valued and respected. Inclusivity promotes dialogue, provides equal opportunities, and addresses biases.

Encourage Feedback. Create channels for regular feedback. Remember, a good practice is to act on feedback to show that you value it.

Recognize and Reward. It is vital for leaders to regularly acknowledge and reward behaviors that align with their core values. Showing appreciation reinforces the desired culture and motivates others to follow suit. Recognition can be formal (like awards) or informal (like a shout-out in a meeting).

Real-Life Examples

A few organizations work hard to build strong cultures:

Strong corporate cultures are exemplified by companies like Disney, known for its emphasis on creativity, storytelling, and customer satisfaction. Google stands out for its innovation and a work environment that promotes open communication and collaboration. Southwest Airlines highlights a culture of fun and commitment to customer service, ensuring employees feel valued and motivated. Patagonia’s culture revolves around environmental sustainability and activism. Their employees are encouraged to take time off for environmental causes, and the company is strongly committed to ethical practices.

Each of these companies integrates their core values deeply into their operations, fostering environments where employees are engaged and dedicated to the company’s mission.

Overall, building a thriving organizational culture takes time and effort, but the benefits are worth it. A strong culture can boost employee engagement, improve performance, and contribute to long-term business success. Start by defining your core values, leading by example, communicating effectively, fostering inclusivity, recognizing, and rewarding, encouraging feedback, and being adaptable.

Ready to transform your organizational culture? Download the ‘Ultimate Guide to Building a Thriving Organizational Culture’ to start your culture transformation journey!

By investing in your culture, you’re investing in your company’s success. It’s not just about improving your workplace—it’s about driving performance and achieving your business goals.